Counselors and Camp Staff

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,411
    Summer Camp Expert Nancy Diamond discusses counselors and camp staff.

    Nancy Diamond: I'm Nancy Diamond with kidscamps.

    com, and we're speaking about choosing a summer camp for your children. Right now, we're going to speak about camp counselors. One of the most significant relationships your child will have over the summer, is with their counselor. You want to make sure to ask the camp director a few questions about the staff. How is the staff hired? How are they trained? Do they know CPR and emergency techniques? What kind of background do they have? Have they in fact been background checked? You also want to find out what is the staff-to-camper ratio. Knowing the staff-to-camper ratio, we'll see how well the children are supervised. The national recommendation is between one counselor for every eight children, up to one counselor for every fifteen children. Parent should never feel shy or awkward, about asking a camp director any question they need answered, especially about staff, before they send their children to camp.

    Another question to ask the camp director, is what is the age of the camp counselors? You'll want to make sure that the camp counselors are matured and experienced enough, to handle the very many surprises that occur well the summer. You also may want to ask the camp director, if your child is going to overnight camp, when it's staff member has a day off. Where do they go and what kind of activities do they participate in? Many parents really want to go back to camp themselves, and many parents have the summer off for various reasons, if you're a teacher, or you're an at-home parent. Often a camp will give you tuition consideration, if you decide you are interested in working at the summer camp. You want to be careful, if you decide to work at camp, that you're not stifling your child's independence, or experience at the summer camp.

    There are numerous jobs that you can take at camp, or you're not hovering or helicoptering over your child. So if you want to work a camp, because you want to be near your child, you should rethink that situation. Many camps have a day before a camp starts, where you can meet the counselors and the owners, and other children. It's a very, very good idea to attend these days, so that you have the met the camp counselor before camp, and that your child has met the camp counselor as well.

    You'll also want to find out the camp's policy about tipping, when you attend camp on visiting day, you want to make sure that you know what the proper procedure is. Coming up next, we'll talk about how to prepare your child for camp.