(KFVS) - Sunshine, no school and summer camp are just around the corner.
Parents don’t normally get a summer break though. So how do you go about picking the right camp for your child?
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), parents may want to avoid the enticing brochures and pretty website pictures when doing research on summer programs.
Officials suggest looking for a camp that provides activities of interest to your child that are appropriate for their age and skill level.
Visit camps and inspect facilities. In addition, officials said to ask about the staff’s training and experience as well as their approach to medical emergencies.
Here are more simple tips to consider:
- Before you put any money down, visit the camp. Check the location, living conditions, eating facilities and recreational facilities.
- Ask about safety procedures (particularly for water activities, archery and out-of-camp trips) and assess the staff’s quality and commitment.
- Ask about fees and payment deadlines. Is your deposit refundable? Are there extra charges for any activities? Are meals and transportation offered?
- What is the camper return rate? The counselor return rate?
- What is the camp director’s background? How is the staff trained? Are criminal checks made for employees and volunteers?
- What is the ratio of campers to staff members?
- Are medical facilities adequate? Is a nurse or doctor on site? What are the procedures for transporting injured or sick children to medical facilities? Are those facilities nearby?
- What are the safety rules and how are they enforced? Does the camp have appropriate insurance coverage?
- Are family visits or communications allowed? How is homesickness handled?
- Are references from parents of repeat campers available? Ask the parents about their child’s experience and why they recommend the camp.
- Finally, look for camps that are certified by the American Camp Association. ACA-accredited camps are required to meet standards.
Check bbb.org for the camp’s record on handling complaints.