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Have you decided where your child is going to go for camp this summer? The Better Business Bureau has tips and business reviews that can help parents find camps that provide safe, rewarding experiences for children.
When choosing a camp, parents need to use the same care and common sense they would use in evaluating a day care program. They should look for a camp that provides activities that are of interest to their child and appropriate for the child’s age and skill level.
Parents need to take time to visit camps to inspect facilities, ask about the staff’s training and experience, and find out how the camp handles medical emergencies. If the child is staying overnight, be sure to look at cabins, showers and other facilities that your child will be using.
Some camps, such as those organized around a particular sport, are highly structured and stress development of specific skills. Others are more flexible and give campers an opportunity to choose some of their activities. Your child’s interests and personality should be your guide in choosing an appropriate program. If the child is old enough, ask what activities he or she would enjoy at camp.
Parents should ask how long a camp has been in business and check with parents of past and returning students. Check the BBB website, www.bbb.org, for the camp’s record on handling complaints. The standards for day and overnight camps may be different, but each should have your child’s safety and well-being as its top priority.
The BBB offers the following tips for parents searching for the right camp:
Always visit the camp before submitting your deposit. Check its location and view the living, eating and recreational facilities. Ask about safety procedures (particularly for water activities, archery and out-of-camp trips), and assess the quality and commitment of the staff.
Ask about fees and payment deadlines. Is your deposit refundable? Are there extra charges for any activities? Are meals and transportation offered?
MORE TO KNOW:
Finally, look for camps that are certified by the American Camp Association. ACA-accredited camps have met up to 300 nationally recognized standards.
Cathy Williamson is manager of the Lincoln Trail Area branch of the Better Business Bureau. Contact her at (270) 982-1289 or email@example.com.