While summer camps may put out glossy brochures to convince parents that their camps are the best place for children this summer, there”s more to camp than sing-alongs and campfires. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reminds parents that they should look beyond the sales pitch if they want their children to be safe and well supervised.
“Many parents don”t know that there is no government oversight of camps. It”s important that they are vigilant and visit several camps to find one that best suits their child,”# said Fred T. Elsberry, Jr., president and CEO of the BBB serving Metro Atlanta, Athens & Northeast Georgia.
While summer camp has always helped children build social skills and self-confidence, today”s programs are diverse and can include teambuilding programs or community service involvement. When choosing a camp for their children, parents should use care and evaluate the programs that each facility offers. They should look for a camp that provides activities that are of interest to their child and appropriate for the child”s age and skill level.
Parents should be guided by their child”s interests and personality when choosing a program. There are many different types of summer camp out there; including specialty camps that meet a child”s specific interests, travel camps for the adventurous children, preschool camps for younger children, special-needs camps for children with disabilities and traditional camps with wide ranges of activities for children.
According to the American Camp Association (ACA), parents rate fun and safety as most important to the camp experience. When considering a camp for their child, parents should ask how long the camp has been in business and check with parents of past and returning students. They can check with the Better Business Bureau to find out about the camp”s handling of complaints and its trustworthiness.
The BBB offers the following tips for parents:
“# Visit the camp before making a decision. Check its location and view the living, eating and recreational facilities. Be sure to ask about safety procedures (particularly for water activities, archery and out-of-camp trips).