There are a lot of good summer camps out there. But you want to send
your kids to a great one. How can you rest assured you've found the crme de la
camp without losing sleep over summer scheduling? Try this simple checklist,
guaranteed to separate the great from the merely good.
1. Safety: First things
first: How does your potential camp rank on the safety scale? Accreditation
from the American Camp Association assures that a camp meets certain health, safety
and program quality standards. Beyond that, ask a few more questions: Is the
staff first aid certified? What camper-to-staff ratio does the camp maintain? How
are kids supervised during the day and checked out at the end of it? Your camp
should take safety as seriously as you do.
2. Staff: A camp is only
as good as its staff, so ask some questions about your potential camp's people:
How old are they? What kind of experience and education do they have? How are they
hired and trained? How many return year after year? A great camp will give your
kids meaningful mentorship from dedicated, experienced people not just teenaged
3. Mission: Is your
potential camp on a mission? Take a look beyond the basic activities they offer
and ask some philosophical questions: What is the camp's mission or philosophy?
What educational or corporate partners do they align themselves with? What do
they value? How do they view their role in your kids" education? Resist the
urge to focus on what your kids will do or make; ask instead about how they
4. Activities: Once you've
checked out your potential camp's philosophical side, take a good look at those
activities. What will your kids do all day? How is the day structured? Are
different activities well balanced? Do kids of all ages all do the same thing
or is there a more age-specific approach? Is it fun? (This is camp, after all.)
A great camp will consider these factors and more to thoughtfully craft a great
experience for your kids.
5. Location, location, location
(and other matters of convenience): You want your kids to have a great
summer, but camp is hardly the only thing on your plate. Your potential camp
should get that. Is there a location nearby? Can you drop off as early and pick
up as late as you need to? Do they provide lunch? Convenience certainly shouldn't
eclipse quality or safety, but you don't need to ignore it either.
operates innovation camps for kids from pre-K through 8th grade across the Bay
Area: Camp Galileo, Galileo Summer Quest, The Tech Summer Camps and Chabot Space
& Science Camp. To sign up or learn more, visit mso-hansi-theme-font:major-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Helvetica">www.galileo-camps.commso-ascii-theme-font:major-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:major-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:
Helvetica"> or call 1-800-854-3684.
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