Sending your child off to summer camp brings with it a range of feelings: worry, excitement, hope, sadness—and more worry. You worry about your child finding friends, enjoying herself, staying out of trouble, and staying safe. You can’t control everything about your child’s summer camp experience. But you can make sure your child’s camp is doing everything it can to keep campers safe and healthy.
State Summer Camp Regulations and Licensing
You might be surprised to know that not every state requires summer camps to be licensed. Luckily, Maryland does require licensing for its camps along with criminal background checks for camp employees. Read about Maryland’s summer camp regulations here.
It’s also worth noting that any place can call itself a camp. It’s worth it to seek out camps that are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). The ACA sets 300 health and safety standards that must be met before a camp receives accreditation. You can visit find.acacamps.org to search for an accredited camp.
Though regulations are important, your inquiry shouldn’t stop there. Here are some questions you should ask camp directors before you register your child.
Medical and Safety Questions
- Is there a nurse or other medical professional on site?
- Where can your child go if he doesn’t feel well?
- What kind of first-aid equipment does the camp have on hand?
- Are all of the staff members CPR-trained?
- Is there a lifeguard on duty during swimming?
- Are all campers required to have up-to-date immunizations?
- What is the procedure in place in case a camper suffers a life-threatening emergency?
- How does the camp deal with bouts of homesickness?
- If your child needs an inhaler or auto-injector, ask if the staff knows how to use them.
- What is the staff-to-camper ratio?
- What are the camp’s staff screening procedures?
- Are all of the counselors age 18 and over?
- What kind of transportation is used and how often are the vehicles inspected?
- Is water available to the campers at all times, no matter where they are?
- What are the camp’s discipline procedures?
- Can the camp provide references from other parents whose children have attended?
How to Prepare Your Child for Summer Camp
The same safety and behavior rules you’ve taught your child for everyday wellbeing should be reinforced before you send your child off to camp. Go over the basics of dealing with bullying, peer pressure, and general self-care.
Encourage your child to embrace change and try new things—that’s what camp is for!
Check out these tips for getting your child ready for sleepaway camp.
Summer Camp Physicals in Silver Spring
A licensed and accredited camp will require your child to have a full physical before they are admitted to camp. Get a summer camp physical in the Silver Spring area with no appointment—come to Fast Track! Our walk-in clinics offer summer camp physicals at both of our convenient locations. Call 800-417-1164 to learn more.