As a young child, attending Summer Camp was always something my mother could look forward to. I, on the other hand completely despised it. Being around people that I didn’t know and having to get use to an environment that was not necessarily the cleanest, I can relate to the trauma that some kids face while being enrolled in Summer Camp. This article will offer (10) ten tactics to help assist parents in making the most conscience decisions of selecting the best camp for their child/children.
1) Do you know if the Summer Camp you plan to place your child/children in is accredited? Though accreditation has nothing to do with assuring safety, this is something that one still may want to consider to avoid any possible mishaps. You can find out this information by checking with the American Camp Association (ACA).
2) Are there enough counselors hired to see about the children? When it is time for activities, kids need to be under close watch, however, if there are not enough counselors around to assure a child’s safety, the results of this can be negative. With a field trip, it is awkward to have 75 kids and 4 counselors. These are vital signs that you need to research as well.
3) Upon registration, has the camp followed up with you in making sure that they have all your contact information in the event there is an accident? This information should be a mandatory request from most, if not all summer camps, however, if you have done your research and are secure with your decision and the camp has not inquired about your emergency contact, please make them aware of it. Numbers, the name of the child’s health care facility, etc.
4) Is the staff trained to really serve as a counselor? Did they participate in a counselor orientation? You must make sure that the camp you plan to place your child/children in is not just a way to make money for the counselors. Find out if there is a specific test that needs to be passed to become a counselor. Is there an official document that must be signed stating that they understand the rules and procedures . This information can be discussed with the Camp Director.
5) Learn the camp’s discipline policies and don’t be afraid to be inquisitive. Does it enforce a “No Drug, No Alcohol” policy on the camp site? Does the camp have a history of firing counselors? If so, find out why.
6) As much as I hate to mention this one, it is by far the most important one the list. Has their been any prior deaths at the camp site? Learn what happened and what the camp’s response was.
7) Does the camp have any safety precautions in line for environmental and security threats? What is the emergency or evacuation plan for tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.? Has a child ever been abducted? if so, what was done about it?
8) Find out from camp authorities what type of activities the kids will participate in daily. Swimming, tennis, basketball, etc. and be sure your child is ready and has the proper gear for these activities.
9) What type of food do they serve? You want to be sure that your kids are eating just as healthy during the summer as they do in the normal school year. I am reminded of the camp I hated so much, one day they served us cold, uncooked hot dogs and you don’t want your child going through this.
10) If your child does have a medical history then this does need to be brought to the attention of the Camp Director. In mentioning this, you may also want to find out if there is a licensed health care official to assist with on-site emergencies.
Now that you have general information to get you started in your Camp search, you and your child can be on your way to having a safe and stress free summer.
McClure,R. (2009). make sure summer safety guidelines are in place before enrolling kids for camp, summer camp safety protocols help ensure fun and safe memories. Retrieved May 21, 2009, from About.com.
Web site: http://childcare.about.com/od/caregonewrong/a/campsafety.htm?p=1.
Annese,M. (2009). 10 summer camp safety tips for parents. Retrieved May 21, 2009, from Ezine Articles.
Web site: http://ezinearticles.com/?10-Summer-Camp-Safety-Tips-for-Parents&id=203711&opt=print.