By Jess Michaels, American Camp Association, NY & NJ 

A summer camp experience is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your child.  At camp, your child will have the opportunity to gain self-confidence, independence and to learn new activities.  There are many camps to choose from however parents want to make sure they do their research when deciding on a camp.   There are many things to consider so we’ve pulled together some important DOs and DON'Ts for selecting the right camp for your child. 

  • DO look into a camp’s philosophy and mission
  • DON’T choose a camp just because your child’s friend or relative is going 
  • DO get to know the Camp Director 
  • DON’T leave your child out of the decision 
  • DO tour or see the camp when possible 
  • DON’T keep your child’s special requirements to yourself 
  • DO consider safety 
  • DON’T forget to check references 
  • DO consider the camp program 
  • DON’T choose a camp that hasn’t been reviewed 

Time to Think About Summer Camp 

While it may be cold outside and summer may be the furthest thing from your mind, now is the time to start thinking about camp for your child. Why start your search so early? Doing your research now will eliminate the stress and rush of choosing a camp.  Parents want to make sure to get to know the camp director, ask about the camp’s philosophy and learn about the program.  Families can also schedule home visits with overnight camp directors and tour day camps this time of year.  For families unsure of where to start their search, Renee Flax from the American Camp Association, NY & NJ has been helping families find the right camp for their children for over 20 years.  Contact Renee at or 212.391.5208 for free, one-on-one assistance in finding the right day or overnight camp for your child.   Parents can also search for accredited day and overnight camps.