Camps websites these days are filled with gorgeous photos of their grounds, their staff, and their activities. But let’s face it – camp is a big investment over several summers, and nothing beats seeing with your own eyes where your kids will be spending this formative time.
The best way to explore and experience any summer camp is to go and visit with your child, preferably the summer before enrolling. Going to take an in-season, in-person camp tour will give your family an in-depth understanding of each camp’s philosophy, directors, staff, campers, programming, and facilities. Best of all, it requires very little preparation and is a great excuse to plan an incredible Maine vacation. But before you go, here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your stay, and your tour:
1. Call ahead. Be sure to speak with a director to find out what tour dates are available. Maine Camp Experience member camps typically offer private tours to both optimize the visit and show as much of the camp in action as possible.
2. You’re there to learn – so get involved! Be sure to interact with campers and staff, ask a lot of questions, and take advantage of the beautiful campus and waterfront settings. Observe as much as possible, especially activities your camper enjoys.
3. Get some one-on-one time with at least a few campers. They’ll love sharing their experiences and love for their camp (and Maine), and you’ll love all the inside knowledge. See where they live, where they eat, and what the highlights of camp are to them.
4. Use the opportunity to explore the surrounding area. So many of our camp families say that a highlight of choosing an MCE camp is their annual trip to Maine. With spectacular scenery, world-class dining options, outdoor adventures, B&Bs, beaches, lakes … let’s just say they don’t call it “Vacationland” for nothing. So go outside the camp and see what the area offers the whole family.
5. Have fun! Besides the obvious practical considerations, the most important thing about a summer camp is that it feels right. So relax, enjoy, and drink in the experience. On the way back home, talk as a family about which camp felt like the best fit for your child.
Have more questions? Contact our Maine Camp Guide for some personal help picking a Maine camp or planning a tour!
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge®, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.