2015 Resolution: Use Premier Campcierge™ To Book Camp Now - Six Top Tips for Summer Camp Planning This Winter from the Maine Camp Experience Campcierge™

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Now is a peak time for parents to research and enroll kids in summer camp. To help, here are six tips for choosing the right camp from the first Campcierge™.

Photo credit: Maine Camp Experience

Parents should determine key criteria to help them focus their summer camp search, including: session length, coed or single gender, cost, camper composition, desired rusticity, key activities, location, and trip opportunities.

Parents look ahead to plan their 2015 family trips and kids’ summer camp as the New Year begins. To help with the could-be daunting camp selection process, Maine Camp Experience, a community of and resource for more than 30 premier summer camps, provides the first Campcierge™ to assist families. The Campcierge™, who gives personalized guidance, offers these six tips to help families choose the right camp.

1)    Start Now. Choosing the right overnight camp is important, so parents should give themselves time to research and decide. Planning sooner also provides families with the best availability in age groups and preferred session dates. Some families even start planning a year in advance so they can tour camps or have their child participate in a rookie/trial session; then s/he attends the following summer well-familiar with the camp.
2)    What’s Best? While it can be tempting to just choose a camp that a friend, neighbor or relative attends, the Campcierge™ highly recommends that parents focus on what their child needs in terms of camp activities, offerings, staff attention and environment. While it can seem strange at the start to “go alone” – kids thrive at the camp that is right for them and they quickly make new friends, which is what camp is all about.
3)    Involve the Child. While the camp decision is one ultimately parents will make, involving the child can help get him/her excited and alleviate some of the anxious feelings they may have before they go. Opportunities include asking what kind of activities s/he would like, reviewing camp materials together, and having the child meet the camp director.
4)    Make Camp a Priority. If possible, plan family vacations around camp schedules, not the reverse. Ideally, parents want to choose the camp that is right for their child long term, not one that just fits that summer’s calendar.
5)    Determine Key Criteria. To get started, parents should determine some key criteria to help them focus their search. Considerations should include: session length, coed or single gender, cost, camper composition, desired rusticity, key activities, location, and trip opportunities. If water sports are important, families should be sure to focus on camps that offer large lakes with daily access to waterfront options. When choosing, parents should try to think beyond just the first camp summer to ensure the camp they select will work for years to come.
6)    Next Steps. Parents should create a “short list” of potential camps, and then speak or meet with a few different directors (usually between two-four is ideal) to hear about the camps and see which would be the best fit. Families can work with a credible, objective and free resource, such as the Campcierge™ to discuss their criteria, develop the list, connect with directors, and choose their camp. They can also get feedback from current camp families.

The Campcierge works one-one-on with families via phone, email, and live chat. Throughout the process, she is there to provide free guidance, make recommendations, and answer questions about camps and travel to Maine. The Campcierge™ spends a lot of time at the Maine Camp Experience camps each summer, and meets and speaks with the directors frequently throughout the year. In addition to the logistics of sleepaway camp research and selection, the Campcierge™ guides families through the emotional aspects, including, “Is my kid ready? Am I ready? Is it okay to choose a different camp than other family members’ kids attend?”

Maine Camp Experience camps are dedicated to providing children with the highest quality summer camp experiences in the country. Each summer approximately 20,000 kids and their families enjoy what these Maine camps offer – the perfect combination of natural beauty, magnificent lakes, strong traditions and values, and top-notch instruction and activities. http://www.mainecampexperience.com is the resource for all things summer camp and Maine, which features videos, self-posted testimonials by camp families, camp planning tips, and much more.

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Contact: Laurie Kaiden, Maine Camp Experience,
laurie(at)mainecampexperience(dot)com; 917-593-2982

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Laurie Kaiden
Maine Camp Experience
since: 03/2012
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