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Ten Tips for a Successful Summer Camp Experience

Joe Forte has been the Director of Pingry’s Summer Camp for the past three summers and previously served as the Assistant Camp Director for the past 28 years.

With numerous options available for families today, choosing the right summer camp may seem like a daunting task.  However, by following these simple suggestions by Pingry’s Summer Camp Director Joe Forte, you will be on the right track for asking informative questions and most importantly, creating a memorable summer experience for your child. 

1) Be a Camp Detective.  Have you attended any Camp Fairs or Open Houses in your area?  Talked with other parents?  Google NJ Camps and researched other web sites.  Whether you are looking for a one-week or 8-week camp option, explore and learn what choices are available in your community.

2) What interests your child?  Are you seeking a day camp with lots of various activities or a specialized art, academic, enrichment or sports-minded program?  Putting your child in the right camp environment is an important step towards learning new skills, developing self-confidence, and improving proficiency and performance.

3) Does the camp offer indoor and outdoor options? Make sure the camp you select provides shelter from rainy days as well as comfort when the weather is in the 90’s.  What are the outdoor facilities available?  Are campers on a bus ride to each activity or does the camp have accommodations on the premises for basketball, tennis, or soccer?  Having the resources on site provides a smooth and productive day for campers.

4)What kind of swimming instruction will my child receive?  Does the camp swim program provide one-on-one attention to the camper as well as include training in basic water safety, stroke development, refinement and skill proficiency?  Swimming is an essential life skill and summer is an ideal time to learn at camp.

5) Will I have access to my child’s counselor and staff director?  What sort of communication is in place?  A camp needs to provide access for daily and weekly communication between the director, counselor and camper.  Make sure there is a way for you to stay connected.  Does the camp have a website, post photos online of activities and theme days?  Camp is about building relationships and making sure the tools are in place for a winning summer.

6) My child has a food allergy.  How can I know that the proper health and safety precautions are in place? Many camps are now providing a nut-free environment to ensure the safety of all campers.

7) Will I have access to see my child participate in camp activities?  I don’t want to wait till the end of the summer.  Yes, having the opportunity to observe your child in a sport, play performance, or in the pool provides a positive reinforcement to both parent and child.

8) As a working parent, does the camp provide before and after care coverage to meet your work and family needs?  Find a camp that meets the demands of both parents and children.

9 What sort of training is in place for your counselors? Does the camp employ teachers or high school students?  A camp that provides properly trained adult supervision ensures the safety of its campers. 

10) What goals are in place for your child this summer?  Find a camp that meet your needs, interests, and philosophy for a fun, fantastic and memorable summer.

Joe Forte has been the Director of Pingry’s Summer Camp for the past three summers and previously served as the Assistant Camp Director for the past 28 years.  He currently oversees the day-to-day operations for the Summer Camp at the school’s Martinsville campus.  Forte has been a member of the Pingry faculty since 1982 and currently, is the head of the Fitness Education Department and Head Coach of the Varsity Boys’ Golf Team.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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