Summer camp is a great opportunity for children to make friends, engage in skill-building activities and just have fun. Making the decision to send your children to camp is an easy one, but choosing a summer camp can be challenging. From safety to training and activities, several things need to be considered. Here are three tips to help you choose a summer camp that meets your needs.

YMCA summer camp


3 Tips for Choosing a Summer Camp

1. Consider the Type of Camp You Want Your Child to Attend

There are camps to meet every family’s needs, budget and schedule. Consider the type that will best work for your family.

  • Day camp: Ideal for young children. Day camps keep children engaged in activities during the day before returning back home at night.
  • Specialty camps: Parents can also find camps that focus on certain activities or skills. Examples include swimming, horseback riding, dance, science or art. If your child has an interest in a sport or activity, there’s a good chance that there’s a specialty camp for it

With these camps children have a chance to learn independence, confidence and important life skills while making new friends. 

2. Consider the Staff’s Training and Experience

Safety is of the utmost importance when choosing a camp. When comparing your options, consider the staff’s training and experience as well as safety protocols.

  • If the camp offers swimming, do they also offer swimming lessons?
  • Are children grouped with a counselor, or do they move from one activity to the next with supervision?
  • Who can you speak with if you have a question or concern about your child?
  • What type of training does the staff receive on counseling, safety, supervision and other issues?
  • What is the camper-to-staff ratio? The lower the ratio, the better.
  • How are parents notified about events or if their child becomes injured or sick?

Ask questions about safety and other concerns before you commit to a camp. For example, consider how the camp hires their staff. Do they run background checks?

3. How Long Has the Camp Been in Operation?

While there are plenty of wonderful new camps out there, many families agree that there’s something to be said about a camp that has been in operation for years or decades. In today’s world, it would be difficult for a camp to stay open for such a long period if it were unsafe or provided a negative experience for children.

It’s important to make your decision carefully when choosing a summer camp for your child. Countryside YMCA has many camp options for families and a long history of providing a safe and fun camp experience.