Frequently Asked Questions, Answered - Traditional Summer Camps

   What is included in the tuition cost?

Typically, transportation is included as part of the cost for summer day camps. Resident or overnight summer camps may offer transportation from a central location or may require the campers to be delivered to the campground. If the overnight summer camp program includes trips, movies, laundry service, snack bar, special equipment or other costs, find out if they are included in the cost, if your need to pay a separate additional fee, or if you should send extra money with your child to camp.

What is the refund policy?

Refund policies vary greatly from camp to camp. https://www.trayon.com/ Some refunds cover only illness of the child, while some will give a total refund if it is requested prior to a certain date. Some camps may return all but a registration or administrative fee and some may not offer refunds at all.

What is the camp's philosophy and program emphasis?

Each traditional summer camp has its own method of constructing programs based on its philosophy. Does it complement your own parenting philosophy? Are the activities at the summer day camp or overnight summer camp of interest to your child? Many traditional summer camps actively promote competition and healthy rivalry among camp teams, as reflected in team sports. For many campers this is pure fun. https://www.kuepa.com/ Some parents feel that learning to be competitive at an early age teaches essential survival skills. However, other parents and educators are in favor of cooperative learning. Research has shown that noncompetitive methods encourage young people to learn more, retain it longer, and develop greater self-esteem and appreciation for others. Knowing your child's personality and style of learning is valuable in selecting the right summer day camp or overnight summer camp.

What is the camp director's background?

American Camping Association (ACA) minimum standards recommend directors possess a bachelor's degree, have completed in-service training within the past three years, and have at least 16 weeks of camp administrative experience before assuming the responsibilities of director.

What training do counselors receive?

At a minimum, camp staff should be trained in safety regulations, emergency procedures and communication, behavior management techniques, child abuse prevention, appropriate staff and camper behavior, and specific procedures for supervision. Often traditional summer camp counselors are college students working toward degrees in various sports-related and human services fields.

What is the counselor-to-camper ratio?

ACA standards require different ratios for varying ages and special needs. Generally, the ratios at overnight summer camps range from one staff for every six campers ages 7 and 8; one staff for every eight campers ages 9 to 14; and one staff for every 10 campers ages 15 to 17. At day camps the ratios range from one staff for every eight campers ages 6 to 8; one staff for every 10 campers ages 9 to 14; and one staff for every 12 campers ages 15 to 17.

What are the ages of the counselors?

ACA standards recommend that 80 percent or more of the counseling/program staff be at least 18 years old. Staff must be at least 16 years old and be at least two years older than the campers with whom they work.

The number and types of programs a particular traditional summer camp offers may also impact the ages of the counselors. Academic camps and other specialty camps may require camp counselors to have a particular level of education or number of years of experience or training.

What percentage of the counselors returned from last year?

Most traditional summer camps have from 40-60 percent returning staff. If the rate is lower, find out the reasons why there isn't a higher number of staff who return to work at the camp each year.

How are behavioral and disciplinary problems handled?

Are the behavioral expectations clearly laid out and available to campers in advance? They should also be reviewed with the campers on the first day of camp. It's also important to know the disciplinary steps that will be taken for violation of the rules.

What is the style and personality of the camp director? How much authority do the camp counselors have? These are all important questions to ask because you want to be sure the camp behavior standards and disciplinary policies are a good fit for your child and your family.

What if a child becomes ill, is injured or has a special need?

Find out if trained medical personnel are resident in the camp at all times, especially overnight summer camps. A nurse or other medical professional will be able to tell if an injury is serious and requires more intensive medical attention. You'll want a professional available if a child becomes ill or needs medical attention in the middle of the night.

If your child has allergies or is insulin-dependent, there should be a designated place for the medication to be stored in a locked container. It should be administered only by trained staff. If your child requires a special diet, find out if the camp is able or willing to accommodate their dietary needs. The wrong answer to any of these considerations can be potentially life-threatening.

Even a child who has slept away from home in the past may become homesick, or simply have trouble adjusting to the overnight summer camp during the first few days. Find out from the director how homesickness is handled by the staff and let your child know what their recourse is if they feel lonely or have trouble adjusting.

Is the camp American Camp Association accredited? Why or why not?

American Camp Association accredited camps undergo extensive scrutiny and must meet very high standards to be accredited. Accreditation reviewers ask over 300 questions about the camp and staff including essential health and safety issues, program quality and the camp's overall operation and functioning.

What about camp references?

Every summer day camp or overnight summer camp will sound like a dream when you read the brochure or visit the website. Ask the director to provide you with a list of references including past campers and counselors to check the camp's reputation.

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