Updated April 28, 2018

In a perfect world there would be a guidebook telling you exactly how to raise a happy and healthy kid. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world, and if you find such a guidebook, please send it our way.

In the real world, we have to tackle our parenting challenges one-by-one. Today’s challenge: finding the right summer camp. Choosing the right camp doesn’t seem like it should be a stressful process, and yet, here we are, sweating over where our kids will be swimming/playing/eating/making memories/creating lifelong friendships for a couple blissful summer months.  And don’t be fooled, camp isn’t just about having fun (though it is maybe the most fun place you will ever spend your time). As Psychology Today reports, according to family therapist Michael Ungar Ph.D., “summer camps are places where children get the experiences they need to bolster their range of coping strategies.” And since camp can have such a positive impact on your child, choosing the right one is a big deal.

Before you freak out too much, and before you waste tons of time researching camps that are far from the right fit for your family, there are some tips to consider.

Read Related: How To Find The Best Summer Camp