Many years ago, I was a camp counselor at the YMCA’s Camp Cheerio in North Carolina. It was an unforgettable summer. I had the privilege of working with hundreds of children and watching them develop a strong sense of self-identity, build their self-esteem, learn through first-hand experiences, and make new friends. But most of all, it was a safe place for the children while they had fun. However, after my own experience and training for children’s safety and awareness through the radKIDS program, the word “camp” many times gives a sense of false security to parents and especially to children.
As a working mom with three active boys aging from 7 to 12 years old and a traveling husband, I just realized summer camp registration is in full swing. I don’t know about you, but spring just started and I am already feeling as if I am behind on planning for Summer Camp! As they say, “Let the games begin”. Now the race is on for scheduling our children’s summer and I would like to offer a sense of security in your decision of where they go and for how long vs. a sense of urgency that has helped me when selecting the right camp for my children.
Making the Best Decision
Camps have been growing at an alarming rate over the past ten years. As of 2012, the American Camp Association (ACA) shows that camps have become a $15 billion dollar industry, which employ more than 1,500,000 staff to work in various camp positions, and an increase in international staff of 20% from other countries to help expose campers to different cultures. With over 11 million children and adult campers and growing, I want to provide you, as parents, additional knowledge to help with your search and decision.
First of all, here are some interesting facts about camps provided by the ACA:
• Any organization can legally call themselves a camp, but rules vary from state-to-state;
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