This post is sponsored by Camp Galileo, but as always, the thoughts and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting The Heart of Dani.

Summer is here, and finding ways to keep Kolton and Shayne entertained while still keeping their creative minds flowing is not an easy task. Finding the best summer camp for them is always a goal of mine. Yes, beach days are a summer must, but finding the right camp to mix into those days of fun and sun is just as important. Kolton will be in 1st grade, so I especially do not want him to fall behind. Shayne is a social butterfly, so finding ways for her to meet like-minded little ones is also important. My goal this summer is for my babies to look back and know it was the best one yet! And of course, next year, we will have to top it 🙂

As the kids get older, there are so many new options for summer camps. Whether it be just for a day or for five days in a row, researching to find the best fit for our lifestyles and their personalities can be overwhelming!

I was introduced to Galileo Camps when I was sent their Zoom, Fly, Bolt, Blast Steam Handbook, which implements the same ideas as the camps, including STEAM based learning and creating.

Related: Create and Explore :: Galileo Camps

After creating a few projects through the handbook and seeing how excited Kolton was to keep creating, I was sold on the whole learning concept behind it and wanted to know MORE for my brilliant minded six-year-old!

When it came time to select a summer camp that Kolton and Shayne would enjoy, Galileo Camps was a no-brainer. In the beginning, I was more excited than they were but after day 1, they were completely smitten with their camp experience! The rave reviews that came home with them not only reassured me that I made a good choice, but made me want to enroll them in more!

Kolton is my shy yet potentially genius child. He can be extremely difficult at times due to his obsessive nature, but constantly impresses me with his incredible memory and attention to detail. As he gets older, I realize how important it is to build on his natural skills and abilities. I truly found that, with the help of the camp counselors, Camp Galileo did just this!

I really appreciate that I received an email during the first day of camp to remind me of the weekly schedule and give me questions to ask my little campers at dinner. Camp Galileo must know how difficult it can be to get kids to open up about what they learned during the day, so these questions were a great way to open up the lines of communication and get them talking! I could not believe all of the things they had to say about what they did, who they met, what they ate for lunch, and what activities they did each day! I have never been able to get that kind of info. out of them after school! We had so much to discuss and I smiled the entire time as they interrupted each other to get their stories out!

Now, here is the question… Is Camp Galileo a good fit for your child? Here is what I look for in an EXCEPTIONAL Summer Camp:

  • The Convenience – There are so many locations and dates available! I know we can always carve out at least a week in our busy summer schedules to bring them here. This summer, we chose a location in Los Gatos. Although this was a little drive for us, this is mine and my husbands’ hometown, there are plenty of locations closer to us that we could have chosen.
  • The Ease of Drop-off and Pick-up – I am not sure about the other locations, but our location had curbside drop-offs and pick-ups! This was so convenient and the kids loved it for a change.
  • Before and After Care – Check! The times are so convenient to fit into almost any parent’s schedules. We utilized the after care and Kolton and Shayne loved the outdoor activities they had. They even called it the “After Party” and there was a lot of sports, games and other options to get them tired out.
  • Healthy Lunches – Of course we could pack our own lunches, but the lunch and snack program that Galileo Camps has available for a very reasonable fee, are healthy and delicious even for my picky eaters. I was sent an email with a few days before camp started and I was actually able to select lunches for each of my campers for each day! There were several options that I could customize. This feature was so wonderful. It made my mornings so much easier and encouraged my children to try something a little different each day. They also provided snacks for the day. I only had to pack water and a snack for the after care program.
  • The Staff – Emmi, the camp program director at our camp, was so amazing with the children! From day one, she was super involved with greeting each camper and took extra care of those in need of a little extra attention. Shayne got a splinter on her first day, and Emmi called me and comforted her until I got there. Since this was really Shayne’s first camp experience, we agreed that it would be good for me to pick her up early so she felt safe and comfortable going back there the next day. Shayne asked for her every day after, and Emmi always made it a point to take time for her.
Finding the right summer camp
  • Organization – The first day of camp can seem overwhelming for both parents and campers. I was grateful for the organization displayed at Camp Galileo. From the welcome email, guiding us through the check-in process, to the signs pointing us in the right direction when we got there and the staff waiting to greet us and lead us through the whole initial check-in process.
  • Learning – Many camps are like a glorified daycare, not really giving your child much substance at the end. While these types of camps are great for those last minute drop-ins when us parents need a break, they are not ideal for a full week. Camp Galileo mixes outdoor fun with indoor learning and uses a STEAM approach (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) to learning and leaves your little innovators with many tools they can bring back to school in the Fall. Learning from their mistakes and trying again is an approach that Galileo encourages, which is so important for growth.
  • Open to All Age Groups – From pre-k to 10th grade, Galileo Camps has something for everyone. Campers are separated into age groups and activities are practiced according to abilities. Kolton and Shayne both participated in different activities that were age appropriate for each of them, and came home with some really amazing crafts all formed around the weekly camp theme, our week being ‘Expedition to Everest’.

What do you look for in a summer camp? Share your thoughts in the comments below and make this the BEST SUMMER EVER!!

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