The choices
Here are some points to consider when selecting a camp:
Philosophy: Should complement child's personality and style of learning.
Director's background: At least a bachelor's degree and camp administration experience.
Staff: Should be trained in safety regulations, emergency procedures, child-abuse prevention, behavior management and other areas.
Age: Counselors must be at least 16; about 80 percent or more of staff should be 18 or older.
Returning counselors: Typically, about 40 percent to 60 percent return from the previous year. If rate is lower, find out why.
Cost: Fees usually are $75 to $350 per week. Amount covers staffing, food, accommodations and insurance.
Discipline problems: Positive reinforcement and role models, as well as a sense of fair play, are highly regarded.
Special needs: Can include special foods for restricted diets and designated places to store insulin and other essential items.
Visit: Consider seeing the place before enrolling a child.
Tips for dealing with homesickness and other adjustment problems:
Include child in choosing a camp.
Discuss ahead of time what camp will be like.
Pack a personal item.
Avoid temptation to take child home early, except in cases of high anxiety or depression.
Send a positive note or care package ahead.
Talk to the camp's director.
Source: American Camping Association

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