So, your child wants to attend a summer camp this year, but does not want to go far away from home. No problem. There are usually a few local day camps for you to choose from.
Here are some tips for finding a safe and fun day camp:
Tip 1: A history – There are great new camps out there, but some experts believe that operating a camp for decades, especially with the same staff, does mean something to parents. In today’s world, a camp simply couldn’t stay in business for generations if it were unsafe or poorly run.
Tip 2: A philosophy – Does the day camp focus on sports, arts, leadership, or sciences? How is this philosophy integrated into its programs?
Tip 3: An emphasis on creating community – Good camps think about how they place kids together to create the most inclusive experience for all. Also, creating community to some day camps means offering scholarship programs for local children to attend.
Tip 4: A well-trained staff – The day camp staff should be background checked with references, an interview, and a criminal records search. In adequate numbers for low campers to staffers ratio should be about 10 to 1 for kids ages 8 to 14.
Tip 5: A communications plan – Parents should be given a way to know about upcoming events (website) and for notifying them if a child becomes sick or injured (phone call).
Tip 6: A high standard of accreditation – Ask camps if they are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA) which conducts on-site visits and reviews programs, facilities, and hiring and safety policies.
Clearly, when you are choosing a day camp, your options are limited to places close to home. Keep these tips in mind while searching for just the right day camp. Remember, you and your family have a choice, so communicate with the camp director and visit the camp facilities too!