Q. Can you suggest some important questions to ask summer camp directors when considering which sleep-away camp is right for my child?
A. Laurie Kaiden, spokeswoman for the Maine Camp Experience, a collaborative of 33 sleep-away camps in Maine, has been asked this question so many times she decided to compile and share a list of the Top 20 questions she thinks parents should ask when seeking a match for their kids. "If you don't know the questions to ask, how are you going to get the information to make the right camp choice?" she says.
Most parents, for instance, will ask about cabin facilities, wanting details about the number of campers in a cabin, shared bathrooms and supervision. However, they may not think to ask about how the makeup of a cabin group is assigned, Kaiden says. Are all new girls together? Or are they mixed with veteran campers? Do directors spend time meeting with each child coming to camp to make sure the bunks have the right mix?
- How often can I see, speak and/or email my child?
- How close is the local doctor's office, hospital, dentist, etc.?
- Do campers eat with their cabin group or switch around?
- Are there any special traditions, such as Color War or Olympics?
- How much activity choice will my child have?
- How do you handle homesickness?