A great way to choose a summer camp, whether you are using a Tips Advisor or searching on your own, is to visit the summer before. While it is still too early to make appointments to tour, now is a great time to narrow down the selection.
Call your Tips on Trips and Camps advisor to discuss sleep-away camp options for your child. You may not even know what you are looking for at this point or, you might have an exact picture of the summer camp or experience in mind.
Peruse the websites of the camps that were sent to you by your advisor. You may already be getting feelings about likes and dislikes at this point.
When brochures and DVD’s arrive, look them over without your children. If possible, narrow down the options to a few that look the best. If you need help with this, call your advisor to discuss. Your advisor can help you formulate questions to ask and is there for you throughout the selection process. Calling camp directors is a great idea at this time because they are not yet focused on the daily ins and outs of camper life and have the time to talk with you. Your comfort level with the Director and the answers to your questions should count a lot in your decision. One question to ask: When is the best time to call for a camp tour this summer?
Once you know which camps you want to visit, you can now share some specific DVD’s with your future campers if you think it is a good idea.
Call before camp season begins and make an appointment. Appointments are not always available at the times that may suit you best. Generally, the first and last weeks of camp are not even possible. While many families visit on weekends, keep in mind that mid-week tours will often allow for some extra attention and a slower pace. Also, ask who will be giving the tour? Depending on this answer you might want to ask for time to speak with the director, or some current campers….
The number of camps you visit in a day, will depend on the proximity of the camps. Too many and you will be unable to tell them apart.
On the day of your tour, make sure to be wearing comfortable shoes and sun hats. Ask to see bunks from your campers age group and also one from an older group so you have an idea of what your child will be looking forward to. Also speak to some older campers so you get a picture of the kids your child will be aspiring to be.
By doing your search in advance, you may discover through your advisor, or on your own that the camp you are considering has a rookie day or weekend. How awesome it may be for your burgeoning camper to be able to spend an overnight at camp, while you stay at a local B&B enjoying a quiet meal and some adult time!