Lastly, do your research. We know, we know, it’s not like you’re sending your kid off to college, but a couple of months at camp can actually be just as impactful on their development as an entire year at school. After all, Charles Eliot, the 21st president of Harvard University once said, “I have a conviction that a few weeks spent in a well organized camp may be of more value educationally than a whole year of formal school work.” Don’t take the decision lightly and don’t rush into anything. Visit camps, ask around, call the camp directors and talk to kids who have gone there. Find out the ratio of staff members to campers, ask about how they resolve conflicts, read up on the camp philosophy, and learn about safety measures and camp policies.

If you don’t know where to begin, remember there are always resources to help you, whether you are looking locally at day camps or you ready to fly your kid across the country for a sleep-away adventure. Websites and camp match-making services such as Summer 365 can help you dig through the thousands of summer programs out there, and online camp guides like this can help you sift through your options.