Use these tips provided by the American Camp Association-New England to get the most out of camp fairs this season.
What matters most in your camp search? Make a list. What kind of camp do you hope to find?
Day camp, overnight camp, or both?
How many weeks? Options range from one to eight—and everything in between.
What do you hope the child will gain from this camp experience?
What’s your child hoping for?
What type of program—general, traditional, specialty?
What is your budget?
Where in New England? CT, MA, ME, NH, RI or VT?
Are there other key search criteria?
Upon arrival, pick up a directory of camps at the fair, that way you can still contact them if you miss their booth. Be strategic! Mark the camps that seem to fulfill your criteria.
Set out to visit those camps’ booths. If you have time, peruse the other booths—ones you may not have prioritized. You may just discover a camp you wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
Keep your eyes open
Look for the ACA Accredited camp logo. If a camp booth catches your eye or your child’s, stop and check it out. Look carefully at display materials. Examine photographs, watch videos, slides and/or DVDs. Watch the camp representatives interacting with children who come to the table. This tells you a lot.
Keep your ears open
Take the chance to hear from camp representatives. Listen as camp representatives are talking with your child. Listen to conversations camp representatives have with other children and adults. Ask questions. Camp people are friendly. They want to explore the fit between your child’s needs and interests and what their camp offers as much as you do.
Save a tree
Only take printed material for camps that are real possibilities for your children. Arriving home with a big pile of brochures can be overwhelming (especially when you will end up recycling or throwing away most of them).
If you have a camp fair directory, you will have the contact information for all camps represented. You can visit their websites or request material at a later time if you want it.