• Getting To Know A Camp (Without Touring It)

    Resources For Choosing The Right Summer Camp

    By New York Family

    If you can’t fit summer camp tours into your summer schedule, don’t worry. There are other ways to find out about camp programs and what camp environments will be a good fit for your child.

    Talk to the Camp Director: Call the camp director and ask some key questions to find out about a camp’s philosophy and if it matches your own. Get to know the camp director through phone calls and correspondence.

    Home visits: Oftentimes, the camp director will come to your home to meet with you and your child. Ask the camp director about the camp’s mission statement and what type of child is successful at their camp. The more open families are with camp directors, the betterinformed they will be when it comes to making a decision. A director can help guide you and determine the most appropriate fit.

    Camp fairs: Camp fairs are free events that take place on weekends and bring dozens of camps straight to parents, allowing them to have one-on-one conversations with many camp directors all in one afternoon. Both day and sleepaway camps are represented for campers ages 3–17. Camp fairs give families an opportunity to ask the director key questions about their summer camp program. Special Note: Visit newyorkfamily.com for the schedule of our Camp Fairs, which are co-sponsored by the American Camp Association, NY and NJ (ACA, NY & NJ).

    Open houses: Many camps have open houses that offer families a chance to see the camp facilities and get a feel for the program. These events are good opportunities for families to get to know the camp director and ask questions about the camp philosophy and program while in the camp setting. Check with the camps you’re interested in to see if they host any open houses.

    Look at websites, videos, and brochures: Parents and campers can look over a camp’s website, brochures, and videos to get a sense of what a particular camp is like. Most camp websites have photo slideshows, virtual tours, and maps which give families a glimpse of the camp and the overall program. Many camps also include a sample daily schedule so campers can see what a typical day is like. Camps will also send DVDs upon request so you and your child can view the camp and see campers and counselors engaging in camp activities. Visit therightcamp.com, or aca-nynj.org to search for camps that meet your criteria.

    Contact the American Camp Association, NY and NJ: Are you not sure where to begin your camp search? You may contact the ACA, NY & NJ’s Director of Camper Placement Renee Flax for free, one-on-one advice for finding the right camp for your child. Renee can help you narrow down the choices based on your child’s interests and your family’s needs. You can contact Renee Flax at Renee@aca-nynj.org or212.391.5208.

    To read our article on visiting summer camps, click here.

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