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Consider a child's needs when searching for summer camps: BBB

Experts encourage parents to find a "trustworthy" camp for their kids and to consider visiting the site before enrolment.
Kids summer camp - Getty Images
Child exploring the outdoors while at summer camp.

With the summer break fast approaching, many parents are looking for fun and safe child care activities.

Given pandemic restrictions easing, more options are available for parents to choose from when considering each child’s individual needs.

If you’re looking for the right summer camp for your child, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has got you covered with a list of tips to keep in mind as you make your final choice:

  • Find a trustworthy camp

    • Always check a camp's business profile on for BBB accreditation, rating, length in business, complaints and customer reviews before you make a decision. BBB Accreditation requires the business to meet the BBB's Eight Standards for Trust.

  • Consider your needs

    • Your child’s interests and personality should act as a guide in choosing the best program. If your child is old enough, ask what activities he or she would enjoy. Some camps may focus on a particular sport or topic, while others, such as summer activity camps, are more flexible and allow campers to choose some of their activities. Consider if you need full-time or part-time childcare, and your overall budget. A summer camp that is for a full month, may be less expensive than 4 or 5 weekly camps centred around a specific focus.

  • Check references

    • Ask if camp operators have a list of references or past attendees you can contact. You may also consider asking trusted friends or family for their recommendations for summer camps. 

  • Do a site visit

    • Take some time to visit camps in order to inspect facilities, ask about the staff’s training and experience and find out how the camp handles medical emergencies. If your child is staying overnight, be sure to inspect cabins, showers and other accommodations and amenities that your child will be using.

  • Know required safety standards

    • ​​​​​​​Look to your local Provincial Camping Association and Provincial Health Authority for the most up-to-date information around safety. When enrolling in a camp, find out what the camp’s posted policies around health and safety guidelines are and when you do your site visit, review if they are being followed. Protocols may include measures such as monitoring the health of staff and campers, limiting visitor access, policies around food and sanitization.

  • When considering overnight camps, review resources provided by camping associations

  • Review contracts and fees

    • ​​​​​​​As always, you should review contracts before you sign them. Find out the total cost and if a deposit is required. See what activities or services require additional fees. You should also check for details regarding refunds. If that information is not outlined in the contract, ask the business for details.

You can visit the BBB's website to find a trustworthy summer camp near you.