The right summer camp will teach your kids new skills and let them have a great time. But how do you know which program delivers those results? Here are some factors to consider when searching for a summer camp:

It meets their interests

Camps exist for just about any interest, from a specific sport to musical theater to computer science. Start your search for the perfect summer activity by asking your kids how they want to spend their time and energy. This will rule out most options, making finding a good fit easier. Not to mention, your kids will be more engaged at a camp that focuses on subjects they love. 

Visit camp websites to view schedule examples. That way, your kids can get a clearer idea of what they'd be doing all day. For instance, a music camp might start with morning practice, give them some free time during lunch and then end the day with individual lessons. Does that sound like something your kids will like?

Person firing bow and arrow outside.The right summer camp will align with your kids' interests.

It's the right format

Do you want your kids to be gone for weeks at a time, staying overnight? Or do you want to drop them off for a few hours every day? Do they thrive with more freedom or learn best with structure? Answering these questions will further help you narrow down your options. Ultimately, the camp structure should match you and your children's comfort levels. Look to your kids' social lives for better clarity. For instance, if they handle sleepovers well and are great at making new friends, an overnight experience could be a good fit.

It's the right price

Budget will factor into your camp decisions, so look for something that's feasible for your family. However, if one camp seems perfect except for the price, see if it offers discounts or financial aid. Most programs that provide assistance do so based on need. You can also ask if referring others will get you a discount. Then not only will you save money by telling other families about the camp, but your children may also attend with friends. 

It's accredited

Investigate each option's accreditation status and other credentials. The Canadian Camping Association certifies camps that meet their standards. This will ensure everyone working at the camp is there to give your children a fantastic and safe experience, and the programs will offer adventure and education.

If a camp checks off all of these boxes, set up a phone call or meeting with the director. That way you can ask any lingering questions before signing your kids up. You can even ask to visit ahead of time if it's local. Checking out reviews and getting recommendations can also help you feel secure in your final decision.