By Laurie Kaiden, Maine Camp Experience Guide
Whether you are at the beginning of your camp search or narrowing down the final choices, one of the most important steps in the camp selection process is speaking with the camp director.
How will you know if the camp is the right match for your child and your values, will you feel comfortable leaving your child in this individual’s care all summer? Our list of the Top 20 Questions to ask a Camp Director will help you to make the right choice for your family.
1. What are the session lengths? Is it one seven-week session or multiple, shorter sessions? If multiple – what are the choices for session length? Can my child attend multiple sessions? Can they extend their stay if they would like to? Is the shorter session option always available or just in the first year? How does the session length relate to the bunking of the campers?
2. What are the accommodations like? (e.g., tents, cabins, are there bathrooms and showers inside the cabin, electricity, etc.) How many campers and counselors live in each cabin/tent? How are cabin groups assigned?
3. What are the transportation options to/from camp? Car, camp bus, plane? What is most popular method?
4. 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?
5. How do you handle homesickness?
6. Do campers travel to activities with their bunks or are they mixed with other campers?
7. What is the daily schedule? How much activity choice will my child have?
8. Is there a particular activity or discipline that your camp specializes or excels in?
9. How does the camp interact with other camps? Are there inter-camp games, socials, brother/sister camp events?
10. How will my child experience outdoor adventures? How often and where do they go on trips? Are there overnight experiences as well?
11. How do you think your camp is different than others? How would you describe the overall culture and vibe of the camp? Are there any special traditions like Color War or Olympics?
12. What are the meals like at camp? Are they family-style, buffet, both? Do campers eat with their cabin group or switch around?
13. Who are your medical personnel (e.g. rotating doctor, 24 hour nurses, consistent 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?
14. What are the camp’s visiting and communications policies? How often can I see, speak and/or email my child? Are packages allowed?
15. What is the ratio of counselors to campers? How are counselors selected and trained?
16. How does your camp accommodate special needs? Including food allergies, medical, behavioral, and others?
17. What is your background and experience?
18. How involved are you in the daily aspects of camp life? Who would be the most senior staffer responsible for my child, whom I should contact if there is an issue?
19. How much is tuition? Are there additional costs (for special elective activities, trips, canteen, baggage shipping, etc.)?
20. Can you put me in touch with a few current camp families in my area as references?
If you would like more support and guidance on selecting the ideal Maine summer camp for your child please email or call Laurie our Maine Camp Guide at Laurie@MaineCampExperience.com or call 877-92-MAINE.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge®, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.