Winter came late this year, but hopefully summer will be on time, which means that it’s time to start planning for the season now. Along with everyday fun in the sun, summertime on the East End has a vast array of summer camps for kids of any age and any interest. Choosing the camp that is right for you and your child can be difficult, but answering a few simple questions can help find the perfect match.
Start by asking yourself and your child whether they would like to attend a sleepaway camp or a day camp. Once that is decided, consider how long you’d like your child at camp, as far as weeks, days or even hours.
It’s also important to know what kind of activities interest your child. Does your child want to attend a sports camp, an arts camp, an equestrian camp, a science camp or a camp with a little bit of everything? And don’t forget to ask yourself how far you’re willing to travel to camp, or if the camp provides any sort of transportation service.
Keep budget in mind as well. If your top choices exceed that budget, check to see which camps have scholarships or financial aid.
After you have asked yourself these basic questions and have started to look at camps, you should start looking at the details and ask more specific questions:
What is a normal day like?
What are the day-to-day activities?
How structured is the daily schedule?
What is the dining situation? Does the camp provide meals, or should campers bring their own?
What is your child required to bring daily?
Is there a dress code?
What is the camper to counselor ratio; and what qualifications do the counselors have?
What kind of healthcare is provided? Is there a nurse on staff? Are counselors CPR and First Aid certified?
How are the campers divided? Age? Gender? Activity?
Will your child travel while at camp? Does he or she want to travel?
How do you communicate with your child while they are at camp? Are electronics like cellphones allowed?
Most importantly, ask to visit the camp before enrolling. Many camps hold open houses, where you’ll hear the answer to all of these concerns and more, and really get a feel for the place and whether it’s right for your child.
Summer camp is a great place for your child to meet friends, gain valuable experiences and learn new things. The East End has all sorts of camps available for summer 2016, some of which can be found in the Dan’s Papers Summer Camp Guide, and now is the time to begin looking. Keep the above questions in mind while perusing options and you’ll be sure to find the summer camp that’s right for you and your child.