Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for a Summer Camp

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Info By: Micki Sommerman

Edited By: Stephanie Boron, M.S., CCC-SLP

The groundhog saw his shadow, but that hasn’t stopped us here at the clinic from dreaming of summer! Many of our families are starting to ask about summer camps for their kiddos. Stay tuned for Beth Osten and Associates summer camps for 2017. In the mean time, here are some questions to ask when you’re looking for a summer camp.

  • Be sure to check out our post about what questions to ask when you’re looking for a preschool. Depending on the age of you child, some of these questions will be relevant and helpful when searching for a summer camp or summer program.
  • If your child is in a school-year program and it’s going well, this is a great place to start! Ask if they offer a summer camp program.
    • Keep in mind that not everything will be exactly the same, so check in about:
      • Staffing: Who will be staffing this program? Existing staff (familiar with the program’s overall style) or new/external staff brought in for summer only.
      • Location: Some camps take place at the preschool location (possibly with more outside time), while others take place at a separate location (e.g., the beach).
      • What’s the programming like for the summer program?
    • You know your child best, so keep in mind…
      • Some kids might benefit from familiarity– this may feel safer for your child.
      • Other kids might benefit from a new environment– think of this as a mini-change before a larger school change in the fall if they’ll be entering a new school.
  • Think about what you’re looking for — a developmental play experience vs. a more structured enrichment program
  • Find out about the size
    • Some camps have huge numbers but break kids into smaller groups. This may work for your child, or this may still be overwhelming (think about the number of voices when all groups are near each other).
  • If needed, ask what the policy is should your child need an aid.
    • If your program is through a park district, you may be able to request an aid through organizations like the NSSRA. Your camp should be able to direct you to organizations if applicable.
    • Private camps may have other policies regarding who hires and pays for an aid.
  • Find out what the program’s policy is for planned absences (e.g., family vacations).
  • Think outside the box and consider a combo of mini camps (e.g., single week camps, 1 or 2x per week camps) combined with down time/family time.

Don’t hesitate to consult your therapy team. They will likely be able to provide additional guidance about what to think about based on your child’s specific profile.

Be sure to check back on our blog and our Facebook page for upcoming info about summer camps and programs at our clinic. If you’d like more information about this article or anything else, don’t hesitate to reach out to Micki at 847-663-1020 ext. 115 or Stephanie at SBoronSLP@gmail.com. Comment below and tell us how your family will be spending the summer!

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