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Looking For A Summer Camp for Your Child?

It’s not too late to register your child for a week at summer camp. There are lots of opportunities if you register as soon as possible. Choices include COA’s Camp Helen Brachman, YMCA Camps, Camp Whitcomb Mason, Girl Scout Camp, Boy Scout Camp, and many more. But what camp should you choose? How do you decide? 1. Call and speak to the director or associate director to receive first hand information about the staff, program, fees and facility. Insist on talking with a member of the administrative staff — they hire other staff. 2. Choose a camp with accreditation from the American Camping Association (ACA). Accreditation insures that the camp has met or exceeded hundreds of standards to guarantee the safety and competency of camp at all times — don’t settle for less! 3. Ask the administrator how staff are screened, interviewed, and selected. All staff applicants should be interviewed (preferably face to face), have three reference checks, complete a criminal background check, be CPR and First Aid certified, and complete at least a week of staff training. 4. Ask about the health and safety procedures of the camp. Ask specific questions related to camper-staff ratios, a nurse or health aide on site at all times, staff trained in emergency procedures, and camper supervision at all times. 5. Ask about the program offerings. Campers should be given a choice at some point in the day to select their own activities. Campers should be offered a wide variety of options led by trained and competent staff. 6. Ask your child what kind of camp they want to attend. There are scouting, agency, religiously-affiliated, and private camps throughout Wisconsin. Consider a tour of the camp before you make your decision. Encouraging your child to bring a friend to camp will provide both of you with added comfort about a week away from home. 7. Most camps accept campers who are entering second grade or are at least eight years old. Make sure your child has had over-night events before they go to resident camp. And what about cost? There are a variety of camps to suit your budget. COA Youth & Family Centers administers Camps For Kids, a coalition of many organizations with camps including COA, the Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts. A first time camper may be eligible for a scholarship (covering all but $10) to the camp of your choice. Other organizations, including COA, also offer camp scholarships based on need. For more information call Camps For Kids registration at 263-8383; or the American Camping Association National Office at 1-800-428-2267; or COA’s Camp Director Jake Czarnik-Neimeyer at 715-366-2234. This article was provided courtesy of COA Youth & Family Centers. Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 6 – June 2003
COA Youth & Family Centers