Humans are procrastinators by nature. After all, it’s easier to put off the task at hand than deal with it in the moment. How many times have you said to yourself, “I’ll tackle that tomorrow,” only to put it off again and again.
Don’t do that with your kid’s summer camp search.
With thousands upon thousands of families looking to enrol their children in camps each summer, spots fill up quickly. Many families sign up their young campers the year before, at the end of the previous year’s session.
But before you rush online to complete the registration form and push send, there are a few things you should consider first:
Know Your Price Limit
There’s no sense in diving head first into researching camps unless you know exactly how much you’re willing to spend. Set a firm budget and stick to it. This is the first step in whittling down a potentially lengthy list of camp options.
Find out exactly what is included in the overall cost of the camp. Do meals or snacks cost extra? Is there a camp store that guests may want to buy things from? Are you expected to drop-off and pick-up your children from camp and if not, is there transportation and Is transportation to and from the camp an additional cost? These are things you want to know before you make a decision.
Summer camps vary in price and can become costly — especially when you have more than one child attending.
When you have a shortlisted option of camps, don’t hesitate to call and inquire about payment plans they might be offering.
Put Your Child’s Interests First
If one of your kids eats, sleeps and breathes sports while the other doesn’t know the difference between a flagrant foul and a foul ball, you potentially have a little more work on your hands when it comes to finding the right camp(s).
You could look to enrol them in two separate camps that focus their summer activities around specific areas of interest – but that means driving all over Southern Ontario, probably on different weeks to get your kids to summer camp … ugh – or you could look into sending both to a general interest camp like Muskoka Woods, which offers a variety of more than 60 summer camp activities ranging from sports to the arts. Guests customize their schedule to fill a six-hour day, and schedules are based on six one-hour blocks and can be built from an assortment of one-hour, two-hour, three-hour and all-day activities.
Review the selection of activities with your child and ensure that they are interested in what the camp has to offer.
Familiarize Yourself With the Camp
When I’m looking to hire a trade for a job around the house, try a new restaurant or purchase something from Amazon, the first place I research is the customer testimonials section of the business’s website or a third-party app like Google Reviews. I’m sure I’m not alone in this approach.
Summer camps should be no different.
Guest testimonials are a great place to gauge the overall camp experience from individuals who have experienced it first-hand, and often camps will include a page on their website or social media accounts dedicated to camper (or parent) reviews and testimonials.
If the testimonials check out, you should research the camp’s history, qualifications and staff-to-camper ratio.
Since 1979, Muskoka Woods has been a premier summer camp destination in Ontario. Each year, some of the best and brightest young adults from around the world are hired, many of whom attended Muskoka Wood as guests themselves. Leadership staff receive over two months of training before summer camp begins and counsellors, instructors and other staff receive seven days of training before camp begins – this is more training than any other camp in Canada!
Staff training includes certification in occupational health and safety, emergency preparedness and procedures, customer service standards, youth culture and development, insights from child protection experts and specific, hands-on training for each section at camp. The Muskoka Woods hiring team has received Praesidium training, the global leader in child risk management. The camp has also partnered with Plan to Protect, the Canadian experts in child abuse prevention and child protection.
The on-site staff-to-guest ratio at Muskoka Woods is 2:4, one of the highest supervision rates in North America.
Great counsellors and staff make Muskoka Woods a safe, fun summer camp experience your child will want to return to year after year.
Jamie Hunter is a freelance content specialist living in Dundas, Ont. with his wife, 10-year-old daughter and six-year-old son. Over the past 15+ years, he has contributed to a variety of national lifestyle and entertainment print publications and worked in corporate communications roles at Harbourfront Centre and the University of Toronto. A self-described amateur entomologist, wannabe ornithologist, and fair-weather angler, on weekends he can be found covered in dirt tending to his gardens.