10 Tips on How to Start a Camp Search

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10 Tips on How to Start a Camp Search

Thinking about summer camp for your child but don’t know where to start? Here are some tips to help you find the best camp for your child.

Consider What You Want From the Experience

Take the time to really think about what you want your child to get out of the camping experience. Are you looking for your child to gain independence, build confidence and make new friends or are you looking for that along with being good at a specific sport? Are you considering day camp as a working family and need full day care? Is there a specific “must have” activity or feature that you must have at camp? Write a list of the things you want your child to get out of the experience and what the “must haves” are to help you narrow down the options.

Think About Who Your Child Is

Being able to describe who your child is will help you find the right camp for them. Is your child introverted or outgoing? Does your child have special considerations? Do they thrive in large groups, or is a smaller camp more appropriate? Does your child enjoy participating in sports or do they like theater and art? Being able to answer these questions about your child will help you find a camp that checks the boxes of what your child needs to thrive at camp.

PsstHow to Start Your Summer Camp Search

Research camps

There are several different ways to find a campsite:

Word of mouth – It’s fine to talk to friends and neighbors about where their kids are going to camp and to learn about their child’s camp experience, however, you want to make sure they do their own research when it comes to choosing a camp. While a camp may be a perfect fit for one child, it may not be for another. Every family and child is different, just like every camp, so finding the one that’s best for your child may be different than the others.

Talk to the Camp Director / Leadership – Whether it’s in person or via zoom/phone, one of the most important parts of your camp research is talking to the camp director or a member of the leadership team at a camp you’re interested in. When you choose a camp, you are forming a partnership with the director and you want to make sure you feel comfortable with them. Clicking with the camp director and feeling like you can be open and honest with them is essential when choosing a day or overnight camp.

Search online – Checking a camp’s website and social media channels is a good place to start. See what kind of activities are offered, if the session length fits what you’re looking for, and what the camp’s philosophy is.

tour – One of the best ways to get a feel for a camp is to tour a camp you like. Day camps offer tours year-round and overnight camps run from summer to fall. The tour allows you to see the facilities and ask questions about the camp while being around the camp. The summertime tour allows you to see the camp in action, giving you a good feel for what the camp is like. If you are thinking of an overnight camp for 2024, do some tours of the camps you like. before traveling to find a camp.

Camp Fairs – At camp fairs, families can walk from table to table to learn about all the different summer camp options. Fairs allow families to speak with multiple camp directors all in one day to compare different camps and gather information. Learn about New York Family’s camp fairs happening this winter in NYC, Long Island and Westchester at newyorkfamily.com/camp-fairs.

Camp Open Houses – Many day camps and overnight camps offer open houses in the spring and fall so families have the opportunity to visit the camp. During the open house, the camp will offer activities and give families the opportunity to walk around the camp. These days are fun ways to visit camp and give you the opportunity to talk with the camp director and leadership team around camp.

Call the American Camp Association, NY and NJ – ACA, NY and NJ offer parents free, one-on-one counseling to find a camp. Whether you are looking for a day, night or special program, the American Camp Association, NY and NJ can help in your search! Contact Renee Flax at 212-391-5208 or [email protected]

While the process of searching for camps can often be overwhelming for parents, once you sit down and focus on who your child is and the type of camping experience you want, the choices are endless. start to narrow down, leaving you with a few camps to consider. Taking the time now to find the right camp will pay off when your child has the summer of their life at camp!

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