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It’s that time of year– time to visit sleepaway camps! Visiting a few (and not too many) camps in session the summer before sending your child away can be very helpful. When visiting camps in action, prospective families are able to see and meet campers and staff and observe their interactions. Benefits of camp tours also include physically seeing what the facilities are like, observing the supervision, feeling the spirit and getting a good sense of the camp’s philosophy and culture. You will typically meet the owners/directors, although sometimes camp directors are not the people who conduct the tours.
On a camp tour, you should watch the campers in activities. Try to meet some older campers as well as campers closer to your child’s age and staff. We will talk to you about what to look for and questions to ask. However, some things you want to be cognizant of are whether the children engaged. Is everyone involved and participating? If not, how does the staff deal with children who are not participating? How is the supervision at the waterfront? How is the instruction in sports and in the arts? How does the staff handle a camper who is not behaving? Does the camp have a more competitive or laid back feel? Do people (campers and staff) seem happy?
Definitely take your prospective camper with you when you visit overnight camps. Visiting will likely give your child a comfort level and hopefully help get your son or daughter excited about going away to camp. Limit the number of camps that you visit. It can be tiring and overwhelming for your child and confusing to you to visit too many camps. If you can possibly visit camps during the week, we highly recommend that.
Tours are by appointment only and camps have limited slots. Weekends are very popular times to visit camps and tend to be busy. If you know that you want to send your child away to camp next year, call us now and we will help you so that you will be able to visit a few camps in session this summer.