Are you thinking of sending your child to sleep away camp next summer? You’ve undoubtedly heard some popular camp names floating around — and you may feel you have a pretty good idea as to which camps have the best reputations. Or, perhaps you may be influenced by cousins and friends who already attend a particular camp.
But, keep in mind that a camp that’s a good fit for one child, might not be the right choice for your child!
The ideal time to start your sleep away camp research is at least one year prior to when you plan to send your child. Once you have narrowed down your choices to three or four camps, it’s important to set up summer tours. While a promotional video can make any camp look fabulous, seeing is believing! What’s more, it may give your child some added security to have a “visual” on where they will be attending.
There are only seven or eight weeks in the camp season in which to do your “hands on” research … to see the camps in action. Visiting a camp will give you a more accurate picture of how the camp typically functions. Do not plan to see more than two camps a day, as tours can easily last two hours and there is usually much rural ground to travel in between. And bring your prospective camper along, so that he or she can be involved in the decision making process.
More than just viewing the physical layout of a camp, visiting the program will give you an accurate feel as to how things operate. Are the grounds well maintained? Is proper safety equipment being utilized? Is the staff attentive? Do the campers look happy? If your camper has special needs (dietary, medical, or other) it’s helpful to check out the facilities for yourself, ask your most specific questions, and see how well the camp can really meet your needs and expectations. These are things you can only “take in” by visiting the programs.
If you can’t make the trip for whatever reason, also know that many camp directors are available to come to meet you in the off-season, to introduce their camp and answer all of your questions. This is a great alternative to get more color on a camp you are considering, but cannot visit.
Visiting camp is an important step to choosing the right camp for your family and Camp Specialists is happy to help you every step of the way. Contact us today to find the perfect camp for your family!