4 Big Mistakes
When Choosing a Camp
Deciding on a summer camp is easy when you go about it in an informed way. There are many things to consider when looking for the right program, but too often we rush to see what’s available before we actually know what we’re looking for. Here are some mistakes that are easy to make, but even easier to avoid after this quick review.
Not Involving Your Child
Of course, we’re not talking about finding a day camp for a young child. This mistake applies more to those with older kids who will attend overnight program. Getting them involved gives them a sense of empowerment and control which translates into confidence and enthusiasm for what lies ahead. If they’re not involved, they might reject choices out of hand made by others. After all, if they’re big enough to go to sleep away camp, they’re ready to assume some responsibility when choosing the right program for them. Here’s more on choosing the right camp for your child.
Assume Your New Camper Won't Feel Homesick
There are many campers that can’t wait to return to camp to see their friends from the previous year, but new campers often don’t know what to expect. After all, they’re starting from scratch. Making friends, meeting camp counselors and staff and learning their way around can be challenging. The best camps understand this and are well trained and ready to assist with the process. Even so, it’s important to encourage your child to talk about how they feel about being separated from the family for a while and work to make them feel comfortable with leaving home temporarily. For more pointers on dealing with and avoiding homesickness, take a look at this article.
Don't Speak With References
You’ll pick up lots of information from camp staff about activities, lodging, food and all things related to their program, but speaking with camp families with first hand experience is needed to assemble a clear picture of what makes a camp tick. Reading reviews can be helpful, but there’s nothing like having a conversation with a few families with direct experience with the camp you’re interested in. You’ll understand what the camp has to offer more clearly this way.
Don't Get Organized
List your family’s priorities before you begin searching for a camp. Things like philosophy, cost, location, activities, number of campers, camp philosophy, even food might make your list. With your list in mind, start doing the research, ask questions and you’ll replace those question marks with check marks as you get closer to making the right choice for your child.