In the height of winter, you might start dreaming about the long days of sunshine and fun that summer offers. But, did you know that you should actually do more than dream in order to have the best summer possible? At Sawyer, we analyzed 7.2 million bookings for camps, classes, and other extracurricular activities made in 2022. 

We determined that most families follow this summer camp planning timeline:

  • Research summer camps for 1-2 months 
  • Make their purchases 2-3 months ahead of the start date. 

Therefore, you can expect summer camps to start filling up in March. If you don’t want your child stuck on the waitlist, and your summer plans in flux, we recommend that you start researching and planning for summer camp in January and February. Luckily, Sawyer makes summer camp planning simple for parents like you! In this guide, we’ll outline how to use Sawyer to find the right camps for your child so they can have the best summer yet!

How Sawyer makes summer camp planning simple for parents

What is Sawyer?

Sawyer is a solution to a problem many parents know all too well. And that’s because Sawyer was started in 2015 by 2 moms who were tired of struggling to find great activities and camps for their children in an efficient way.

8 years later, Sawyer is used by parents in every state in the U.S. to find and book activities for their children every day. Now, children are on a journey to discover their own love of learning by exploring their passions, trying new things, and meeting new peers and mentors through Sawyer.

How does Sawyer work for parents?

Sawyer is an online marketplace for children’s activities and camps happening near you and online. When a family opens Sawyer, they see all of the activities that are being offered in their area as well as a vast variety of online classes. Activities on Sawyer are offered as semesters, camps, or drop-ins. 


Semesters take place over a set period and usually have 1-3 classes per week at the same time. For example, an educator offers a semester of Spanish classes every Tuesday and Thursday at 4pm for 3 months. 


Camps also take place over a set period, but they are usually every day during that time. For example, an educator offers a winter break art camp that takes place Monday through Friday of that week off from 9am to 4pm. This is also the case for summer camps, which typically take place each weekday for a month or more during the summer.


Drop-in activities are one-off activities that can be part of semesters and camps or on their own. For example, an educator offers a semester of music classes every Thursday, but they also allow for drop-in students so families can book the semester or just one class at a time. Or, an educator offers drop-in sewing classes every so often and families can book them when they are available.

When families find an activity or camp that their child is interested in, they can book it right on Sawyer. Families have all of their child’s information saved on their profile, so booking is quick and easy. Some educators may ask additional questions related to the activity, such as child’s experience level. Likewise, educators will often need updated logistical information like guardians cleared for pickup, pronouns, and any medical needs. But, the majority of information should be saved on the child’s profile, making booking simple.

And that’s it! No need to wait in a physical or virtual waiting room, fill out pages and pages of repeated information, and worry about losing your hard-earned spot. Sawyer makes it easy for parents because it was created by parents!

How to find summer camps for your child on Sawyer

Sawyer makes it easy for you to find summer camps for your child that will help them grow, learn, and have fun while school is out. When thinking about the right summer camps for your child, consider their interests and what they are hoping to accomplish over the summer. Do they want to get better at soccer so they can make the team in the fall? Are they passionate about building with LEGO and want to explore more STEM topics? The right camp for your child is one that they will enjoy!

With that in mind, here is how you can use Sawyer to make finding the right summer camp for your child as easy as possible.

Step 1: Decide on the type of camp

Are you looking for a virtual camp or day camp? On Sawyer, you need to decide if you will be looking for camps in your area or online before you begin searching. If you are searching for virtual camps, go to the “online” option. If you are searching for in-person camps, choose “in-person”.

Step 2: Pick your filters

Using the filters, you can save time by only looking through activities that fit your child’s interests. These are the types of filters that you can utilize on Sawyer.

  • Age: Save time by only seeing camps that are for your child’s age range.
  • Booking type: Since you are looking for summer camps, choose “camp”
  • Category: This is where you can filter for the type of activity, like sports, music, STEM, drama, and more. If you are not sure what your child is interested in, don’t pick a filter and instead see everything that is being offered.
  • Month: Since you are looking for summer camps, filter to only include the summer months where school is out in your location.

Step 3: Explore your options

Once you have added your filters, you will see the summer camp options that fit your needs. Now, you get to explore! When you review the options, we recommend looking at these important elements to make your decision.

  • Dates and times: Does this summer camp run during the right dates for your family? When does it start and when does it end? Do the pickup and drop off times mesh with your work schedule? If not, does the camp offer early drop off or after care?
  • Booking options: Some educators allow families to book camps in full, by week, or even by day (drop-in). These options provide flexibility for families who have other summer plans or want to try multiple camps over the summer.
  • Class experience: In this section, the educator will write about a typical day at camp and what you and your child can expect during the program. Read this section closely to determine if your child will enjoy this experience and if the structure is right for them. 
  • Reviews: Have other families like yours enjoyed this camp and/or this educator? What do others have to say about the experience? Reading reviews will help you make an informed decision.

Step 4: Make your decisions

After researching camps and mapping out your summer plans, you should be ready to register your child! If you book multiple camps for different weeks or months of the summer, keep yourself organized in the calendar section of your Sawyer account. 

Now, breathe a sigh of relief because your summer plans are booked and you can go back to dreaming about warmer days! Sawyer is here to make summer 2023 the best summer for you and your family. If you are looking for support on how to get your child ready for summer camp and how to help them make friends at camp, check out our guides. Summer will be here before we know it!

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