Some parents may cry over the mere idea of sending their baby to sleepaway camp. We don’t know anyone who is doing that while writing this sentence. We’re just saying: We get it. It’s hard.
But little birds must fly the nest, learn to canoe and/or snag the second lead in the camp-wide production of Guys and Dolls. And the American Camp Association says there are over 8,400 overnight camps in the U.S. So how in the name of s’mores do you know which one will be right for your seven-year-old? (Seven-year-old?! you ask, incredulously. Oh yes. If you plan to send your kid off at eight—a typical starting age in the Northeast at least—you’ll want to tour camps in action the summer before.)
Enter the professional camp consultant. These expert advisors make it their mission to match each child with the camp that will be the best fit for the next decade. The formula for a successful camper? Start young (between age 8 and 11), return every summer, make long-term best friends and gain a lifetime of confidence.
Here, the insiders school us on what to consider in a camp.