Summer camps can be a valuable learning experience for your children as well as a great way to expand their social network. There are many types of summer camps; picking one should depend on your child’s interests and age. A day camp is better for younger children while resident camps are designed more for older children. A resident camp allows the child to stay at the camp site for a long period of time. No one knows your children better than you; so go over your options before choosing. Here are some items to consider before picking a summer camp.
Research is the best first step in finding a camp for your child. There are a lot questions to ask before entrusting your child to a camp. Does the camp have a good reputation? Is the camp accredited? An accredited camp means that the camp has met specific guidelines which include on-site visits, safety policies and other reviews. Accreditation means a higher quality program. What is the history of the camp? Has the camp been in the community for a long period of time? Basically, ask questions until you are satisfied with all the information.
The staff members of the camp should be well-trained. Ask to meet the staff that will be in direct contact with your child on a daily basis. All staff members should have had a background check and references. If the camp has not done a criminal background check, then another camp should be chosen. A criminal background check is a must. There should also be enough staff on site to adequately watch all the children. There also should be a plan in place for emergencies.
The next step is the activities of the camp. You want your child to enjoy the camp visit but also safety is a priority. Ask for a daily schedule of activities. Is there enough to keep your child focused such as swimming, archery, hiking, crafts, and canoeing? Obviously you want to look for activities that will keep your child busy, but you want to know if there are other options too. For instance, are there times when your child can have a choice between archery and canoeing? And are there times when your child can just socialize or have quiet moments? The more you know about the camp routine; the better prepared you can make you child. Camp is about adventure and trying new things.