It’s common for parents and guardians to be nervous about sending their child off to summer tennis camp. Concerns about safety, adequate supervision, counsellor competence, and injury are natural and to be expected, especially for first-time parents. While it’s important not to let your worries get in the way of your child’s summer fun, that doesn’t mean you have to ignore them entirely. There are several simple steps that can be taken to learn about your child’s summer camp and how it plans to keep them safe.
Talk to the Director
The camp director should be the most knowledgeable person about policy and accreditation. Calling or sitting down for a conversation with them can address many concerns about anything from food policy for allergies to kid-to-counsellor ratios to injury records. Many camps also offer info sessions for parents or informational packets that contain details about the activities your child will engage in. Go into these encounters with specific questions in mind and you will be able to leave with answers and more confidence in your child’s safety during their summer camp experience.
Look Up the Accreditation
Simply being told that your child’s camp is accredited isn’t enough to assuage concerns. One method that can help is to look up what that accreditation actually entails. The Ontario Camp Association (OCA) web site, for instance, has a detailed outline of what standards a camp needs to meet to be accredited. If you compare the standards of your child’s summer camp to those of the accreditation body, you might find that the camp actually goes above and beyond the provincial standards.
Ask About Counsellor Training
The counsellors teaching and supervising your child’s junior tennis camp aren’t just volunteers or students taking a summer job. Many once attended the camp themselves and all go through a level of training that would surprise most observers. Inquire about how counsellors are screened, how long their training is, and what procedures are covered. Learn about what safety and first aid procedures counsellors are trained in or if they know how to handle children with special needs. If the counsellor has a formal tennis training certification, look up the certifying body to see what standards they have meet; you may find yourself pleasantly surprised!
Consult Another Parent or Child
Check around to see if you know a parent who has sent their child to the camp before and ask about their experience. The child can tell you about the activities first-hand and how counsellors treated them, while the parents can share insight into how responsive the staff was to their own concerns or requests. You can also go online to look up reviews written by parents of past camp participants and see how they found the experience. Never underestimate the human network.
Ultimately, there will come a point where you will have to place your trust in the summer camp staff. Trust that they have done their utmost to ensure your child has a safe, fun summer tennis experience and that while no camp full of energetic kids can be 100% safe, they will be as protected as much as reasonably possible. When you see your child off on the first day of camp, don’t fret over what injuries might befall them; instead, anticipate a smiling return as you pick them up and they’re eager to tell you about their experience.
Bayview Village Tennis Camp is the top junior tennis camp in the GTA. We welcome any opportunity to assist parents in learning about how we keep their children safe as they enjoy a summer of learning and playing tennis. Feel free to contact us about any questions you may have about our summer tennis camp.
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