The Best Questions to Ask When Picking A Summer Camp for Your Kids

Kids playing outside during summer camp at the YMCA

It may not feel like summer, but the winter months are the perfect time to start thinking about summer camp and making those plans!

Are you looking for convenience, a good bargain, something your kids will love, a new experience, all of it? The options and variables involved with summer camps can be overwhelming!

Here are three questions to ask to get you started on the right track and zero in on the perfect camp for you AND your kids.

Which camp is right for your child?

There are hundreds of different kinds of camps available today—from traditional day camps to specialty camps of all sorts to overnight camps and more! When choosing a camp for your child, make sure your choice aligns with your child’s interests! A soccer camp may not be the best choice for your crafty child; a farming camp may not be the best for your child with allergies; your athletic child may be bored with a robotics camp.

Don’t ignore the social aspects of camp. Your child may just want to be with his friends, so any camp would work. Or, your child may be nervous and doesn’t make friends easily, so a smaller, more intimate camp may be the answer.

Bottom line: make sure your children are where they want to be. You have an idea about their interests better than anyone, so talk with them about the options and see what they would like to do. The YMCA of Greater Brandywine offers traditional camps as well as a variety of specialty camps including creative arts, sports, aquatics, gymnastics, theater, dance, tennis and much more. Check out all the options.

Who will be caring for your child?

Camp counselors are at the heart of your child’s camp experience—they can make or break it. A great camp will share its staff hiring and training process. Believe it or not, not all camps complete background checks on their counselors, so asking if background checks are completed is always a good idea.

Background checks and child abuse clearances are done on all YMCA of Greater Brandywine employees, including camp counselors. In addition, YMCA counselors are certified in CPR and First Aid and complete a rigorous training process that includes 30-40 hours of training covering topics such as parent communication, lesson planning, safety and risk management, special needs and water safety.

What’s included in the camp cost? Is financial assistance offered?

For most, cost is a big factor in selecting a camp. Costs can range, but don’t assume that the most expensive camps are better than the others. Take the time to evaluate what each camp offers and ask what’s included in your fee. For example, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine offers before and after camp time at no additional cost to those enrolled in camp.

Many camps, such as the Y, offer discounts for siblings and early registration and offer financial assistance as well. Do your research to take advantage of all the possible discounts available to you and be sure you take advantage of those discount dates.

Learn more about summer camp offerings at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine.