Are you starting to think about day or overnight camp for your child for next summer? Don’t put off your search. The best time to look for a camp is the summer before your child attends. The American Camp Association, NY and NJ offers this advice when considering touring a camp this summer.
Why tour? – Camp tours are the best way to get a feel for a summer camp. You and your child get to see the camp in action and see campers at the waterfront, playing sports and interacting with the staff. Touring also gives a child the feeling that he or she is part of the process of choosing a camp. The more involved a child feels in choosing a camp, the more successful his or her experience will be. After touring, some parents and children say they just “got that feeling” the minute they stepped onto the camp that it was the camp for them.
Schedule initial calls – Do your research on camps you might be interested in for your child and call the camp directors to ask some initial questions. You don’t want to waste your time (or the camp director’s time) by visiting a camp that isn’t going to be the right fit so having a candid conversation before driving out to see the camp will be worth your while. Once you do your initial research, narrow your choices down to about four camps and tour those. If you do your research, touring just a few camps will be more than enough.
Don’t wait – Even if you are just thinking about touring camps, book your tours now. While summer seems like a long time, overnight camps only run for seven weeks and tour slots book up quickly. You can always cancel if you need to. Day camps tour through the summer and also will tour in the off-season as well.
Tour two camps a day – When scheduling your tours, don’ try and tour more than two camps in a day. You and your family will be exhausted by the third camp and you will only focus on how tired you are, not on the camp.
Call ACA, NY &NJ for advice – Don’t know where to begin? Call Renee Flax at the American Camp Association, NY and NJ @ 212.391.5208 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for free advice on what camps would work well for your child/children. She can help you narrow down the choices based on your child’s needs.