If your parents sent you to summer camps when you were a child, you definitely want your children to have the same experience. For the kids who love spending time outdoors, enrolling in a summer camp feels like the best decision for a holiday. But for a parent, picking one can be overwhelming. What is the right camp to send your son or daughter to enhance their skills and aptitudes, and encourage them to make new friends?
Before you pick a summer program, here are some questions to ask to ease the selection process. After all, sending them in their first camp is a big step, and it’s crucial the choice fit their needs, so they to look forward to the one next year.
If you get answers to the following questions, you know you picked the right one.
How long has the camp been functioning?
Even if most parents prefer camps that function for over five years, remember that even the best programs have started at year one. Only because a summer camp hasn’t been around for many years, it doesn’t mean it’s not a suitable option for your child.
But, it’s essential to put time and effort into researching the experience the program provides to children. If you pick a new camp, ensure it’s trustworthy and fits your child’s skills and aptitudes.
Is the camp part of the national camp association and follow its guidelines?
Never send your child to a camp that lacks accreditation.
The main goal of national camp associations is to create accreditation programs that educate camp managers on the essential aspects of operating a camp, like the safety and health of the attendants, staff and the overall quality of the services.
Summer camps accredited by the local authorities are more likely to implement and follow policies, guidelines, standards, practices, and procedures. However, some summer camps may not have accreditation for the national camp association because they’re not eligible, but they may still follow its guidelines and standards.
When you ask about accreditation, also focus on the following aspects because they point the institution’s credibility.
- How many children attend your camp annually?
- What is the return rate?
- What if the staff background?
- Do you offer parent references?
- Can I check customer reviews?
- Can you direct me to the official website?
- Can I find you on social media?
What is the student to staff ratio?
Some summer camps claim they have a small student-to-staff ratio, but how can you be sure the instructors really assess your children and are not spread across the camp doing something else? When the manager shares the student-to-instructor ration, ask them if the rate is guaranteed or it’s only an average from the past year.
If you want the instructors to work closely with your kids, pick a smaller camp of 5 to 10 pupils. It may feel more intimate and personal for the children than going to a camp with 30 children per instructor and minimum assistance.
It’s best to determine what your child needs before picking the camp. Sometimes a larger camp is better because it allows the children to make their own choices. Discuss with your kid to determine what environment is best for their growth.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
A paramount question to ask when you review camp options. It’s essential to know before booking what the cancellation deadline is, and what per cent of the financial commitment you receive if your child isn’t able to attend the camp.
Alongside this question, when you’re looking for Queens day camps ask another set of questions to understand better how the program functions.
- Do you have a cell phone policy?
- How often can the kids call home?
- Do you have a pick-up and drop-off arrangement?
- What does my kid have to bring to camp?
- Are the camp hours flexible?
- What happens if the children are sick?
- How do you handle discipline?
- Is the camp director available at all times?
What does you camp focus on?
The best programs maintain a healthy balance between engaging educational classes and fun extracurricular activities. Ask your child what experience they want from their summer camp, and try to find a camp that provides something close to their preferences.
The essence of attending a summer camp is to help your children make the most out of their holiday in an entertaining way. They should have fun, improve their skills and aptitudes, and meet new people. Fun is a vital aspect for kids’ camps, but the programs should focus on teaching your children specific skills that allow them to solve problems and grow their creativity.
If you pick an overnight camp, find out where your kid is sleeping. If they’re accustomed to sleeping alone in their room or like royalty, they may not like to spend a week in a tent.
What happens on a typical day?
To help your children decide if they’d like to enrol in a program, find out what activities the camp plans. Some camps follow set curriculums and schedules, while others allow the children to pick the activities they want to attend. If your child wants to explore different activities, it’s best to choose one that will enable them to set their own pace based on their preferences and skills.
Also, check what the interaction levels of the camp are. Does the program focus on team or group work? Do they encourage children to spend time working individually? Some camps have few organized activities because they focus more on the kid’s personal growth.
When you try to find out how a typical day looks, ask the following questions to get a clear picture of what your child should expect.
- Do the campers get adequate free time?
- How do you group children?
- What happens if my child doesn’t get along with their roommate?
- What if the level of camper interaction?
- How do you determine the day pace?
- Do you provide a unique experience each season?