By Laurie, the Campcierge™
The 21 Questions game, often played for fun with friends and with kids on long road trips, effectively helps people determine the correct answer. Similarly, these useful and practical 21 questions to ask a summer camp director, compiled by Maine Camp Experience, will help guide families to pick the right sleepaway camp for their child.
- What are the session lengths? Is it one seven-week session or multiple, shorter sessions?
- What are the accommodations like? (e.g., tents, cabins, are bathrooms and showers inside the cabin, electricity, etc.) How many campers and counselors live in each cabin/tent?
- Where do campers come from? How are do you create compatible cabin groups?
- What is the ratio of counselors to campers? How are counselors selected and trained?
- How do you help new campers integrate into the camp community – including the first day? Does your camp assign a “big brother” or “big sister” to help ease the transition?
- Do campers travel to activities with their bunks or are they mixed with other campers?
- What is the daily schedule? How much activity choice will my child have?
- Is there a particular activity or discipline that your camp specializes or excels in?
- How do you handle homesickness?
- How does the camp interact with other camps? Are there inter-camp games, socials, brother/sister camp events?
- How will my child experience outdoor adventures? How often and where do they go on trips? Are there overnight experiences as well?
- How would you describe the overall culture and vibe of the camp? Are there any special traditions like Color War or Olympics? How do you think your camp is different than others?
- As the camp’s director, what is your background and experience? How involved are you in the daily aspects of camp life? Who would be the most senior staffer whom I should contact if there is an issue?
- What are the camp’s visiting and communications policies? How often can I see, speak and/or email my child? Are packages allowed? Is there a specific Visiting Day? When is it and how is it structured?
- What are the meals like at camp? Are they family-style, buffet, both? Do campers eat with their cabin group or switch around?
- Who are your medical personnel (e.g. rotating doctor, 24 hour nurses, same doctor on call)? What are the onsite health care facilities like? How close is the local doctor’s office, hospital, dentist, etc.? How does the camp handle medicine dispensing?
- How does your camp accommodate special needs (including food allergies, medical, behavioral, and others)?
- What is your policy about campers and electronics (e.g., cell phones, music players, gaming devices)?
- What are the transportation options to/from camp? Car, camp bus, plane? What is the most popular method?
- How much is tuition? Are there additional costs (for special elective activities, trips, canteen, baggage shipping, etc.)?
- Can you put me in touch with a few current camp families in my area as references?
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools
Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child? Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks). It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates. Then you can research these camps in more depth.
Next, be sure to contact our Maine Campcierge™ to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge®, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.