Children’s summer camps and wilderness programs for boys and girls in the United…

September 13, 2015

3 Ways Summer Camps Need to Evaluate their Programs at the End of the Season

Camppage-evaluatesummerprogramsblogSummer camps are constantly looking at both qualitative and quantitative data to assess how well their programs did for the season. A good program gathers evaluations from all participants in their chain – campers, staff and parents. Each of these three groups offers insider information about how effective and successful the camp is, and where the gaps may be.

Summer Camps Need to Know What Campers Liked and Disliked about their Programs

Most camps have a debriefing period for kids to reflect on what they’ve learned and felt during their session.  Not only is this a beneficial time to for kids to process their experiences and emotions, but it also allows for staff to take in direct evaluation information from their campers. Campers provide feedback about all aspects of the camp including their living setup, meals, programs and activities, free time, camp counselors and staff support. Although the depth at which different ages can provide this content may vary, it’s important that kids have the opportunity to voice their opinions either directly to counselors or in some sort of written evaluation. In investigating different summer camps, it would be good to ask if and how camps invite feedback from their campers.

Camp Staff Need to Hear the Opinions of Parents

Even in that debriefing period, some kids won’t share their sentiments in front of a large group. The more introverted campers may quietly return home and share their exuberance or frustrations only with mom and dad. That’s why it’s imperative to follow up with the parents as well as the kids. A follow-up from the camp helps parents to feel included in the process and therefore more connected with the summer camp. More importantly, they’ve got the inside scoop on how the kids really feel and can see larger transformations in their kids between pre and post-summer camp.

Camps Must Ask Staff for Feedback on their Experience

Quality summer camps boast a high rate of return of their camp counselors. Some camps even hook campers for life – watching them grow every summer until they come back as junior counselors and eventually full staff. What is the stuff that keeps summer camp counselors coming back year after year? That’s a good question for both applicants and potential campers to ask, and for camp directors to ask of their current employees. Quality camps gain this information through staff feedback because they know that happy staff make for stronger programs and a more successful institution overall.

CampPage has an extensive database of summer camps in the United States and Canada to help you find the perfect one for your family.