|Questions for parents to ask camp staff:
- How many counselors does the camp employ per camper? A good ratio is at least one counselor for every five to ten campers.
- How knowledgeable and mature are the counselors, and what sort of training do they have? A good camp will employ older counselors (college aged) and make sure they have CPR and emergency first aid training, as well as experience taking care of kids.
- What percentage of campers comes back year after year? If a lot of kids return to the camp every summer, it may be a sign that it's a good program.
- What are the facilities like? Where do campers sleep? What are the meals like? How about showers and bathrooms? Try to get as many details as possible to give you an idea of what day-to-day life is like at the camp.
- What facilities are nearby? Is there a hospital or emergency room close to camp? Is there a town where campers can shop, or maybe see a movie? Find out what's in the surrounding area.
- Can the camp send you a video or DVD? Video might help you get a better sense of the camp than still pictures will.
- Can the camp give out references? It can be very helpful to talk to kids who have attended the camp in the past -- and to hear from their parents. They might tell you things that the camp's informational materials don't.
- Can we come for a visit? The very best way to see if a camp is right for you is to make a visit. Try to stop by in the summer, a year in advance, so you can see what the camp is like when it's in full swing. It's also a good idea to have a talk with the campers, the counselors, and the camp director.
- Is the camp accredited? Has the camp been given the "stamp of approval" by an established national organization like the American Camping Association?
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