5 Things To Look For When Picking A Summer Camp

When selecting a summer camp their can be many variables that attract you and your camper. These might include its location, price, term, or facilities and programs. Thats the easy part to selecting a summer camp. Yet, summer camp is so much more, after all you are sending your most prized asset. Ultimately you will want to learn about the camp's policies and get to know the Camp Directors.

Please review these, prior to calling the Camp Director. It is also a good idea to ask if the camp is American Camp Accredited, this is an independent agency that does onsite inspection of over 300 different items at each camp. Remember, this is only the beginning of your search and be sure to always ask for references.
These professionals and their staff will guide, support, entertain and educate your child while at summer camp. They are really what makes for a successful camp experience. Here are the top 5 important issues to consider in order to make the best possible choice.

1.Camp Director's Experience

The experience of a Summer Camp Director can vary tremendously. Obviously experience in working with children is important. The American Camp Association (ACA) minimum standards for Camp Directors require a bachelor's degree, a minimum 16 weeks of camp administration experience, and the completion of in-service training within the previous 3 years. The ACA even has a course to certify camp directors. Is your certified?

2.Camp Philosophy

This is what camp is all about, it is reason for camp. This reflects the Directors personality and desires. What is the camp's purpose? What ideals are emphasized ( persistence, friendship, honesty )and how they are reflected at camp. Often, the importance of competition can vary widely from camp to camp. Some Cams feel that experiencing competition is a natural, while other camps are non-competitive and try to foster a greater sense of cooperation and interdependence.

3.Staff Requirements

The ACA suggests that overnight summer camps vary their camper to counselor ratio depending on the age of the child. So younger children have more supervision than older. A good rule of thumb is that all children have from 3-5 campers for each camp counselor. Ask the Camp Director what they look for in their employees. Staff members must be dependable, enthusiastic, outgoing, knowledgeable and truly caring individuals. How do they find folks with these qualities? Counselors are often looked up to and depended on by campers for physical and emotional support and must be qualified to assume this important responsibility. Here is a hint, ask what % of staff are internationals. These folks do add diversity to camp but often they are at camp not for the kids but are here for themselves to see the USA. The ACA recommends that at least 80% of the counselors and program staff should be 18 years or older and at least 20% of the administrative and program staff possess a bachelor's degree. 

4.Rules & Discipline

Be sure to ask the camp rules. Some you may feel comfortable with and others you may not. Like can campers call home? How are problems handled? Do these match your belief system? Are comfortable with this? You and your child will be interested in knowing about important rules and how discipline is applied. Penalties should be carried out in a fair and calm manner. Rules and policies should be communicated clearly and openly, and should uniformly apply to all campers.

5.Special Needs

BWOnce you get to know the Camp Director you will feel comfortable to discuss your child in detail. Directors want to know your child prior to camp and how they can help. This is not just about special needs, any assistance your child will require, like are they scared of the dark. Everything from facilities and medical staff to special foods and medications should be reviewed to your satisfaction.
Summer Camps are not just about sports and playing games. A good
summer camp want to be of your child’s development and offers a critical role in it.
Read 416 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 20:26
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