Researching a Camp Amid Pandemic

Helpful resources can help you pick a summer camp during the pandemic
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Researching summer camps is an important step to finding the right camp for your child. And this summer, after a year of remote learning and limited socializing and activities, your child is going to need a summer at camp more than ever before. Even in the midst of a pandemic, there are ways to go about narrowing down your choices and choosing the best camp for your child and family. Here are some ways to get your camp search started.

Video Calls With the Director – One of the best ways to learn about a camp is by speaking with the camp director. While many overnight camp directors have done home visits in the past so you can get to know the director (and for them to get to know you and your child), they have moved these meetings to Zoom! Facetime, Google Meets and Zoom have made it even easier to get to know a camp director and to inquire about the camp’s philosophy, mission, activities and more.

Courtyard & Backyard Home Visits – If you rather do a home visit, camp directors are happy to do outside home visits when the weather warms up. Backyard and courtyard visits worked very well this fall and they will start up again as the weather improves.

Day Camp Tours – Since day camps are local, they offer camp tours all year long, even in the winter. If there is a day camp you are interested in, give the director a call to schedule a tour. Touring allows you to see the camp and facilities, even if it will all look different in the summer! Tours also allow you to ask questions while in the camp environment which often sparks additional questions.

Spring Open Houses and Tours – When the weather warms up, many day and overnight camps will host some kind of socially distanced open house dates and camp tours where you can see the camp before deciding on a camp.

Virtual Camp Fairs – Camp fairs typically allow families to meet with dozens of camps all in one day! Since in-person events are challenging during COVID-19, camp fairs have been re-imagined this year. New York Family will be offering virtual camp fairs that will be using an online platform with an algorithm that will create one-on-one video calls between camp directors and qualified families, based on the criteria both camps and families submit. There will be four virtual camp fairs, taking place on: Sunday, March 14th • Sunday, April 11th.

Camp Websites & Social Media – Already have a few camps in mind to check out? Camp websites and social media pages are filled with information from activities offered to videos. Looking at a camp’s website is a good starting point for your search but it’s always important to speak with the camp director before registering to ensure the camp is the right fit for your child.

Call the American Camp Association, NY & NJ – Did you know that the American Camp Association, NY and NJ offers parents free, one-on-one advice for parents looking for a day or overnight camp? Families can call Renee Flax at 212-391-5208 to speak with Renee about their child and what they are looking for in a camp.

This story first appeared in New York Family.

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