"It's really important that parents do their due diligence and make sure they visit the camps or get as much information they can before sending their children there," said Alyssa Parker from the Better Business Bureau.
Here are some tips the BBB shared to help decide which camp is the best for your child.
- Visit the camp or ask for references. Tour the living, eating and recreational facilities. If you can't visit, ask for references. Ask about safety procedures, a typical daily schedule, medical care, safety rules, and the camp philosophy. Don't be afraid to inquire about the camper return rate, along with the camp's counselor return rate.
- Assess the quality and commitment of the staff. What is the camp director's background? How is the staff trained? Are criminal checks made for employees and volunteers? What is the ratio of campers to staff members? Parents sending children to specialty camps should inquire about the staff's level of expertise in the specific area.
- Look for camps that are certified. American Camp Association accredited camps have met up to 300 nationally recognized standards. Even though camps in NC are not required to be licensed, many of them have decided to do so anyway. Parents can check the licensure of any camp on the NC Health and Human Services website. You can also check reviews for any camp with the Better Business Bureau.
- Read the fine print on the paperwork. Is your deposit refundable? Are there extra charges for any activities? Pay with a credit card in case the camp is not what was promised and you can get your money back with credit card protections.