What You Need to Know When Signing Your Kids Up for Camp
Tent, teepee or cabin — Figuring out where to send your little ones — or even your mediums ones – away from home for the summer can be a tough task. Camp can make or break a child’s summer and the memories stay with a child for life, so you have to do your research. Here are 6 things you should know when you’re signing your kids up for camp.
The most important aspect of a camp is how well your child is taken care of. Safety and well-being should be a camp’s top priority. When you’re looking for camps, choose from camps accredited by the American Camp Association. Holding accreditation means a camp follows standards and guidelines to maintain high quality of operation, education, safety, and staff.
Make sure the focus of the camp is suited for you and child. You’re not looking at schools, so you can choose a camp where the kids all have the same interests and have a better chance of getting along than they would in a classroom filled with kids with varying interests. There are thousands of camps to choose from – there are camps that focus on outdoor adventure and there are camps where the core objective is building math skills. Choose a camp based on your child’s interest and matches your philosophy of learning and discipline.
Go to camp fairs. Go to camp open houses. Get an in-person experience of the people and camp you’ll be sending your child to. It’s a good place to let your instincts take over. Make a list of the places that give you and your child a good feeling and another list of camps that give you a bad feeling. If you don’t get a good impression in one hour, it’s probably a sign it’s not a good place for your child to spend a week.
Make sure the camp director and counselors are available to communicate with you. When vetting camps, don’t be afraid to call or email camp staff with questions. If they’re not available to talk to you before camp, their likely not going to talk to you during camp week.
Talk to someone who has been to the camp or camps you’re looking into. Ask them about their experience with the activities, counselors and other campers. What another kid says about camp is insight you probably won’t get from a brochure.
Costs for camps can get pretty high depending on the amenities and the duration of the camp. But don’t let the price of the right camp scare you away. Ask the camp directly for any special pricing to see if you can work out the right payment for you.
There is so much learning to do and fun to have at camp. If your child attends the right camp, the benefits can exceed your expectations.