Exercise Care When Deciding On A Summer Camp

February 17, 2012
Local newspapers will soon be publishing Summer Camp Resource Guides and the Better Business Bureau wants to remind parents who are seeking a summer camp for their children to exercise care and common sense when deciding on day or overnight camp.

Don’t choose the first camp that has an opening, but look for a camp that fits your child’s age, personality and interest.  While some camps have structured programs with staff scheduling campers’ activities, others are more flexible, allowing campers to choose some of their daily activities.

The BBB offers tips to help narrow your choices to camps that will ensure a safe and fun experience for your child.

• Find out how long the camp has been in business and check with the Better Business Bureau (www.akron.bbb.org) to determine if the operations are trustworthy.
• Always visit the camp before submitting your deposit.  Check on its location and view the living, eating, and recreational facilities.
• Make sure you understand what the fees are, what it all includes, and if the deposit is refundable.
• Ask about the ratio of campers to staff members, and what training the staff goes through.
• Does the camp have adequate medical facilities and is there a nurse or doctor on site? Also, find out what the procedures are for transporting injured or sick children to a nearby medical facility.
• Ask about the safety rules and how are they enforced, especially if the camp has a waterfront or swimming pool.
• Ask if the camp allows family visits or other communications with campers and how they handle homesickness.
• Ask for references from parents or repeat campers.
• Finally, look for camps that are accredited by the American Camp Association.  ACA-accredited camps have met industry-accepted and government-recognized standards to provide quality programs and to keep campers and staff safe.