WHEN CHOOSING AN 13 THINGS TO LOOK FOR OVERNIGHT SUMMER CAMP
Choosing just the right overnight summer camp for your youngster is a huge deal. After all, you’ll be sending them off, without your care and supervision …
… for a big piece of the summer, and you’ll want to be sure they’re safe, happy, having fun and growing in positive ways.
By keeping a few basic must-haves in mind, you can sleep a little easier on those much quieter summer nights.
It’s great when your kids have fun, but, arguably, safety is the most important component of a sleepaway experience.
Are counselors and instructors well-trained and certified? Are the grounds well-maintained and is all safety equipment routinely inspected? What kind of training do counselors have?
They should also be background checked, have verifiable references and have had a criminal records search.
Is there a program in place to help kids overcome homesickness?
Homesickness is a normal part of adjusting to camp for many children and staff should be skilled …
Is it easy for you to communicate with the camp regarding any concerns with your child?
While many camps allow kids to call home only in emergencies, you should be able to easily get in touch with camp staff if you have any issues you need to discuss.
You should know you’ll be immediately contacted if your youngster is sick or injured.
Don’t assume the camp is accredited. Do your own background check and make sure the camp is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA).
This is generally a good indicator that the camp will do its utmost to ensure your child’s health, happiness and safety.
What is the ratio of counselors to campers? A relatively low ratio is best…with a camper-to-staff ratio of about 10 to 1 being optimum for kids 8-14 years of age.
Everything should be well-maintained: Docks and diving boards Rock climbing walls Canoes and mountain bikes
There should be sufficient supervision on the waterfront at all times and safety gear in areas like the high ropes course should be in top shape.
Are kids encouraged to work as a team, to see the other person’s point of view and to treat each other and staff with respect?
If at all possible, visit a camp while it is in session. This way, you can see if the kids and counselors seem engaged …
… and that counselors seem interested in interacting with campers. This is the best way to judge if the camp seems right for your child.
Lifeguards should be certified and staff who lead camping expeditions should have wilderness certification. Ask if there is a nurse or other medical staff on-site or if a hospital or clinic is nearby.
Counselors and instructors should be chosen for their integrity and character as well as personality. Find out if there are specific training programs and what these are.
What is the return rate at the camp among both campers and staff? A good return rate is around 50% indicating the camp is well-managed …
… and can preserve the traditions so important to creating a sense of bonding and community among campers.
Is the program itself exciting and well-rounded? In a traditional-style camp, there should be a range of activities to engage campers …
… so that every child can not only enjoy favorite activities but can experiment with new and exciting challenges.
If you're considering sending your child to an overnight summer camp, be sure to visit our site to learn about Camp Walt Whitman.
Located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Camp Walt Whitman offers a safe, nurturing environment in a beautiful mountain setting.
Our camp is a coed sleepaway camp, with separate areas for boys and girls. The kids have a blast, and make friendships that can last a lifetime.
Camp Walt Whitman 1000 Cape Moonshine Rd Piermont, NH 03779 603-764-5521 firstname.lastname@example.org