Summer camp is all about people: the staff, the campers, the parents, and more. So the best way to learn about various summer camps is to talk to people with experience at a given camp. If you know someone who’s attended camp, great! Chat with them and their kids about it. If not, try reaching out to camps via phone or email. Finally, you can also look up online, third-party reviews. Reviewers are people who vouch for the summer camp's reputation, and can give an honest account of their relationship with the camp and the experience that their children had there.
Where CAN I Find Summer Camp Reviews?
- Social media:Popular across generations now, Social Media is a common platform for interaction between families and camps. Staff, campers, and parents alike will publicly post opinions, interactions, photos, stories, successes, problems, and much more on the summer camp’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media accounts. You can read the reviews that followers of the share, reach out to individuals in the camp community, and browse the pictures and pages to get a feel for the camp.
- Summer camp website:Most camp website have an “About” section with testimonials from campers, counselors, parents, and more that describe their experience with the camp. When you read them, not what they highlight in particular about the camp – activities, friendships, mission, location, or something else entirely.
- Communicate with camp families near you: If you call the summer camp, they will usually be more than happy to put you in touch with some current camp families in your area. That way, you can connect with them directly and learn about what they feel camp has done for their children, what kinds of things they do there, and why they chose the camp they did.
- Meet camp staff and families in person: During fall and spring travel seasons, many summer camps visit major cities in their area. Camps love to keep in touch with their camp community during the year, so you can usually meet camp staff when they are in town for camper reunions or Q&A parties for potential camp families. Look on the camp’s website to find dates for events in your area. Many completely new families meet the camp staff in this way, so don't hesitate to attend an event, talk to camp folks and potential camp folks, and learn about the camp experience.
- ACA accreditation: The American Camp Association has an accreditation and standards program for summer camps. Accredited camps go above and beyond to the ensure the safety and quality of the service they provide. Be sure to ask camps about this accreditation. This is a strong indicator of summer camp's committment to the industry standards for safety and quality.
- Third Party Review Sites:Finally, you can always look up reviews from third party review sources to gain some information. Do always take these reviews with a grain of salt, however. Anyone reviews with anonymity from anywhere, regardless of their actual amount experience with the camp. It will never be as good as meeting people in person, but it’s certainly a place to start. Try Yelp.com, or campratingz.com, a large review site specifically for summer camps.
FINDING THE BEST SUMMER CAMPS FOR 2016
Now that you know where to find the best summer camp reviews, you are ready to start your search for the best summer camp for you during summer of 2016. Remember, you’ll learn a great deal about a camp by talking to the directors of the camp or attending a camp party in your area, and from reading testimonials or browsing their social media sites.
Below, you can find a free guide to choosing the right camp for you, as well as the top ten questions to ask every camp director:
Other Useful Links:
- Traditional Camp vs Sports Camp- Are you looking for a camp focused on specific athletic achievement, or a more traditional summer camp experience?
- Summer Camp Session Length– Summer camp can be many different lengths, so learn about the pros and cons of each to decide what fits your family best.