Parents often ask us ‘what questions I ask when considering a summer camp for my child?’ In responding we remind them that Summer camp should be a fun experience for their child that helps them to grow and develop socially. It’s really important to take into account their needs and desires when choosing a summer camp. Together you and your child should ask yourselves the pertinent questions that will help you form the questions that will help you to make the right choice.
Some questions to ask yourself as you start your development of questions are:
• What does your child want from a summer camp? Including students in the decision-making process will help them to feel empowered.
• What do you want your child to gain from their summer camp experience? Summer camps have many benefits which enable your student to learn new skills, hone old ones, excel at sports, live a healthier life or make new friends. Camps can be a combination of these things too.
• Review your budget and your traveling capabilities to decide which camps you can afford and how far your child can travel.
• Decide whether you want a small camp where child will receive individual attention and get to know the other students and staff members well or opt for a bigger camp where your child will have the opportunity to mix with a large variety of people.
• Examine the camp’s ethos and philosophical approach to ensure that they reflect values that you support and would like to impart to your student. Ensure that the counselors are well trained and friendly so that your student gets all the support they need.
• Did you read the references? Read reviews and comments from camp attendees to get a feel for the place. Long lists of impressive activities don’t tell the whole story and hearing good reviews from trusted friends and family members help you to make the right choice.
• Look at the ratio of counselors to students and the return rates of previous campers. Discuss the methodologies councilors employ to resolve conflicts between campers to see if your child will fit in.
• Ensure sure that the camp is accredited and that it has adequate medical facilities to deal with emergencies. Check that counselors are properly trained and are old enough to cope with problems that may arise.
• Does the camp have indoor recreation and activities will help to alleviate boredom in the event of inclement weather?
Make a short list of four or five summer camps that tick all of your boxes. Discuss your choices with your child and get them to pick their top three. Use this as a guide when making your final decision. There are a number of websites that list camps according to various criteria. This will make it easier to find camps in your area.
Bottom line is that Summer camp is an investment in your child’s development. You both need to feel comfortable with the choice to make it truly beneficial. Remember that the only bad question is the one not asked!
(Note: This entry was adapted from a post by Tutor Doctor dated Mon, 04/09/2012)