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How to Choose a Summer Camp For Your Child

Jul 28, 2008
Summer camps can provide children with memories that will last a lifetime. But to make sure those are pleasant memories it is important to choose the right camp for your child.
The first thing you should consider is if your child is ready to go away to a summer camp. You should take into account the level of separation anxiety your child usually displays.

* Do they stay overnight with friends, relatives and grandparents with no problem?

* Have they ever been away from home for an extended period such as one or two weeks?

* Has your child shown an interest in going to a summer camp?

After you've decided that your child is ready to go to a summer camp the next step is to determine what type of camp to send them to. If you have reservations about them staying overnight somewhere then you might consider a day camp instead of an overnight one. It is also important to discuss with your child what kinds of things they would enjoy to do at camp. Or some other things to consider are:

* Do you want a camp that is close to home or would you consider one that is farther away?

* Do you want a camp that specialize in particular activities?

* Do you prefer a coed or single sex camp?

* Would you like your child to attend a camp with a particular religious affiliation?

Do Your Homework

Once you've decided the basics of what you are looking for in a camp, now you've got to do a little research. Some camps have websites and promotional materials you can take a look at. Your child's school may be able to provide you with information about various camps or where there are camp fairs that you can visit and learn about what's available. Another resource is the American Camping Association. This group can provide you with information on camp fairs and different camps available.

Questions You Should Ask

Once you've zeroed in on some particular camps, it is important to ask the right questions to obtain the important information. Some of those questions include:

* First and foremost, ask for references you can check.

* Ask about the qualifications of the staff members, director and counselors such as educational background and employment history.

* Ask if the camp conducts background checks on each of its staff members.

* Ask what percentages of staff are returning members. Some amount of staff

* Turnover is normal although a high percentage might be a red flag.

* Ask what is the number of staff to camp member ratio.

* Ask about disciplinary methods used at the camp.

* Ask if there will be a staff nurse on hand.

Don't Forget to Pack

Now that you know how to pick the perfect camp for your child, don't forget to pack the absolute necessities such as:

* Sunscreen¬¬-sunburns are no fun!

* Bug spray- keep them from scratching.

* Bathing suit-there's always swimming to be done.

* Disposable camera-don't send an expensive one!

* Flashlight-to keep them safe or play flashlight tag!

* Toothbrush-hopefully they will use it!

* Hat- to protect that head from the heat.

* Water bottle-keep them hydrated.

* Rain coat-keep them dry.

* And don't forget a notebook or journal to record all of those fun camp memories!
About the Author
Find helpful and creative ideas for parents and grandparents while you shop our great selection of kids furniture (including our popular collection of toddler beds) and classic toys. Visit www.TheMagicalRockingHorse.com today!
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