Choosing a camp

Here are questions suggested by the National Camp Association and the American Camping Association:

• What do you and your child want to gain from the camp experience -- learn new skills, develop more self confidence, improve proficiency in certain areas, become more independent?

• What type of camp would be the best fit for your child? There are four basic types of camp -- day programs, sleep-away camps, day programs with trips and special needs camps.

• What kind of emphasis will your child profit from the most? For example: Is a lot of structure desirable? What activities are

required? Will the child be able to make some choices?

• What are the special interests that your child wants to explore? Look for a camp that fits his or her interests.

• What is the age, experience and training of the director and camp counselors? What is the counselor-to-camper ratio? What percentage of campers return?

• If the camp is a residential camp, what are the sleeping and living arrangements? What shower and bathroom facilities are available? What is the food like?

• How does the camp ensure the safety and security of campers?