Choosing the right day camp for your child

The YMCAs of Québec - April 06 2016

How do you choose the right camp for your kids? It’s not always easy, especially if it’s their first time. Obviously, as a parent, you want your children to be safe while they discover new things, and find a camp that strikes the balance between comfort and adventure. To help you make the right choice, here are some things to look for:

  • Camper/counsellor ratio: How many kids will each counsellor supervise? Camper/counsellor ratios vary from one camp to the next, but the Association des camps certifiés du Québec recommends 10 to 14 campers per counsellor depending on the age group. The ratio at YMCA camps is between 9 to 10 campers per counsellor.
  • Age and training of the counsellors: Will your kids be in the care of teenagers on their first job or experienced counsellors? How many hours and what kind of training did the counsellors receive?
  • Camp accreditation: In Québec, there are two levels of accreditation: a municipal day camp and a certified camp. Be careful, some camps are not certified.
  • Camp activities: After checking that the camp is safe and well run, make sure that it is a place where your child will learn and have fun. Some camps, like YMCA camps, offer cultural outings, swimming lessons and specialized camps in which campers play tennis or learn a second language. This is why it is important to talk to your kids when choosing a camp. Do they want to learn something new, play a particular sport or simply have fun with their friends?  

The right camp will give your kids a chance to expand their horizons, make friends as well as learn new skills and healthy habits. Before signing up, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the camp; like teachers or daycare educators, camp staff will have an important role in your child’s development.

Click here to learn more about the YMCA Camps.