5 Questions to consider when choosing your Summer Hockey Camp
Mar 07, 2020
Written by Dixon Ward, Vice President
Summer Hockey Camp Experience
As the hockey season winds down and springtime is in the air, thoughts about summer plans start to take shape. Part of those discussions inevitably revolves around summer hockey camps. Choosing the right camp for your young player can be a daunting task. Options are plenty and figuring it all out it not always easy. Here is a list of questions that you should consider when looking at what camp works best for you and your family.
- Do we want to look at something local in our own community or a destination camp that can be tied into a family vacation? Once you have established this, the following criteria can assist you in choosing the proper experience.
- What is the reputation and history of the camp? Every summer new camps pop up promoting better development or cheaper prices. When looking at a camp, consider the experience that the operator has in the industry. Summer camps are not just about ice-time. The best camps are designed to provide a life experience for kids through the game. In order to accomplish this, a great deal of organization, planning, and infrastructure is necessary. Long established camps provide a consistent environment that people can count on. They usually have the strongest staff, and a highly structured schedule and process in place to make sure every young player has a positive camp experience.
- Set your own expectations. Ask yourself what it is you would like your young player to get out of this experience. The answer should revolve around developing fundamental skills and techniques in an environment that encourages growth, passion, commitment to effort, and of course fun. The best learning happens when young players are free of stress and the pressure of evaluation. Encouraging them to fail in a supportive environment breeds improvement.
- Look for the player to instructor ratios. The best camps offer at least one instructor for every 6 to 7 players. The more individual attention a young player receives, the more feedback they can rely on for individual improvement.
- Consider specialty camps. As a young player grows through the game, more specialized instruction is beneficial. A focus on 2-3 specific areas in the game, throughout the course of a week, is the best way to make real improvement. The combination of clear and concise instruction, followed by repetition and correction, creates habits that are essential to the development process.
Whatever you decide, the summer camp experience can be an awesome one. Set realistic expectations that focus on the overall experience and enjoyment. If your son or daughter tells you at the end of camp that they can’t wait to come back next year, you have made the right choice. Have a great spring and I hope to see you around the rinks this summer.