Camping Made Easy: What types of camps are there?

The people at My Favorite Camping Store have an article entitled, “Kids Camping-It’s Not Easy…But it’s so rewarding.” I have to agree with them…camping is rewarding, but if you want to make it easy, then looking into weekend camps, day camps, or residential camps.  Finding an organized camp can take the stress off of planning, preparing and parenting all in one short period of time.

Family Camps

Family camps are great if you want the experience of being outdoors without the hassle. Now, if you want that rustic feeling it is possible to stay in tents and live off the salt of the land, but then why would you want to pay for that experience.  Family camps should not be confused with traditional camps for kids.  These camps offer an opportunity for families to bond with one another while experiencing something new.

Weekend Camps

A weekend camp usually features a short stay and they might have a more traditional focus. Typical activities could be horseback riding, canoeing, BBQ cookouts, and sightseeing.  The weekend camp is more of a get-away.  Perfect if you just want to keep things simple. Weekend camps are also great for first-timers. If you are trying to ease your child into the camping lifestyle spending a weekend in the mountains is a great first step.

Day Camps

Day camps sound like a camp, but in a lot of ways it’s a fancy name for summer school without the testing.  Day camps are perfect for working parents.  Most day camps follow a theme for the week.  Attendance at a day camp is often more flexible since the programs are usually one week. For example, if we are studying The Great Barrier Reef we may only do it for one week.  The following week could be about fairy tales.  Day camps offer great flexibility, the fees may equal the same amount as a three day camp.  I have noticed around Tokyo the fees for day camps usually run about 8,000 yen/day.

Residential Camps

Most residential camps start for children ages 8 and up. You can find some camps that accept children as young as 5.  On Curious Parents website they mention a story of a young 5 year old Japanese child that was sent overseas alone.  “One year we had a five-year-old camper from Japan. When he was escorted off the plane, he spoke no English. He adjusted beautifully. When he went home eight weeks later, he was speaking English,” said Jon Estis, director of Camp Redwood in Walden, N.Y. (

All of these camps can have a mixture of activities and themes. Some of them can feature art and others can focus on technology.  There is so much choice that you are bound to find something that interests you.

One more thing….

If you live in Japan you know that the children here are given a longer leash than children in your home country. I have been at residential camps where children as young as 4 joined in on the action.  They were more ready for bedtime than the older campers but they still had fun!  Always take into consideration the needs of your child and that will help you decide the best camp for you.


About Michaela Chatman

Michaela Chatman is the founder of Camp Roadless Summer Visual and Performing Arts Summer Camp based in the Tokyo area. She has taught in Chicago, New York City, Hiroshima, and Tokyo. She has worked with children from ages 5-16. She is a dedicated fan and supporter of the arts. She performs locally in Tokyo with Kaguratei, a blues band. She is an active member in TELL:Exceptional Parents Group, Japan Affiliate of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum (JASCD), Tokyo Investment Group, and Pink Cow Connections Networking Group. For fun she organizes The Tokyo Lovers Pizza Meetup Group.
This entry was posted in Day Camps, Parents and Kids, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Camping Made Easy: What types of camps are there?

  1. Pingback: 5 Camp Myths Debunked | Camp Roadless

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