I found that most summer camps were either highly specialized or just focused on play all summer. I was lucky to find a camp with a good mix of academics and fun; we didn't want him to lose all that he had learned over the summer months. His camp offered, tennis, swimming, art, building structures and reading. What a great mix for a kid! At the end of camp, he knew how to swim and he developed a love for tennis. He increased his appreciation for art and now we cannot get him to stop building airplanes and ships with his Legos.
The first day of camp Gian was nervous but he play with another new boy for 10 minutes and then announced to me that he wanted to be in the same classes as his "new friend". That was an amazing lesson to me. Wouldn't it be nice if we as adults could embrace and accept other so fully and quickly?
Summer camp prepared both Gian and I for the huge transition to 1st grade. He gained enough independence over the summer to know that he would be ok without me and I learned to walk away from him without crying...at least until I got to the car.