Choosing the Right Camp For Your Kid

by : L. C. Peterson

Camps have long been a rite of passage for children. It's
never too early to research productive and fun activities for
our kids. These explorations help develop confidence in our

Here is a Top 10 checklist to get started. Find answers to
these questions by writing, calling, visiting the camps,
seeking referrals, or surfing the camp's website.

1. Director: Does the director seem to care about and
understand kids? What are his or her qualifications and

2. Staff: Does the camp have enough staff members to back up
the counselors? What are the staff and instructors'
qualifications? Do they support the objectives of the camp? Can
the teachers relate to the students? What training occurs for
staff and counselors before the camp opens? How long is the
training period? Are there pre-camp training opportunities for
staff and counselors during the year?

3. Counselors: What is the camper to counselor ratio? How old
are the counselors? Are there any special qualifications
required to work at the camp? Does the camp have a junior
counselor or counselor-in-training program?

4. Objectives: What are the objectives of the camp? Are the
objectives carried out in the activities of the camp?

5. Flexibility: Are the camp's programs flexible? If your child
has already had a particular course or activity, is it possible
for him or her to attend an alternate activity?

6. Balance: Does the camp allow for a balance between learning
and fun? How is the camp structured for the hours after classes
or activities?

7. References: Do campers who have been there before recommend
the camp? How about parents of campers who have been there?
What do they say?

8. Resources: Does the camp have a nurse, EMTArticle Submission, or doctor on-
call? Are emergency procedures taught to counselors and staff?

9. Orientation; Do the campers get a chance to know each other
and their counselors a little before the camp moves into full

10. Accreditation: Is the camp accredited by the American
Camping Association or another camping association?