Summer is here and now is the time when many parents begin their search for a safe, rewarding summer camp experience for their kids.Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina (BBB) encourages parents to look past elaborate websites or “too go to be true” photos on slick marketing materials and make the right choice for their children.
When searching for camps, parents need to take into account the safety, health and satisfaction for children, and look for a proven track record before investing in their child’s camp experience.
“Whether you are looking at a summer camp or a track out camp for your child, it is extremely important to do your research ahead of time,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, president of BBB serving Eastern NC. “Every parent should feel confident their camp has taken the time to invest in staff training, and has the equipment and licensing needed to properly care for children.”
BBB offers the following tips for parents searching for camp:
Check with BBB. Visit bbb.org to view a camp’s BBB rating and complaint history.
Visit the camp. Check its location and view the living, eating and recreational facilities. Ask about safety procedures, a typical daily schedule, medical care, safety rules, and the camp philosophy. Don't be afraid to inquire about the camper return rate, along with the camp's counselor return rate. If you are unable to visit, ask for references. Any reputable camp should be able to give out references without any issue.
Assess the quality and commitment of the staff. What is the camp director's background? How is the staff trained? Are criminal checks made for employees and volunteers? What is the ratio of campers to staff members? Parents sending children to specialty camps should inquire about the staff's level of expertise in the specific area.
Look for camps that are certified. American Camp Association accredited camps have met up to 300 nationally recognized standards. Even though camps in NC are not required to be licensed, many of them have decided to do so anyway. Parents can check the licensure of any camp on theNC Health and Human Services website.