Choosing the right summer camp for your child

Published: Mar. 22, 2013 at 10:41 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 21, 2013 at 12:32 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Summer will be here before you know it, so it's time to think about what your kids will do to pass the time.

"First thing to remember is they (your children) are safer at camp than if they stay at home," says John Dockendorf the Executive Director of Camp Pinnacle and Adventure Treks.

Chris Goodrum the Hemby Program Director for YMCA says "programs that are fun but they also hit on the summer education gap where kids tend to regress during the summer."

Summer camps are already filling up and camp directors say if you're planning to send your kids to camp, now's the time to get moving!

With thousands of summer camps available across the state, it might be hard to decide which one is right for your child.

"The first thing is look at your child," said Dockendorf.

"What do you want to accomplish this summer, do you want to build independence, do you want to get your kids outdoors or do you want to build specific skills?"

"Two, you want to make sure to check out the counselors," said Goodrum.

"Check the age requirements for the counselors, the training requirement for the counselors, the certification for the counselors. Everything that goes into training and building this young group of staff that is going to be leading our most prized possession."

From sports camps to arts camps to drama camps there's something for every child.

Did you know you some camps offer financial assistance?

"That's amazing for someone who doesn't come from an affluent family to say you know what I'm exactly like you and I get to develop and have fun and engage and empower exactly like you," said Goodrum.

If you're trying to pick a camp for your child, narrow down your top choices and then, ask lots of questions.

You'll need to know where it's located, what the setting is, and who else will be there, among other things.

You should also make sure your child is ready to go—especially if the camp is an overnight one.

And tour the facility if possible.

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