Choosing a Good Summer Camp

Summer is just around the corner and soon the kids will be out of school. Some will go off to summer camps. Here are a few questions to consider when planning which camp(s) your child will attend this summer:

Does the camp fit my child's interests?

Camp themes range in topic from academic-centered to the outdoors to specialized topics such as art, music, or even animals. First, speak with your children about their interests.

What is the age of the campers?

It may seem obvious, but make sure you check on the recommended age limit for the camp. You certainly don't want your six-year-old arriving for the first day of camp to find out all the other kids are age 10 or older.

How long is the camp day?

Is it a half-day, full-day, or sleepover camp? Be sure to base your final decision on your child's age, interests, and emotional maturity.

What is the camp setting and how far is it from home?

Note if the camp is strictly outdoors and if the facilities are clean. Determine if you and your child will be comfortable with a camp minutes or hours away from home.

What are the qualifications of the camp counselors adn how many are there per child?

Check to see if the counselors have experience working with children. If the counselors are young (teenagers), check to make sure they have proper supervision.

What are the camp's safety procedures?

Counselors should know child CPR and what to do if there is a medical emergency. Check out which hospitals are close by the camp site.

What is the camp size and who can attend the camp?

Is the camp for 20 children or 200? Is it just for boys or girls or for both? Pick a camp based on what your child will be comfortable with.

If your child has special needs, can the camp accomodate them?

Be sure the camp can provide the supervision and care your child needs.

What is the cost of the camp?

The needs to fit within your budget. There are plenty of options out there, so don't feel guilty if you can't afford "the one camp" your child wants to attend.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health