Wise parents already are searching for summer camps that will keep their children safely occupied when school is out. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises parents to look beyond glossy brochures and pretty website pictures. The safety, health and satisfaction of children should be the camp’s top priority.
When choosing a camp, parents need to use the same care and common sense they would use in evaluating a day care program. They should look for a camp that provides activities that are of interest to their child and appropriate for the child’s age and skill level.
Parents need to take time to visit camps to inspect facilities, ask about the staff’s training and experience, and find out how the camp handles medical emergencies. If the child is staying overnight, be sure to look at cabins, showers and other facilities that your child will be using.
Some camps, such as those organized around a particular sport, are highly structured and stress development of specific skills. Others are more flexible and give campers the opportunity to choose some of their activities. Your child’s interest and personality should be your guide in choosing an appropriate program. If the child is old enough, ask what activities he or she would enjoy at camp.
Parents should ask how long a camp has been in business and check with parents of past and returning students. Check the BBB website, www.bbb.org, for the camp’s record on handling complaints. The standards for day and overnight camps may be different, but each should put your child’s safety and well-being first.
The BBB offers the following tips for parents searching for the right camp for their child: