Six Tips for Choosing the Perfect Summer Camp

November 20, 2023

Summer camp is an exciting and transformative experience for children, offering a unique blend of adventure, learning, and personal growth. However, choosing the perfect summer camp that aligns with your child’s interests, personality, and needs can be a daunting task. By considering key factors and asking the right questions, you’ll be able to find a summer camp that provides your child with a memorable and enriching summer.

1. Identify your Child’s Interests and Goals

Understanding your child’s passions and interests is the first step in choosing the right summer camp. Consider what activities they enjoy–whether it’s outdoor adventures, arts and crafts, sports, academics, technology, or a mix of activities. Also, discuss with them what they hope to gain from the camp experience, whether it’s building confidence, making new friends, or acquiring new skills. A well-rounded recreational camp will encompass a variety of activities such as outdoor adventures, arts and crafts, sports, team-building exercises, and more. If your child is more academically oriented, a STEM camp may prove a good fit. Have a jock on your hands? Check out sports camps that focus on your child’s sport. And, lastly, if your child is into art, music, or theater, there are great camps serving these children as well.

2. Consider the Type of Camp

Summer camps typically come in two very different types:

  • Day Camps: Camps where children attend during the day and return home in the evening.
  • Overnight Camps: Camps where children stay overnight, immersing themselves in the camp environment for the duration of the camp.

Consider your child’s comfort level with being away from home and their readiness for an extended camp experience when deciding between day and overnight camps.

3. Research Camps by Location & Facilities

Research potential summer camps, considering their locations and facilities. Evaluate the camp’s proximity to your home, the quality of accommodations, available medical facilities and staffing of medical personnel, particularly if your child has any health issues, and the overall ambiance of the campsite. is a great resource for searching by location and activities.

4. Consider the Camp’s Philosophy and Values

Explore the camp’s philosophy and values to ensure they align with your family’s beliefs and principles. Some camps foster independence and self-reliance, while others emphasize teamwork and community. Some are faith-based, while others are not.

5. Assess Safety Measures and Staff Credentials

Prioritize your child’s safety by inquiring about the camp’s safety protocols, emergency procedures, staff qualifications, and certifications. Ensure the camp maintains appropriate camper-to-staff ratios, conducts thorough background checks on staff members, and follows safety standards.

6. Seek Reviews and Recommendations

Read online ratings, reviews, and testimonials or seek recommendations from other parents and camp alumni to gain insights into the camp’s reputation and overall experience. Hearing from others who have firsthand experience can provide valuable insights as to whether a camp is a good fit for your child and your family.

Lastly, make sure they use Waldo to distribute the photos your camper appears in via text and app alerts so you can sit back and relax during the well-deserved break summer camp will provide. Combing through hundreds of photos every night looking for a needle in a haystack is not how you want to spend your time as a camper parent for 30 seasons, trust me! If you fall in love with a camp that doesn’t use Waldo, you can email and Waldo will try to get set-up prior to this summer.