If you desire to see your child become independent, then, signing them up for a summer camp would be more than a smart idea. It really doesn’t matter whether it’s a day or overnight camp for, as long it delves into their area of interest, like swimming, theater or tennis, they are bound to benefit from it. But, it’s important that before making this decision, you ask the summer camp a couple of questions:
1) What’s the camp’s approach on discipline? Find out in advance if the camp practices are similar to your parenting practices. The more similar they are, the better the camp will be for your child.
2) Is your camp ACA accredited? If the camp is accredited, there’s a guarantee that it has been evaluated by the American Camp Association and met the required standards in terms of its operations, health and safety.
3) How reputable is your staff? Basically, everyone within the camp ought to be well qualified for their respective posts, possess the required certifications and licenses as well as have proper references. It’s also important that they have a clean criminal background.
4) How are the visitors screened? To avoid incidences of unauthorized persons contacting your child, you need to know how the camp organizers go about screening visitors. An ideal camp is one that takes the names of those allowed to visit or escort the child back home.
5) What training do you offer your staff? Aside from being qualified in their respective fields, the staff ought to be trained in recognizing and reporting acts of bullying, physical and sexual abuse, proper ways of disciplining the children and of course, handling emergencies such as fires and physical accidents.
6) What’s your child to staff ratio? If your child will be attending a day camp, the ration should be 6:1 , 9:1 and 12:1 for the under six year olds, 6-7 year olds and over eight year olds respectively. For overnight camps, the ration should be 6:1 and 8:1 for the under seven year olds and over eight year olds respectively.
7 How are emergencies handled? First, you need to be certain that the camp’s staff know how to perform all forms of First Aid and, should have a licensed nurse or physician on site. Also in place should be a well laid plan on how to go about searching for a lost child or handling any form of injury, allergies, illnesses or even death.
8) How is camp orientation done? Make sure that the camp operators give every child a tour of the camp and its surrounding, both within the designated habitat area as well as the ones that are regarded as off-limit/dangerous. The children should also be told how they ought to carry themselves, who to report to and how to embrace the buddy system.
9) How does a typical day at the camp look like? Always make sure that most of the things being offered at the camp are in line with your child’s interests. This includes the food, the sleeping patterns as well as the creative and physical activities. It’s also wise signing up your child in a camp where they’ll have the freedom to choose activities to engage in.
10) What’s your camp’s philosophy? A camp’s philosophy tells so much in terms of what it can do for your child. Some of the things to look into include if it emphasizes on cooperation or competition, its religious observances and if it aims at enhancing one’s talents among other things. Its best that you sign up your child in a camp that best complements their wants/needs or skills.