It’s the spring chore that in theory sounds fun at first (searching, planning, getting excited about summer camps for your kids) until you start doing it (unreturned phone calls, forms, more forms, and a dearth of online information on whether the camp your kid is interested in is even fun and/or safe.) Combine that with trying to sort out which kid is going to which camp during which available session and it’s enough to have you frantically searching for someone you can hire as your very own camp consultant.
Enter FUNnerator, the brainchild of Seattle mom Katie Thompson. Part centralized camp database, part family planner, part social network, FUNnerator is like Yelp meets LexisNexis for busy parents. With a first launch in Washington State (FUNnerator has plans to expand nationwide in coming months) there are currently over 1,200 camps and 4,000 camp sessions to choose from. Search by zip code, type of camp (math/science, water-based, faith-based, arts, wilderness; sports) or, simply type in your favorite camp keywords, and voila—handy results like price, available dates, ratings and reviews are at your fingertips. Narrow your search by the age of your kids, distance from your home, allergy and special needs considerations and the results get even more camptastic. Added bonus: you can even search for camps that offer financial scholarships.
Perhaps best of all, you can bookmark the camps you want to consider, contact the camp directly from the service, and share your experiences, insights and top picks with other parents. Before you know it, your kids’ summer activities will be fully booked, leaving you more time to enjoy the things that are well, more fun.
–Allison Ellisphoto courtesy of sun dazed via Creative Commons Flikr