Parents using a camp advisor can learn a great deal about a summer program that is not found on the website or in a brochure. Camp advisors visit sleep away camps to understand the personality and culture of a program. They can share with parents what the value system is and what educational goals directors have for the campers in their care. You should try to understand what the experience will be like for the camper. Advisors learn this from the director, from their own observations and from evaluations from former participants. Parents can learn how the director will handle things when something goes wrong, as things inevitably do. How well prepared are they for the inevitable glitch or accident. Advisors know who the staff are and how they are trained. Parents should take the time to get informed by speaking with a knowledgeable advisor who will have years of experience placing campers in a program and the service is free. Speak with the director to get to know the person to whom you are turning over your child. One criteria an advisor uses is would they be comfortable trusting their child with this director. Speak with past participants to get their perspective. Understand the goals and itinerary and activities to be sure the program is a good fit. Advisors prefer a program to have at least a few years solid track record and some seasoning before they can recommend with confidence that the camp will deliver. A parent in choosing a program should look for all of the above before choosing a program. They can take advantage of an advisor’s long years of experience to get to know the program they will send their child to.
Carey Rivers has been advising families on summer camps for thirty years. She is co-director of Tips on Trips and Camps, a free advisory service for families seeking quality summer experiences for their children. Carey started going to camp at age 6 and still loves visiting the camps she recommends to families.