Parents looking to sign their kids up for summer camp literally have hundreds of options to choose from. Remember camp isn’t for everyone and that’s okay.

If you feel your child is ready for a summer camp experience, keep these questions in mind while registering!

What Do You Need in a Camp?

It’s important to sign kids up for camps that they will enjoy, but it’s also important that camp hours and location fit parents’ schedules as well.

Before you start looking at camps, decide:

  • How far you’re willing to travel?
  • Does camp need to be every day? Or would you prefer half-day camps or camps that meet only a few days per week?
  • How much do you want to spend?

Putting all these pieces together helps families find camps kids love that also meet parents’ needs.

What Does My Child Want To Do at Camp?

Pull!Involve your child and ask them what they want to do this summer. Keep children’s interests in mind when selecting camps.

Is Overnight Camp an Option?

While some kids love the idea of overnight camp, not all children leap at the opportunity to spend a few nights away from home. The average age to start going to sleep away camp is between 7 and 9 years old, so if your 6-year-old isn’t thrilled with the idea, don’t’ sweat it – they just might not be ready.

Before sending your child to overnight camp:

  • Talk with your child before and explain what to expect.
  • Consider whether there will be siblings, friends, or other family members at the camp, this might make being away from home easier.
  • Use books about summer camp to help explain what it’ll be like.

Does the Camp Make Accommodations If Necessary?

Knowing how the camp handles any food allergies, chronic conditions, or handles medications needed is helpful in determining if that camp is right for your child.

Also, ask the camp if there are any skills, such as tying shoes or keeping track of personal belongings, that children need to master in order to fully participate in the camp as well.

What is the Camper-to-Counselor Ratio?

Ask how many kids each camp counselor is responsible for. If you’re looking for more personalized attention, the fewer kids per counselor the better.

What Type of Training Do the Counselors Have?

Ask about the type of training camp counselors undergo, if any. For example, do they have training in first aid, CPR, or are they trained lifeguards if swimming is a planned activity? Know in advance if counselors will drive or transport kids to off-site activities and determine if you feel comfortable with that.

What is the Cancellation/Makeup Policy?

Emergencies, scheduling conflicts, and sick days happen. Ask the camp what their cancellation policy is and if it’s possible to make up a day your child misses.

What Does a Typical Day at Camp Look Like?

  • Are there breaks for play?
  • Does the camp provide lunch/snacks or do I need to provide them?
  • What group activities can my kids do?
  • How do counselors build social bonds among the campers?