Hudson Valley Parent

HVP February 2020

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26 Hudson Valley Parent n February 2020 years, Nordstrom recommended looking into whether the camp sup- ports the hiring of former campers as counselors, which she considers a great practice. "They know firsthand what it is really like to be a camper," she said. Facilities. Seeing is believing, said Morris, so be sure to tour any camps of interest. "In the case of a stay-away style camp, I can under- stand that a level of rustic living can be good for building character, but at the same time, there can be such a thing as too rustic," he said. "And regardless of style, parents need to ask themselves, (if the camp has) adequate facilities to meet the needs of my child." Size. Morris recommends that parents find out about the num- ber of campers typically present during a given session, how much supervision they're given, and how closely campers are looked after during different points of the day. Camper-to-staff ratios typically can be requested via phone or e-mail to the camp organizations' director, as there are state laws that summer programs must follow in this arena. When regarding camp size and group numbers, Morris said parents should consider if their child will receive a personalized experience or end up lost in the shuffle. Activities. Look into a camp's activities before enrolling your child in a program, said Nordstrom. For instance, if a program is academ- ic-based and your child is a reluc- tant learner, make sure he or she has 'bought into' the camp's focus and is willing to take part in activi- ties. Similarly, if your child doesn't like dirt, bugs, and the outdoors, perhaps a nature camp isn't the best choice for him or her. As well, if your child isn't sporty, pick some- thing other than an athletic- or sports-focused camp. "It all boils down to planning ahead, researching the camp op- tions, and having reasonable expec- tations all around," said Nordstrom. Schedule. See a sample of a camp's schedule (often it can be found on a camp's website), said Nordstrom, and decide for or with your child if most of activities ap- peal to your child. For instance, is there a lot of free time? If so, does your child need unstructured time or thrive with a more planned-out day? Additionally, it may be import- ant to find out how much 'outside time' campers get on an average day at through a program, as many BEST CAMP (Continued from Page 25)

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