Sending your child off to summer camp can be a bit daunting, especially if it’s the first time! There is a lot to consider, starting with which camp you want to send him or her to. When my oldest son went to camp, I made my choice partly based on the camp that I attended as a kid, because I loved it, but that was the only consideration. I also looked for a camp that could offer him new opportunities and experiences that he hadn’t had before, and one that would help him grow in his Faith, because that is important to me.
Here is a list of things to consider when choosing the right summer camp:
- How long has the camp been in existence? Does it have a good reputation? Can you get references from parents who have sent their children there?
- What is the staff to child ratio? I feel better knowing that each camp counselor has a reasonable number of children to keep track of, so this is an important thing to me.
- Location. How far from home is the camp? What else is in the area? I don’t mind driving to get my children to a decent camp, but I need to know it is a trip we can realistically make.
- If you child requires medication or has special needs, you will want to know how they handle this and what medical staff they have at the camp.
- What types of activities do they offer? Are they things that you child would like to try? Will they be having experiences that they wouldn’t have at home?
- Spiritual teachings? Many camps are faith based, so it’s a good idea to find out what their core beliefs are and what they will be teaching your children.
- Meals and special diets. If your child has special dietary needs, can the camp meet them? What does their menu look like?
- Discipline. How do they deal with behaviour issues?
- Cancellation policy? Do they have one? What would happen if you unexpectedly had to cancel the registration?
- Cost. Many camps have special funding to help with the cost for families who can’t afford it, but you will have to find out what the criteria is and how the selection is made. If you don’t need or qualify for funding, is the cost something that you can handle?
Visit the Our Kids website to see their ebook “Preparing for Camp” for other great tips to get you and your child ready for camp.