Mom’s Morning Minute: Planning for Summer Camp Season

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Summer camp is here. Whether you have already chosen a camp or are still deciding, there are some things that parents should ask in advance.

Carla Shell of the YMCA camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer says to clarify to the camp their accreditation status. The American Camp Association accredits camps across the country through a rigorous process to make sure the camps meet safety standards and programs.

Shell, who is the deputy executive director of Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spence, also says to ask about the inspections. For example, in the Kon-O-Kwee camp, staff must obtain four different permits.

Another important question is whether it is possible to call a child. Shell says many overnight camps do not allow you to make phone calls because it can worsen homesickness. But the camps will give updates to parents. Each camp has its own rules, and you should find out in advance!

It can be fun and encouraging to take a tour of the camp before you start so that both you and your holidaymaker are ready for the experience. Shell also added that it is better to spend time away from the child to prepare him. She invites them to spend the night with a trusted relative or friend to make sure they cope with the separation.

There are also many day camps. Some are through youth organizations and others are offered through business. Julie Bowman of the Carnegie Research Center says that especially if it’s a company that offers a camp, ask for their experience and training in working with young people. Also make sure they are properly trained in first aid, safety, and checking employee information.

Bowman also says to check out their login / logout procedures. For example, the Carnegie Research Center requires that an identity card be displayed every day, even if that person is a parent and an acquaintance of the employee.

You can also see what their COVID protocols are: whether masks are required, whether this may change, whether the camp may be canceled due to COVID, and in that case, whether you will receive a refund.

Bowman also suggests asking about food for your camper and whether there will be snacks or food.

According to Shell at Con-O-Quie Spencer camp, the most common question parents ask is whether my child will be friends. Shell says they are sure to pay close attention and help any child who seems lonely!

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