1. Management: Keep your eyes & ears open when visiting a camp! Talk to the campers and counselors. Don’t be afraid to ask probing questions. The management style affects every aspect of how a camp is run. Be absolutely certain that this is a place you and your child are comfortable with.
2. Safety: Is there adequate supervision? Are kids wearing appropriate safety equipment for sports and waterfront activities? Is there always a physician & nurses on the premises?
3. Programs: Will the programs satisfy your child’s interests? Are activities taught by professionals with adequate training? Does the camp emphasize cooperation or competition? Are there elective activity periods, if that is something your child would like?
4. Facilities: Is there a lake or a pool? Are facilities well maintained?Are sports fields and walkways in good condition? What about the condition of the bunks?
5. Location: Are you & your child comfortable with the location of the camp? If your child has a chronic medical condition, such as asthma, is there a major medical facility in the area?
6. Value: Regardless of cost, is camp providing a good value for the tuition paid? Find out if there are any “extra charges” you should expect.
7. Staff: Where do they come from? How are counselors recruited & interviewed? Does camp do thorough background checks? What is the staff to camper ratio? What is staff return rate?
8. Food: Does dining area look clean? Cafeteria style or waiter service? Are there healthy selections provided for each meal? How are picky eaters accommodated? How does the camp manage dangerous food allergies and special diets?
9. Camper Population: Do campers look happy? Are there many kids attending in your child’s age group? Do most kids stay for whole summer or partial sessions? Do these seem like kids your child can relate to and befriend?
10. Ability to Satisfy Needs: How is homesickness handled? Is camp sensitive to special needs your child may have? The camp you choose should be able to accommodate all your child’s needs, both physical and emotional.