Sunday, April 5, 2009

Do Not Go To Camp without Asking

By Lonnie Lorenz

Here are some things to consider when visiting a camp, watching a video or flipping through the brochure. iPlease note many of these areas may affect your child's stay at summer camp. Be sure to ask the camp director if you can not find information that you feel is a top priority for your child.Summer Camp

Facilities Take careful note of the condition of the facilities. Are the buildings well maintained, or do they show clear signs of a lack of maintenance. Though well worn and rustic buildings are perfectly ok, make sure that they are not being neglected. Specific things you'll want to look for and ask about include:

Bunks: * Do children live in cabins, tents, or dorms? * How many beds are in each cabin? * Are they bunk beds or individual cots? * How do the campers choose which beds they want? * Where do the campers store their belongings? * Are the cabins to crowded? Is there enough storage space? Has the camp overbooked and crowded extra campers in? * Are the cabins clean? Are beds made by the campers and belongings stowed? * How many counselors sleep in each Cabin?

Bathrooms: * Where are the toilets? Does each bunk have it's own toilets or is there a common bathhouse? * If there is a common bathhouse, do children have to walk alone at night? Is the path lighted? * Are there showers in each bunk? * Do campers have to walk in their bathrobes/pajamas to the showers? * If the camp is coed, how separate are the shower facilities? * Who cleans the facilities, and how often?

Waterfront or Swimming Pool: * Can the pool accommodate all swimmers? * Are the waterfront areas for swimming, boating, water skiing and diving separate and clearly marked? * What kind of waterfront toys are provided? * What is the supervision and ratio of lifeguards to swimmers? * Are life jackets always worn whebn boating? * Are swimming tested on skills? * How do the camp keep track ofr swimmers? Buddy board?

The Grounds: * Are playing fields freshly reseeded and mowed? * Are the trails clearly marked? * Is the equipment in good condition?

Dinning Hall: Believe it or not this one of the most important areas at camp. Nearly 25% of their day is spent in the Dinning Hall. So the Camp needs to understand this and work to make it a clean, exciting and nutritious experience Will the camp meet your dietary needs. Don't be forget to make sure they can accommodate you Kids Summer Camp * Are there alternatives if your child does not like the offering? Is there a salad bar? * When, how and what Are the snacks? Is there a canteen/camp store? * What does a typical menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner look like?* Is there enough space for the whole camp to be served in one seating? * Do cabins eat together? This is your child's friends. * Are meals buffet style or are campers served family style? If they are served, who serves the food? * Who is the kitchen director and what are his or their credentials? How long have they been at this camp? * What are the safety and cleanliness standards? Who inspectes the state and local codes?

Remember this article has to do with the comforts of camp and not with safety at camp. The American Camp Association has a certification program that looks at over 300 different aspects of camp. It is always best to select a camp that has been ACA Accredited. ACA CAMPS

You can learn more about selecting a wonderful Teen Summer Camp by visiting Summer Camp Advice Finding a Summer Camp

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