10 Questions to Ask a Camp Director

There are so many different day and overnight camps available for kids these days. There is literally something for every child! Which is why choosing the right camp can be difficult. You can rely on recommendations from friends and family, but it’s also important to research a camp yourself in order to determine if it’s a good fit. The American Camp Association (ACA) recommends contacting the camp’s director and asking questions. That way, you’ll find out firsthand if the camp is the right one for your family. Here are some great questions to ask during your search for the perfect summer camp.

What is your camp’s philosophy and mission?

Ask about the camp program and what activities the camp offers. Each camp has its own unique objective. Look for one that you’re comfortable with and it is a good match for your child.

What is the camp director’s training and experience?

The ACA recommends that camp directors have a bachelor’s degree, have completed in-service training within the past three years, and have at least 16 weeks of camp administrative experience. Along with these qualifications, you’ll ideally want to meet the director in person to learn about them and make sure you click with them.

What does a typical daily schedule look like?

Camp is packed full of a variety of activities. Ask how much of the day is dedicated to physical activity versus. quiet craft time. Based on your child’s personality and interests, this will help you decide if your child will be happy with the schedule. Also, ask how much freedom a child has to choose which activities to do during the day.

What type of child thrives in your program?

Ask the camp director about what type of child is a successful participant in their program. Does it match a description of your child?

What can you tell me about the staff and camp counselors?

Ask about the age of the staff, their experience, camper-to-staff ratios and supervision measures. The ACA recommends that 80 percent of the staff is at least 18 years of age, and that all staffers are at least 16 years old and a minimum of two years older than the campers they supervise.

What are your enrollment options?

Find out about the length of the camp program, and make sure it works with your child’s summer schedule. For day camps, ask about how long the day is; whether campers will eat lunch at camp and if so, who will provide it; and whether there is before and after care, if that’s something you’re interested in.

How do you accommodate kids with special needs?

If your child has special needs, make sure to ask the camp director how these considerations are handled. Also ask how the camp handles things like dispensing medication, food allergies, homesickness, etc.

What are the camp’s safety procedures?

The camp should have safety measures in place. Ask about whether there is a medical professional on call, emergency plans for natural disasters, water safety considerations, and transportation procedures, if your child will be leaving the property for field trips.

How many campers return each year?

A large percentage of returning campers is usually a good sign!

Is your camp accredited by the American Camp Association?

The ACA is a nonprofit organization that offers the only camp accreditation program in the United States. Accreditation is voluntary, so ask if the camp program has chosen to participate. ACA goes beyond basic requirements for health, cleanliness and food service into specific areas of programming, including camp staff from director through counselors, emergency management plans, health care and management.

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