Tuesday Tips for Parents - Choosing a Quality Summer Camp


There are a few questions you should ask of any camp you are considering for your child.

#1 – Safety is #1.  Do they hire teens or adults for Camp.  Hiring all Teens can definitely be a money saver, but is it the safest for your child?  You need a Camp that hires adults and does a Federal Background Check.  A part of this safety is also asking for ID at pickup.  Probably most all places will say they ask for an ID, but make certain is it a part of the safety plan for your child.  Anyone that the staff has not met should be asked to show an ID – even if it is a parent that the staff has not met.

#2 – Does the camp have a structure that keeps your child active yet allows for some down time as well.  Children need structured activity throughout the day that keeps bodies and minds active and learning yet everyone needs some time to just chill a few times throughout the day.  So a higher energy activity followed by a lower energy activity is a great schedule.  This schedule although structured should allow for some “free play” time”.  When children have the opportunity to participate in something that is a choice their brains engage and they learn – free play does not mean a free for all -  it simply means that it is still structured for safety of all the kids, but they can choose from various activities.

#3 – Cell Phone Policy – does the camp have a cell phone policy that staff is not allowed to be on a cell phone during working hours?  Many camps will take pictures throughout the day and usually with cell phones which is fine, but if staff is more worried about texting, chatting, etc than they are watching your child – that is a problem. 

#4 – Is the staff trained at dealing with the kids age appropriately.  Each age group of children need age appropriate activities and adults who understand their stage of development.  The summer should not only be fun but should also be a time of continued positive growth for your child.

#5 – All parents ask about cost.  There are definitely camps that are less than others.  Just remember in asking questions that are important to you the saying that you get what you pay for – sometimes cheaper for our kids may not be the best.  It could be a camp where it is most kids watching kids without all of the safety features you feel are important – a camp that does not keep a structure thoughout the day – staff that is not properly trained – and it may not be the most professional camp for your child.  Try to find a balance between cost and professionalism

There are a few questions you should ask of any camp you are considering for your child.

#1 – Safety is #1.  Do they hire teens or adults for Camp.  Hiring all Teens can definitely be a money saver, but is it the safest for your child?  You need a Camp that hires adults and does a Federal Background Check.  A part of this safety is also asking for ID at pickup.  Probably most all places will say they ask for an ID, but make certain is it a part of the safety plan for your child.  Anyone that the staff has not met should be asked to show an ID – even if it is a parent that the staff has not met.

#2 – Does the camp have a structure that keeps your child active yet allows for some down time as well.  Children need structured activity throughout the day that keeps bodies and minds active and learning yet everyone needs some time to just chill a few times throughout the day.  So a higher energy activity followed by a lower energy activity is a great schedule.  This schedule although structured should allow for some “free play” time”.  When children have the opportunity to participate in something that is a choice their brains engage and they learn – free play does not mean a free for all -  it simply means that it is still structured for safety of all the kids, but they can choose from various activities.

#3 – Cell Phone Policy – does the camp have a cell phone policy that staff is not allowed to be on a cell phone during working hours?  Many camps will take pictures throughout the day and usually with cell phones which is fine, but if staff is more worried about texting, chatting, etc than they are watching your child – that is a problem. 

#4 – Is the staff trained at dealing with the kids age appropriately.  Each age group of children need age appropriate activities and adults who understand their stage of development.  The summer should not only be fun but should also be a time of continued positive growth for your child.

#5 – All parents ask about cost.  There are definitely camps that are less than others.  Just remember in asking questions that are important to you the saying that you get what you pay for – sometimes cheaper for our kids may not be the best.  It could be a camp where it is most kids watching kids without all of the safety features you feel are important – a camp that does not keep a structure thoughout the day – staff that is not properly trained – and it may not be the most professional camp for your child.  Try to find a balance between cost and professionalism



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