With all the choices in Maine Summer Camps today, there are numerous camps that will fit your family’s style and interests, schedule and budget. Here’s an outline of a three-step process to help you make a decision that will lead to an exceptional, Real Maine Camp experience for your child:
Decide on what you’re looking for
Start by sitting down with your child to discuss what he or she is expecting from summer camp—and what you’re expecting. Be clear upfront about the budget and timeframe you’re comfortable with. Following are some of the questions to consider:
- What do you and your camper hope to get out of attending summer camp in Maine? Fun and friendship? Development of specific skills? Exposure to the outdoors? A break from over-scheduled life?
- How long does your camper want to attend camp? Maine Summer Camps offer a wide range of session lengths.
- What type of camp would be the best fit—boys or girls only, co-ed, or brother/sister camps?
- Does your child want a camp with a particular program focus or specific activities?
- What style of camp would be the best fit, in terms of housing and facilities, level of competitiveness, number of campers, etc.?
- Are there any special needs, whether physical, emotional or spiritual, that you need to consider?
TIP: Talk to relatives, friends, coaches, teachers, counselors and the camp director for additional perspectives on what type of camp would suit your child.
Do your homework
Start with our Find Your Real Maine Camp online search tool, and click through to camp websites from the results page. Many camps make their materials available online; others will gladly send them to you. Many camps offer tours to prospective families, but space can be limited, so call early. If you can’t make it to the camps you’re considering, here are some other resources to help you choose:
- Attend camp fairs, often held in the winter and early spring, where you can meet camp directors and staff to learn what a camp has to offer. Find a calendar of public events, including camp fairs, at www.ACANewEngland.org.
- Talk with trusted friends and family who have attended various camps.
TIP: Start early! Ideally, begin your search the summer before so you have time to visit camps when they’re in full swing, if you wish.
Make your decision sooner rather than later
Once you’ve narrowed the list to a few prospective camps, try to make a decision quickly, before all the brochures, slogans and cabin layouts blur together. Try to ensure that your prospective camper is invested in the decision as much as possible—chances are, the more excited they are about camp, the better their experience will be!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of camp directors and representatives, or to request the names of parent references in your community. Trust your instincts, and remember, there will be several Maine camps that will yield a rewarding experience for your child.
TIP: Once you’ve selected a camp, register early to guarantee a spot.
Check out these other resources on choosing a camp: