Sending the kids to summer camp is a break for them -- and you. But in order to make their time pleasurable and yours worry free, experts say you should keep camp safety in mind.
Jim Le Monn of the American Camping Association recommends that you consider the following safety check list. It applies most directly to resident camps, but is useful in evaluating other camps. * What type of housing is available? * Where are the baths and how many are there? * Is there electricity? * What are the medical arrangements? Nurse or doctor available? Is transportation set aside solely for traveling to the hospital? Where and how are medicines kept? * Has the camp director identified all safety hazards, and how does the staff warn campers about them? * What is the camp's safety record? * Do campers wear life vests while boating, helmets while horseback riding? * Are there fire drills? * How many staffers return each year? If at least 50 percent return, it's a good sign. *. What kinds of motorized transportation will kids be involved in during the stay and who'll do the driving? * How often is contact made with home base while away on camping trips?
Le Monn believes that the most important steps in choosing a camp are meeting with the camp director and, if possible, looking over the camp in operation before sending your child. The kids should be included in the meeting, also. Le Monn suggests getting a couple of names and numbers of past staffers and campers to get some insight into the camp's workings.
To get the ACA's $5.95 book, "1983 Parent's Guide to Accredited Camps," write to: American Camping Association, Box 100, Bradford Woods, Martinsville, Indiana 46151.