This is the second article in a series of ten on Choosing the Best Summer Camp in America.
When Choosing a Summer Camp, Consider the Camp’s Philosophy.
Every summer camp has a philosophy, and each is different from other camps. Some summer camps are strictly for fun and entertainment and others have a definite educational goal. Some camps use competition as a motivator and others de-emphasize competition in their program. Ten excellent camps may have ten completely different approaches. As you look for the “best summer camp” for your son or daughter, ask camps for their mission statement and then look at their literature and camp video to see how the mission of the camp is woven into the overall camp philosophy.
Questions to Ask about Summer Camp Priorities
Here are some questions to ask that will reveal their main concerns and help you decide if the program is a “good fit” for your child:
- Ask them to tell you a little bit about the program and activities.
- Have them discuss what they feel are the strengths of their program.
- Inquire about their outlook on competition.
- Find out how the day is structured and how much flexibility there is in activity choices.
- Without mentioning your religion, ask if there is a religious focus at the camp.
- If the camp has a specific focus, such as soccer or competitive swimming, what do the campers do when they aren’t engaging in the main activity? How are they supervised in the evening?
- Tell the camp staff about your child and your goals for him/her and then ask how the camp can help your child meet those goals.
- What are their priorities when hiring staff? Ask for information about the age of staff members and the training they receive.
Most quality camps realize that they are the “right” camp for some children, but won’t necessarily be the “best fit” for all children. By sharing your thoughts and being attentive to the philosophy of a camp, you should be able to narrow down the choices to a few camps that will be a good fit for your child.
How to Choose a Camp
Here are ten considerations to think of when choosing for your family. It may not be the same camp I’d choose for my son or that your neighbor would choose for their daughter, but it will be the best camp for your child:
- Family decision
- Consider the camp philosophy
- Camp program
- Camp size
- Camp staff
- Standards & accreditation
Sending your child to a summer camp whose values mirror your family’s gives you peace of mind.