Why we love Galileo Learning summer camps

This year we're not doing much traveling over the summer, so it's up to me to plan ahead and make sure my kids stay busy over the summer -- and that means more than just renting the latest movies and buying extra batteries for the handheld videogames.  I'm always on the lookout for engaging, entertaining summer camps, and I look to my fellow parents around school for recommendations for camps that their kids love.  The one name that keeps coming back year after year is the one I always recommend to anyone who asks:  Galileo Learning camps.  Here's why:

It's Fun
Camp Galileo (for pre-K to 5th grade) and Galileo Summer Quest (for 5th to 8th grade) have the best themes I've ever seen in any day camp!  The curriculum development staff know exactly what interests and inspires kids.  Camp Galileo themes and Galileo Summer Quest (GSQ) majors (or areas of focus that campers choose) change every week, so kids can attend multiple weeks at camp without getting bored. All activities, from arts and crafts to science experiments to games on the field, are designed to fit the week's theme or major, so kids get to explore their chosen subject matter in depth.

It's Educational
Everything a camper does at a Galileo camp is designed to teach kids how to experiment and innovate.  Last year at Camp Galileo, 3Po and Jammy learned about bridges and basic principles of engineering as they worked to build their own wooden suspension bridges. Even more important, they learned how to plan ahead, predict outcomes, experiment with different variables, and adjust their plans based on preliminary results.  They were probably having too much fun to know or care that they were actually learning, but they were learning just the same!

It's Convenient
Galileo Learning 38 camp locations all over the Bay Area, from Tiburon to San Jose, which means you won't have to drive far to find one near you. Every camp session has optional extended care from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. so working parents can fit camps into their own schedules.  They even offer an optional lunch program, featuring hot, healthy meals!
A word about affordability: Camp Galileo and GSQ are not cheap, but you get what pay for.  They have a full-time staff that works year-round to develop the curricula for each theme and activity.  Everyone, from counselors to instructors to interns, are the cream of the crop; many are professional educators and many have been with Galileo for years.  You won't find any pimply teenagers more interested in texting their friends than interacting with the kids -- every single person on staff that I've met has been enthusiastic and involved.  The tuition rates are higher than city-run summer day camps, but on par -- and actually on the lower end of the price range -- with specialty summer day camps.  And if you enroll before Feb. 28 you'll get the Early Bird discount of $20 per session, on top of any refer-a-friend discount or multiple session discount.  Yes, that's two days from now, so hop to it!
It has been seven years since The Pea first attended Camp Galileo as a tiny Nebula (pre-K), and we've gone back almost every year.  Each time my kids have attended camp they have had a wonderful time.  I can't recommend it highly enough!

Disclosure:This is the first in a series of posts about Camp Galileo and Galileo Summer Quest, for which I am receiving a free week of camp for each of my children. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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