Now that Summer is finally here and school is out it’s time to adjust to summer life. Although your child’s schedule has drastically changed, yours hasn’t. Most parents are faced with the dilemma of choosing a summer camp. Some for the first time while others may have already dealt with this process on numerous occasions.
However, circumstances change whether you moved, the old camp is no longer running, or your child’s needs have changed. So we came across a great article on choosing the right camp for your child on fatherhood.org written by Katie Bugbee that gives 6 great tips to finding the perfect summer camp for your child. We hope this helps alleviate a tough decision. Enjoy.
Day camp is a great way to keep kids active and social all summer long while staying local. And you have more insight into what is going on each day. And it’s great if your child is just warming up to camp.
Overnight camp typically starts at age 7. For kids who have outgrown the local camp experience and are looking for a new adventure, this could be an easy choice. If your child does well at sleepovers, follows directions at school and isn’t afraid to be independent in new activities, they are good candidates. The only question is – are you ready for them to be away for a week or more?
General camps offer a variety of activities, including swimming, archery, team sports, arts and crafts, ropes courses, music and team building activities. So kids experience new interests. But if your child wants to focus on certain skill-building and meet like-minded people, consider a specialty camp. Just remember that three weeks of back-to-back art classes could curb interest in the activity. Adding a week or two at specialty camp after a general camp might be your best way to create balance.
Once you know the style of camp you want, decide if it needs to be gender-specific. Most day camps are unisex, so narrowing your list to a specialty and gender will leave you with fewer options (perhaps making this even easier!).
Now you’re ready to look into reviews and prices. If going local and interested in joining friends, send an email to certain parents asking what their summer plans are. They might have favorite camps they rave about, to make your decision easy. Once you have a few choices, call the staff and ask some of these relevant questions:
- How is staff hired, screened and trained?
- What is the camper to counselor ratio?
- What is your return rate?
- How old are the counselors?
- How do you handle conflicts between campers, or discipline?
- What type of child best succeeds at this camp?
- What is a sample daily schedule?
- What happens if my child takes medication?
- How do you handle separation anxiety?
- What are your safety and medical procedures?
Extra questions for Overnight Camps:
- How do you do laundry?
- What is a sample menu?
- Can I send my child care packages?
- Do kids keep their cell phones?
- Should I send my child with money?
- If my child needs to talk to a parent, is that allowed?