Many experts, families and former campers see camps and their lifelong benefits - be they physical, social, emotional, or educational - as excellent ways for children to make the most of their summer.
Here are some tips on how to choose the best camp for your child:
The choices in the type of camp go far beyond day vs. overnight. Traditional camps offer the quintessential camp experience, while specialized camps range from sports, to arts, to religion, to special needs. Family camps are also becoming a popular option to strengthen family bonds. Each different type of camp provides different skills and qualities.
Parents and children should discuss their camp options together to come up with a wish list for priority location, activities, amenities, and budget. An Internet search should follow, which will provide a number of potential camps.
A crucial step is talking to camp directors about their specific philosophies, programs and policies. This can be done over the phone, through email, or in person at a camp visit or at a camp expo.
Some important questions to ask camp directors are:
Some camps may be able to connect you to current families and campers who will be valuable resources for first-hand information. They can provide another perspective on the camp, its staff, activities, amenities and general attitude. This is also a great chance to involve the kids in the process, as they can chat with other children to get to know their future campmates.