Spring Is The Best Time To Search For Summer Camps

Mar 07, 2014, 08:56 ET from Camp Arcadia in Casco, ME

CASCO, Maine, March 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Many parents wonder what kind of opportunities exist for their kids to expand their horizons, make new friends, sharpen their skills, or pursue interests they don't have time for during the school year. "This the prime time of year to research the best summer camp options for your child," says Louise Fritts Johnson, the Camp Director of Camp Arcadia (www.camparcadia.com), an all-girls camp in Casco, ME.

To get started, says Johnson, "attend camp fairs." Go to the American Camping Association's website (www.acacamps.org) to see the schedule.  Camp fairs have a wide selection of overnight camp and program options, such as traditional and specialty camps, community service opportunities, language immersion programs, outdoor adventures, teen travel tours, academic enrichment, internships and more.

Can't attend a camp fair? Missed the one in your area? "Ask trusted parents about their families' experience with camps. Keep a list of the camps with positive reviews," Johnson says.

Then, Johnson suggests, speak with the director of the top 5 camps on your list. Ask: Average return rate of campers? How many campers per lodge? How many counselors? How old are the oldest campers? What kind of communication can families have with their camper? What's a typical camp day? How do you comfort kids who have a hard time? What length season is available for first-time campers?

Consider watching promotional camp videos with your child. "You'll see if he or she is ready by their expression," Johnson adds.  If you think your child (or you!) can only handle a week of separation, several camps provide that option. Camp Arcadia, celebrating its 99th summer, is almost booked up for 2014, but there is room in their one-week program for new campers, ages 7 to 13, during the third week of August.

If your family isn't camp-ready yet, Johnson suggests visiting your top three camps with your child this summer. "You'll understand camp in action." However heart-tugging it is to send your child to camp, Johnson confidently says, "A good camp is the greatest gift."

SOURCE Camp Arcadia in Casco, ME