Dear Reader: We Feel Your Summer-Planning Pain

My son recently turned 6, which means that the universe of camps he is eligible for has greatly expanded. And with the wide range of extraordinary camps offered around the Sound, the possibilities for enrichment, skill building and plain old fun are endless — not to mention full-day child care. Would your kid love to learn parkour, track Bigfoot, make a silent film, go on a seafaring adventure or practice being a zookeeper? There’s a camp for that.

Oh, wait, my son also has informed us he doesn’t want to go to camp this summer, unless, that is, at least two friends sign up as well, it’s only one day a week and he gets to play Legos all day long. If you have a similarly difficult summer-camp planning challenge facing you — perhaps a middle schooler who says he’s too old for camp, or a tight summer budget — you will want to head immediately with our article, “5 camp challenges."

One fresh idea for summer camp comes from an unexpected source: online. Yes, the latest camp trend — online camp — is a virtual affair, but surprisingly, signing your kid up for digital camp doesn’t mean that he will be glued to a screen all summer. Find out all about it here. And if you’ve been trying to convince your partner that your child is ready for her first overnight camp experience, put Natalie Singer-Velush’s ode to summer camp (“How summer camp changed my life") under their nose. Case closed.

Finally, if you’ve been toying with taking your junior rangers on a big national-parks road trip this summer in honor of The National Park Service’s centennial, find out about three stunning, super-family-friendly parks in the west that offer all the wonder of Yellowstone or Zion, without the crowds (“The best national park vacations you’ve never heard of").

Find more invaluable resources for summer planning at ParentMap’s camps portal, our travel page and don’t forget to attend one of our free summer Camp Fairs, where you’ll find hundreds of ideas for camps, programs and enrichment of every possible variety, around Puget Sound and far beyond. Up, up and away!

—Elisa Murray, Out + About editor

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