Choosing a sports camp is entirely dependent on the sport and playing level of your child, as well as what both you and your child want from the experience.
1. Help your child choose the type of sports camp he or she would like to attend. Some camps provide an all-around experience or activities other than a single sport (such as swimming or games).
2. Rely on word of mouth. Speak not only to parents but to the children themselves. They can give you the most honest opinion of the camp.
3. Check the return rate of campers. In the range of 75 to 80 percent is a good sign.
4. Try to see the camp, if possible. While there, ask to see a written plan or outline of the daily activities.
5. Inquire about how issues are handled. If the camp is co-ed, do boys and girls play together? If there are problems between boys and girls – socially or athletically – how are they addressed?
6. Speak to your child’s current coach. He or she probably knows best about your child’s skill levels and may be able to steer you to an appropriate camp.
Make safety your first priority. Ask about sports safety rules, equipment, first aid and provisions for sufficient water and rest (especially in hot summer weather).
Check with organizations such as the American Camping Association (ACA), which accredits camps.
Check out soccer publications, or the Internet, for their camp listings.
Do not be swayed by glossy brochures. If a camp advertises celebrity athletes, owners or coaches, ask whether these people will be at the camp full time or whether they will merely make occasional appearances.