Key Steps to Choosing a Camp

kids at summer camp

Considering summer camp for your child but not sure where to start? Here’s a great guide from our friends at OurKids.Net

By:, Canada’s trusted source for camps and schools

Whether your child is four or 14, loves sports or arts, yearns for days filled with French or dance or outer space, or thrives on activity and variety, there is a summer camp to match his or her interests. From day to residential,specialty to general, summer camps engage children in a community of good living and wondrous learning.

Explore the choices and discover just how amazing your child’s summer can be when seasoned with camp. Be sure tocheck out the many options you have, including horse camps , hockey schools , science camps – and many others! Do your research and invest some time in making a decision.

What you need to know at the start

  • Good decisions are best made without time restrictions. Research your options ahead of time and discuss them with friends and family.
  • Get started early! By late winter, camps are already filling up for summer and March break.
  • Assess your needs and interests and write down what you are looking for.
  • Talk to other parents about where their children go, but don’t just rely on the experiences of others, do your own research.
  • Visit camp websites, speak with the camp directors and obtain information packages.
  • Attend camp visitor days or ask to tour the facility.

Start to finish: Involve your child

1. Review camp materials, brochures, websites and videos with your child.

2. Get your child to list what is important to them and what they are looking for in a camp.

3. Ask open ended but direct questions and listen to what they have to say (are their hearts set on astronomy or hockey?).

4. Take them on a tour or to an information session and allow them to ask questions.

5. Include your child in the final decision.

Day or Residential Camp ?

Choosing overnight camp can be a milestone decision for some parents. How do you know if your child is ready to be away from home? Some points to consider:

  • Is your child comfortable attending sleepovers at a relative’s or friend’s home?
  • Can your child wash and dress independently, and keep track of his or her belongings?
  • Does your child have a friend or relative attending the camp during the same session?
  • Whose idea is it to go to camp?
  • Is your child flexible about new routines, like coping with mealtime away from home or being exposed to unfamiliar food?
  • If your child is emotionally insecure or if major changes are underway at home, now may not be the best time for overnight camp.
  • If your child has difficulty sleeping through the night, it’s likely best to wait until a regular sleep pattern is well established.
  • If your child wets the bed, explain that he or she is not alone and that most camps offer help, support and discreet handling of this issue, then speak with the camp director.
  • Consider the age and maturity level of your child. The time for residential camp may be sooner than you think.

Advice from Camp Directors and Staff

What camps want parents to bear in mind:

  • Your child would likely enjoy their time at every camp. Don’t be disappointed if a camp is full, choose another one and submit your applications earlier next year.
  • Don’t stress your child out about going away for the day or week; be prepared to deal with the separation, you will likely miss them more than they will miss you.
  • Be honest and upfront about special requirements. Don’t withhold pertinent information about your child. The goal is to ensure their needs are met and they have fun.


“Our Kids Go To Camp gave my kids the chance to look through and see what activities were available to help them select a camp” — Parent Comment

Give your kids a Summer Camp experience this year. Find top camps for kids and teens at

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Written By

I founded Mums 'n Chums in 2009 after realizing that the area I live in was drastically underserviced as compared to surrounding areas for support and activities for growing families. Mums 'n Chums grew popular very quickly and I have been dedicated to nurturing that growth through frequent networking, social media engagement and in person meetups. By the end of its first year, Mums 'n Chums had close to 500 members and was receiving regular inquiries from fans outside of its service area, asking when we would be expanding to serve them as well. After much careful research and polling, I expanded the site in May of 2011 to cover the entire North end of the GTA (from Cambridge to Markham), areas I believe are still receiving far less attention than they deserve from other sites and family services. We also changed the focus from small scale local mom and tot meetups to more of an informative purpose, closing down our forum and adding several talented contributors to the blog. We do still offer several large scale family events per year, such as our popular Birthday Bash events and our Holiday Bash in December. Our contests have also become a member favourite, and we strive to offer amazing prizes from trusted brands like Babies R Us, La Roche Posay, Johnson's Baby and many more. In March of 2016, after months of work spent migrating all of the site's content to a new platform, Mums 'n Chums re-launched with its fresh, new look. The changes and expansion have proven a great success and we're still getting inquiries from several other cities within the Greater Toronto Area, whom we have decided to serve as well. I have built this site and its' reputation carefully and look forward to continuing its growth!

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