We always advise parents to conduct as much due diligence as possible before making a final decision on where to send their kids to camp.
"Due diligence" takes on many forms, including asking friends, co-workers, past and current camp families, and other people you know for their opinions, referrals, references and recommendations about summer camps they might be familiar with and/or the program(s) you might be considering for your child this summer.
One of the best forms of due diligence, though -- and probably the BEST way to get a really good feel for a particular camp you might be considering -- is by attending an open house hosted by the camp. In fact, it's the next best thing to experiencing an actual day of camp. At an open house, you'll be able to meet camp staff, tour the facility and your child might even get to participate in camp activities!
Bringing your child along to the open house is really important because it will help them become familiar with the environment before their first day of camp this summer. Getting a chance to visit the camp, meet camp counselors, and get a "sneak peak" into how and where they'll be spending their camp days will go a long way to alleviating any fears of the unknown your child might have. Just imagine the sense of security they'll feel having visited camp before, compared to seeing everything for the very first time on their first day if they didn't come to the open house. A pre-camp visit sets up a successful summer experience!
Camps plan their open houses long in advance of the actual event dates. Most Los Angeles summer camps already have their Open Houses scheduled, generally during the months of March, April and May.
It's important to do some advance planning to identify which open houses you want to visit, because many camps have overlapping open house with events taking place on the same day. Many open houses also correspond with camps' Early Bird tuition discounts, so pay attention to that, too. And lastly, some camps require R.S.V.P.'s to their open houses, so make sure to research this as well!
In the end, you need to feel completely comfortable you're choosing the best program for your child in order to ensure a successful camp experience for your child. Now that the Summer Camp Open House season is upon us, have a look at this summer camp open house blog post we created a few months
back. It lists dates and times of various L.A. summer camp Open Houses to help you plan your calendar to attend these important pre-camp events.
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Blog posts by Cora Carter of L.A. Summer Camps.com