QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING AN OVERNIGHT CAMP
What locale do I want to consider (mountains, oceanfront, close/far from home)?
Do I want a traditional camp that gives my child a wide variety of experiences or do I want to select a specialty camp that focuses on a particular activity or set of skills?
What size enrollment will make my child feel comfortable?
How rustic do I want the camp to be?
How structured do I want the program to be? Does my child like to have lots of choice in the activity schedule?
Is my child ready to sleep away from home for an extended stay? (This will help you to select either a resident or day camp setting.)
What session length will appeal to my child and to our family plans for the summer? (One week? Eight weeks?)
How can I stay in touch with my child during camp? Does the camp allow mail, phone calls or email? Does the camp have parent visitation days?
What is my budget for camp tuition? Remember, many camps offer financial aid.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER IN SELECTING A DAY CAMP
What training does the staff receive on safety, supervision, counseling, problem solving and other issues unique to working with young children?
Is the price all-inclusive or are there extra charges for programs and activities?
If transportation is offered, where is the closest pick-up location?
If before- and after-camp extended care is offered, who is with the children and what activities take place?
Is lunch served or do campers bring their own sack lunch? Are snacks and drinks provided?
If the camp offers swimming, are there swimming lessons or is it simply recreational swimming?
Are campers in a group with a counselor all day? Or are campers free to go from one activity to another with appropriate supervision? In this case, whom would you talk to if you had a question or concern about your child?
Is an open house offered before camp starts where you can meet your child's counselor and van/bus driver?
Are parents allowed to drop by for visits or is there a special parent visitation day?
Source: campparents.org via the American Camp Association
It's only April, but already summer camps are posting their schedules and suggesting parents sign up earlier rather than later if they want a spot.
That's a lot to think about when you're still dealing with math and English homework.
But maybe your child's interests in school are a place to start when thinking about summer activities. That, and whether they are old enough to handle sleepaway camp, how large a camp you think they will fit into, and, of course, what sort of camp experience fits your family budget.