When researching summer camps and programs for your child, speak to the camp directors. You need to feel comfortable with them and ensure that their approach aligns with your own.

Not sure what you should be asking? Below are 20 comprehensive questions that cover all camp basics, as well as things that set camps apart. Download the printable guide at the end and take it with you on your tour or rookie day!

1What is your background and experience? How long have you owned and run the camp/program?

2Where do campers come from?

3How do you handle homesickness?

4What do the first couple days of camp look like for a new camper? How do you orientate new campers and promote bonding in the bunk/age group?

5What is the daily schedule? How much activity choice will my child have?

6What is the camper-counselor ratio? What is the minimum age of the counselors? Where do most of the counselors come from? How are counselors selected and trained?

7What percentage of campers return each year?

8What are the accommodations like? (e.g., tents, cabins, are there bathrooms and showers inside the cabin, electricity, etc.) How many campers and counselors live in each cabin/tent?

9What are the camps visiting and communication policy? How does the camp communicate with parents (do they post pictures daily, have a Facebook account, have a blog or newsletter)? What is the camp’s policy about campers receiving packages, phone calls and e-mails?

10What is the electronic policy?

Is there a service or weekly campfire (religious or value based)?

What are the transportation options to/from camp? Car, camp bus, plane? What is most popular method?

Is there a particular activity or discipline that your camp specializes or excels in?

How does the camp interact with other camps? Are there inter-camp games, socials or brother/sister camp events (how often will girls and boys see each other), tournaments?

How will my child experience outdoor adventure? How often and where do they go on trips? Are there overnight experiences as well?

What makes your camp unique? How would you describe the overall culture, philosophy, and vibe of the camp?

Are there any special traditions like Color War or Olympics?

Are there team tryouts?

What are the meals like at camp? Are they family-style, buffet, both? Do campers eat with their bunk or switch around within their age group? Do you handle food allergies?

Who are your medical personnel (e.g. rotating doctor, 24 hour nurses, consistent doctor on call)? What are the onsite health care facilities like? How close is the local doctor’s office, hospital, dentist, etc.?

Want to take these questions with you? Download this printable guide to make the most out of your camp or program evaluation process.