The Blog of the West Wind

The Blog of the West Wind

6 Tips for Selecting the Right Overnight Camp

Friday, June 29, 2018/by Kabeyun/Go Back

6 Tips for Selecting the Right Overnight Camp

You have many terrific options when it comes to summer camps in New England. With so many choices, how do you know which one will suit your child? Here are a few tips to help you select the right day or overnight camp.

  1. Discover Your Child’s Expectations
    Keep your child at the center of this process. Ask them what they want out of their camp experience and do your best to listen without interrupting. Perhaps they are intrigued by a certain activity or location.This will help you narrow your focus and find camps that suit your child's vision for their summer.
     
  2. Day or Overnight Camp?
    Depending on your child’s age and camp rules, this decision might already be made for you. Most overnight camps generally do not allow children under the age of seven. No worries. If your child isn’t old enough or is not interested in overnight camp, there are plenty of great opportunities to learn skills, have fun, and make new friends at a day camp. Children who are excited about overnight camp have tons of options, too, and the following questions will help narrow the choices further.
     
  3. With or Without Friends?
    Does your child want to attend summer camp with existing friends, or are they excited to meet new people and make new friends? Attending a camp close to home increases the chances of knowing other campers prior to arrival. If you are looking for a camp where your child will interact with people from outside of your local area, consider camps farther from home.
     
  4. Consider Different Camp Focuses
    Most overnight camps in New England offer a variety of activities, including swimming, archery, arts and crafts, music, team sports, and more. Some camps put a greater emphasis on the performing arts, wilderness adventures, or team sports. The wide range of camp options allows every child to find a place that interests them, where they can learn new skills and push themselves outside their comfort zone.
     
  5. Do Your Research
    Now that you've answered the first four questions, you are ready to dive into research. Talk to other parents. Check online reviews. Take the time to read about camps on their websites -- most offer comprehensive information about their activities, facilities, values, and philsophy. When you've narrowed your list, you'll want to call camps and learn about them by asking questions such as: 
    What is the camper to counselor ratio?
    How old are the counselors?
    What are your safety and medical procedures
    What is a sample daily schedule?
    How is the staff hired, screened, and trained?
    What happens if my child takes medication?
    How do you handle conflicts between campers?
    How do you do laundry?
    What is a sample menu?
    What is your communication policy?
     
  6. Visit Camp
    Many camps hold open houses for parents and campers to meet staff members and see the facilities up close. This is a great opportunity to really get a sense of a camp's atmosphere and values, to meet camp leaders and ask questions in person. Before you tour a camp, check out our blog How to Make the Most of Your Camp visit for a few tips.

New England boasts so many excellent summer camps, you are sure to find one that offers your child a place to grow, thrive, and make cherished memories and close friends. If you'd like to learn more about Kabeyun, explore our website to read about our completely elective program, our wide variety of activities and adventure trips, our experienced, caring staff members, our beautiful campus, and community living on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. Or give us a call -- we always love talking about camp!

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