As summer nears, the Gingerbread House Children’s Advocacy Center is offering tips for parents on choosing summer camps for their children. As a parent, life can be stressful, especially when it comes to finding ways to keep your children occupied throughout the summer months when they are not in school. That’s why the Gingerbread House Children’s Advocacy Center wants to help.

Gingerbread House Children’s Advocacy Center believes health and the safety of children should be a priority, that’s why they have the seven topics of questions below to ask a camp to help determine if a summer camp is safe for your child.

  1. Confirm if the program is accredited, licensed, or certified by a government or private agency.
  2. Find out how the staff is supervised.
  3. Find out how children are supervised.
  4. Ask for any published rules of the camp, whether it be about participants or staff being alone with children.
  5. Ask if there are background checks conducted on all staff and volunteers for criminal and sexual offense history.
  6. Ask about sleeping arrangements.
  7. Find out what the ratio of counselors to campers is.

Bonus: In addition to the questions above, making sure your child can recite their home address, phone number, and emergency contacts is also beneficial if you choose to send them to a summer camp.

Some other tips the Gingerbread House Children’s Advocacy Center has for summer include setting rules and boundaries for when your children stay at other people’s houses. This helps you know where they are at. In the same manner, asking them who they spent their day with and what they did before they go to bed is a great way to gain insight to see if they are being safe and communicating with you about their activities. The Gingerbread House Children’s Advocacy Center says some other ways to make sure you know where your child is at all times throughout the summer is to have the parent’s contact information for who they are or do spend time with. Also setting a “check-in” schedule, or setting a curfew time helps parents stay updated on what the plan is.

The Gingerbread House Children’s Advocacy Center has many other resources available for parents who might be new or are looking for a refresher on ways to help the summer go smoothly. You can find links to resources on various topics below.

Gingerbread House Children’s Advocacy Center is a community-based, non-profit organization, that has been serving abused children since 1998. They also offer training for the community at no cost. You can find more resources about parenting, prevention education and prevention by visiting the Gingerbread House Children’s Advocacy Center’s website.