Starters Tips for Choosing a Quality Camp
Choosing a kids summer camp can be a bit
daunting with so many options now available.
For parents who are new to
‘camp life’ and in need of some help we have compiled our starters tips
with what we consider to be the 6 key considerations before you start
your search for the perfect kids summer camp for your child.
Age and Interests
Day Camp, Overnight Camp or a Residential Camp
choice is largely directed by your child’s age and their level of
maturity. Be sure to involve your child in this decision, they are the
best one to guide you on their level of comfort with each of the
options. If they have not slept over at a friend’s house then a couple
of dry runs are suggested before sending them off to camp.
Day Camps are
more suited to younger kids aged 4-7. Around 8 or 9 is when overnight
camps become more suitable for many and
Residential Camps can take teenagers for weeks at a time. More on Kids Summer Camps based on interest and program…
Location and Size
If your child is
attending a day camp or overnight camp then close proximity to your home
will definitely be a consideration. If your child will be at summer
camp for several weeks then distance may be less of an issue.
size- bigger camps are not necessarily better or worse- but take the
time to ensure that your child will be getting a rewarding camp
experience and not getting lost in the crowd.
When selecting a kids summer camp don’t forget to include the cost of
travel between your home and the camp location on top of the cost of the
Accreditation and Staffing
American Camping Association (ACA) is the largest body which accredits
summer camps based on their health and safety, staff and program
quality. Not all camps are accredited by the ACA but each camp should be
able to give you information on how their program is evaluated and
improved each year.
Staffing is an all important consideration for
parents for many reasons. Questions to consider include..What is the
average age of the staff? Are staff screened in any way? How much
training do they receive? What is the ratio between staff and campers?
If you are concerned with any camp’s philosophy regarding staffing, then
try somewhere else.
Recommendation and Referral
way to find a kids summer camp is to speak with the parents of your
child’s friends. If they have had a positive experience with a camp
previously, then the likelihood is that their child will be returning to
the same camp which might open up the possibility of two (or more)
friends attending together. For an introverted or nervous child, having
friends will help to remove the isolation that some kids experience when
attending summer camp for the first time.
When contacting camps
they can often supply a list of families that have offerred act as a
reference for the camp. They can help to give you a feel for the camp
and its best attributes and qualities.