10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Summer Camp

4. What medical staff is onsite? Is there a nurse on campus? What happens in case of an emergency?

For campers who have allergies or take regular medication, this question will be more important. It becomes even more critical for overnight camps, as kids are away from home and their regular medical routine. Be sure you know how your doctor can work with the medical staff if needed.

5. What training do staff members receive before they are allowed to participate in the program?

You want to ensure the staff are properly trained, especially for specialty areas like swimming and hiking. Are criminal and sexual offender background checks performed on all staff members? This is important to confirm prior to sending your child off to camp.

6. What is the average age of the camp counselors?

Many camps hire high school and college students as counselors. The ACA recommends that at least 80 percent of the program counselors be 18 or older. Any counselor under 18 should be at least two years older than the camper he or she is supervising.​

7.How much of the staff is returning from last year?

The ACA reports that at most camps, between 40 and 60 percent of the staff return each year. If that rate is lower, you should ask why. It could be an indication of poor management.​

8. Are there any activities that require a fee?

You want to know what additional costs you might incur upfront, as this may have an impact on affordability.

9. What is the refund policy in case of a scheduling conflict or injury that prevents attendance or camp completion?

Signing up for summer camp in January leaves quite a bit to chance. It's good to know that you have options in case something arises.

10. Is there a handbook or informational sheet I can review before signing up? What are the deadlines for registration?

A phone conversation is good but having written documentation is better. Don't be shy to ask for more information as you evaluate other programs; finding the best match for you and your child comes first.

Deciding on a summer program can be tough, especially with varying schedules, interests and costs. Ask the right questions and do your homework, and you'll be more likely to successfully navigate the process and help your child make memories for a lifetime.

READ THIS NEXT: Parent's Guide to Summer Camp

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