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7 questions to ask a summer camp

Not all summer camps are created equal. Here's how to avoid a summer horror story.

By Carol Lloyd

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Summer camp: Training


2. How is the staff trained in terms of safety? In person or by phone? How many hours? Are there safety and first-aid tests counselors need to pass? How many of the counselors are certified by the Red Cross in first aid and CPR?

is the executive editor of GreatSchools and mother to two raucous daughters, ages 9 and 13.

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Comments from readers

"I worked at a summer camp for several summers during college...during our training we were told good summer camp examples and good summer camp nonexamples. When push comes to shove, I think the biggest factor in a decision should be whether or not the camp has association with a national (or State) organization. I worked at a Girl Scout Camp, therefore we were held to national and state safety, training and employment Girl Scout Standards (which are ridiculously high)...just look for a camp that has accredidation and has association with some sort of known organization."
"In reference to #3, a camp cannot discuss the firing of a staff member, even without the mention of names and other specifics. Don't ask that question. Instead, I would ask a question about the standards to which the staff members are held and what happens if they fail to meet those standards. This will let you know if staff members are dismissed for infractions or simply given a slap on the wrist. "