Summer is just around the corner, and whether your child is a first time camper or a camping veteran, there are many factors to consider before enrolling him/her into summer camp. Here are five things to think about when choosing a summer camp:
Type of Camp: Most camps are divided into three categories: Resident (overnight), Day (return home at end of day), and Specialty (off-camp adventures/ special interests). It is important to consider the length of each camp, your camper’s age/readiness, and his/her interests.
Variety: Camp is a time for children to explore new activities and learn new skills. A camp that offers a mixture of sports, crafts, and indoor/outdoor activities will guarantee a variety. If your camper discovers soccer isn’t his/her cup of tea, having the option to choose another camp allows him/her to feel more independent.
Qualified and Well-Trained Staff: Your camper’s camp counselor will likely become his/her next role model. It is important staff are qualified individuals with background and reference checks, an interview, and a criminal-records search. Staff training generally covers homesickness, bullying and first aid. Knowing these topics will give you a better sense of how situations will be handled.
Safety: In the unfortunate case an illness or injury occurs, knowing how medical situations are handled and who cares for the campers (such as a nurse or doctor) is key. If your camper has medications or specific medical concerns, you will want to inquire about the camp’s infirmary procedures.
Cost: Summer camp is an affordable option for most everyone. Depending on the facilities offered and your camper’s needs, prices can vary from camp to camp. Note that some camps require additional costs for lunch, T-shirts, and other extras (i.e. camp store). Financial assistance based on need may also be available.