Choosing a Camp:

Advice on summer camp and year round camps


No matter what kind of camp you are going to send your child to - summer, March break, winter, winter breaksports, day, residential or any other kind - it is important for parents to choose the camp wisely.

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In many cases, parents think that the camp they went to as a child will be just fine but time changes everything - and there are so many more choices and specializations today than there has ever been before. It can be reasonable to choose a camp where your child's friends already go, but there is no guarantee that they will like the camp as much - or that it will be their best choice.

Basic guidelines to choosing the best camp

Narrow your camp choices down to two or three of the best options in terms of kind of camp, proximity and availability - then ask yourself the following guiding questions:

  • What are the goals and philosophy espoused by the camp and how well do those fit with your own?
  • What kind of camp experience will best benefit your child and help him or grow in new directions?
  • What is the schedule like and does it offer the balance of structure and freedom that will most benefit your chid?
  • What are the counsellors like? And what is the director like? What kind of feeling do you get from talking to any of them? Get references - as many as you can.
  • What is the ratio of counsellors to campers?
  • What kind of training does the staff have? How well are they screened? How does the camp ensure the safety of campers?
  • What medical facilities and staff are available at the camp?
  • How many campers return every year?
  • What is the kitchen like? Who cooks the food? What guidelines are followed for nutrition and for allergies?
  • What is the policy regarding food packages, letters home and family visits?
  • What is the camp's policy on discipline?

Camps.ca is your source for a wealth of information on summer camps from across North America, including many Ontario camps.

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