Page 34 - Alaska Parent Spring 2019
P. 34

Day camps come in all shapes and sizes, appealing to a range
of interests and ages. Here's how to find a camp that invests in
your child by creating
an unforgettable experience where
they'll meet new
friends, gain self- confidence and learn
new skills – all while giving you peace of mind.
                                                                                                                     Begin with
                    First determine your schedule
needs. Some camps are only a few
hours a day while others are structured to
work well with a working parent's schedule. Figure out if you'll need to arrange before or after care.
From there, seek a camp with "caring staff, fun programs and a dedication to the health and safety of the campers," says camp director DD Gass.
                                                      Match the camp with your
    child's interests
    From computer coding to robotics and sports, day
camps offer kids the opportunity to try all kinds of
new activities. If your child isn't interested in a camp
that specializes in one activity, choose a more traditional camp that offers a wide range of activities throughout the session.
"Make sure there's a healthy balance between structure and choice," says Jim Spearin, senior vice president of Youth Development for the YMCA.
Consider the culture
Ask for referrals from trusted family and friends. "Choose a camp that welcomes parents as partners in their experience," Jim says. "Parents should always feel welcome to come visit during camp. There should be planned activities for both parent and camper to enjoy together such as special events or campouts."
Story by Christa Melnyk Hines
Camp employees should be licensed, certified and trained in sexual/child abuse prevention, first aid and CPR. Are background checks required for camp counselors? Parents could also ask if the camp checks employment histories and references.
Find out how camp leaders are supervised and how they plan for emergencies, including
                   34 alaska parent spring 2019
Seek qualified,
organized staff

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