The Better Business Bureau says parents should be smart when considering a summer camp for their children to attend. With more than 12,000 summer camps nationwide and hundreds in Georgia, the choices are many.
With the season just around the corner, do your research to ensure it”s a place that”s both financially feasible and fundamentally right for your child or children.
BBB offers the following tips:
- Get references. Ask parents of other campers about their child”s experience and why they recommend one camp over another. According to the American Camp Association, there is no government oversight of camps, so it”s especially important to look for facilities that are certified by the ACA. The organization requires camps to meet up to 300 nationally recognized standards.
- Visit the camp in person. If feasible, check all living, eating and recreational facilities. Be sure to ask about safety procedures and how rules are enforced.
- Assess the quality and commitment of the staff. Find out the camp director”s background, criteria used for hiring staff and whether certification in CPR and First Aid is required. It”s also important to know the ratio of staff to campers. Parents sending children to specialty camps should inquire about the staff”s level of expertise in specialized areas.
- Know the fees and payment policies. What is the total cost of tuition? Is the fee refundable should the camp be canceled? Are there extra charges for any activities? Are meals and transportation included? Make sure all details are included in your contract.
- Ask about medical care. Check out the medical facilities to be sure they are adequate. Find out if a nurse or doctor is onsite. Inquire about procedures for transporting injured or sick children to nearby medical facilities and under what circumstances you will be notified of any problems.
- Consider a backup plan. In case the camp you choose gets canceled for unexpected reasons, be sure to have another camp or two in mind. It is ideal to also visit and research those backup camps in advance so that you can be well-informed in the event of a last-minute decision.