Finding a summer camp for a child

School is wrapping up for the summer and many parents are preparing to send their kids to camp. These days, there are many choices and finding the right fit for your child can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Your Better Business Bureau offers help choosing the right camp.

When choosing a camp, there are many items to consider. Listening to your child is the first step in choosing a camp and get him or her involved in the selection process. Selecting a camp focused on his or her interests will make the camp decision a positive experience for both you and your child. Also, consider size and location of camp, type of camp, duration and your budget.

Your Better Business Bureau offers these summer camp search tips:

• Visit the camp before making a final decision. Find out the camp’s goals and philosophy.

• Consider how long the camp has been in business.

• Find out the camp director’s background and how the staff is trained on various skills, such as first aid and safety.

• Ask about camp counselor return rates. Also, check the camper-to-counselor ratio.

• Get references. Check with family and friends. If they’re happy with a camp they’ve used, most likely you’ll be too.

• Ask if meals and snacks are provided, if appropriate, or do you need to pack them.

• Determine how medication and special needs are handled.

• Find out the safety and discipline policies.

• Inquire about family visits. Also, find out how a camp handles a homesick child. Check if there’s a refund policy if your child leaves early.

• Ask about camp life. Is it a co-ed, all boys or all girls camp? Is it a general, specialty or academic camp?

• Get a written contract detailing fees, camp activities, meals, etc. Ask if a deposit is required and is it refundable? Don’t sign anything until all blanks are completed.

Finally, find out if the camp belongs to any associations, like the American Camp Association (ACA). ACA camps must comply with up to 300 best-practice industry standards relating to camper health, safety and program matters important to the camp’s operation.

If you’re looking for a trustworthy and reputable summer camp, you can always contact your BBB to check out camps you’re considering. For more advice on finding a camp, visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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