Questions to Ask Yourself and Your Child That Will Frame Your Search for a Best Fit Camp
By Bette Bussel, Executive Director – American Camp Association, New England
- What/who is driving the camp search? Unparalleled fun and learning? New experiences, skills and friends? Need for child care? Family tradition? Encouragement from friends?
- What are your leading camp search criteria? Which are ‘non-negotiable” and which are “preferences”
- What type of camp are you looking for?
- Which of your family’s values should be reflected in the camp philosophy? How religious? How competitive? How diverse? How much camper choice? Camps are intentional communities. What they do and why is reflected in the staff members they hire, the schedules they follow, the activities they offer, and their materials.
- What activities/programs interest you and your child? What level of intensity are you looking for? Are you looking for opportunities to try new activities, to play, to advance current skills, to practice, to compete, or to specialize?
- What kind of facilities will your camper consider? Discuss electricity, bathrooms, and dining.
- What session length, from 8 weeks to a few days, is comfortable for you, for your child, and for your family’s summer schedule? The most common session lengths are: full season (7-8 weeks), half season (3-4 weeks), two weeks, and one week. Remaining flexible about session length can increase your camp options.
- What camp clientele do you want to consider? There are camps for boys only, girls only, coed, brother/sister, religious groups, under-served populations, and children with special needs.
- What is your budget for camp tuition? Camp remains an affordable option for nearly everyone. Some camps offer financial assistance. Financial aid procedures vary from cap to camp, so be sure to ask and to read brochures and websites carefully.
Provided by the American Camp Association, New England, a 501 (c) 3 organization that serves as the leading source for summer camp information and resources in New England. Access additional information at: www.ACANewEngland.org, Facebook.com/ACANewEngland, and twitter.com/ACANewEngland; or call (781) 541-6080.
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This content was last modified on: 03/24/2017