7 Steps to Jump Start (and finish) Your Summer Planning

downloadThis is a guest post from our friends at Camperoo, a new concierge service that will help you organize your child’s summer plans.

We all have heard from her (or him); the parent that is completely organized and has summer booked and planned months in advance. It’s only February and you receive an email showing you their entire summer camp, vacation and activity schedule, asking you to share yours. “It’s still snowing in some parts of the country, how can I even begin to think about something at least 3 months away? I just got over Christmas!,” you think to yourself.

At Camperoo, we help parents simplify this process through our online camps marketplace . As an experiment, earlier this year, I sought out to book 50 families entire summer schedules to learn more about how to streamline this and help parents like you make it simpler. We still have a few spots for Concierge, so apply here.

Here are 7 tips to help you jump start your summer planning–concepts we came up with after directly talking to different types of parents. Let’s face it, the last day of school isn’t getting any further away–the faster you get this going, the more time you’ll have to think about other things! Here’s a step by step spreadsheet to help you plan.

Tip 1: Make a list of activities, topics, and concepts that each child likes
Instead of blindly picking cool-sounding or nearby activities / camps, take a few minutes to write down activities and subjects that your kids might be interested in to help direct and guide your plans.

Tip 2: Think about your priorities and goals for your kids this summer
Do you need to stay close to home, save money, or sleepaway to build independence and grit? What are the things that matter most to you–and what matters most for your child? Hone these items and you’ll be able to evaluate camps, vacations, and activities based on these things.

Tip 3: Plot out your schedule week by week and block off all important dates
Now that you have your goals and interests in place, create a quick spreadsheet with each week of summer laid out on top and the proposed plans for each week below. Start with broad terms like : Vacation, Camp, Grandma’s House, Stay at Home, etc. to start penciling in a schedule

Tip 4: Seek out summer camps and other enrichment activities that reach your goals
Now you know what you’re looking for, spend some time on google with your keywords and your local summer camp and activity print guides. Camperoo is only in the SF Bay Area now, but there are tons of online resources and items at your school

Tip 5: Plan out field trips, play-dates, and vacations to fill in the other weeks
For the weeks that you don’t want to find summer programs, seek out your local city guide and find field trips and diy activities. Look for things you and your kids wouldn’t generally do and try to find a week to focus on those things.

Tip 6: Make decisions, and commit.
Now that you have a list of all your activities, camps, and vacations, start putting them onto your schedule. Register early and commit. Lots of programs have discounts for early-birds. Leave a few weeks flexible but just book the programs you love before space run out.

Tip 7: Share your committed and flexible plans with friends
Congrats, you’re now THAT parent, who’s on top of things! Share your schedule with your friends with this step by step guide, and hopefully they’ll chime in with comments so you can coordinate and make this summer the best one yet!

Go through these 7 steps and you’ll have your entire summer schedule booked before the end of the month (okay, we’ll give you a bit of leeway to get it done before Spring Break). If you still need additional help for inspiration, please apply to be a Camperoo concierge beta customer. If you fit the requirements, Emmie will personally help you as one of her 50 parents, or just answer any questions you have about summer camps or activities. We’re on a quest to make this summer extraordinary for parents and kids–hope you can join in on the fun!

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