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Connecticut Better Business Bureau Urges Parents to Visit Summer Camps Before Selecting One

Brochures alone may not give an accurate picture of facilities.

Wallingford, CT, May 13, 2009 --( Connecticut Better Business Bureau is urging parents who are sending their kids to camp for the summer to do their homework before signing a contract.

Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti, says more than the cost, advertising claims, safety and medical issues are of critical importance.

“Brochures are designed to sell a summer camp and its facilities, but they may not tell the whole story. Parents must be proactive to ensure their children are in a safe environment with well-trained staff, and that youngsters will have access to prompt and professional medical care in case of an emergency.

“Families are being more selective with how they spend their money on discretionary expenses, but economics alone should not dictate selection of a facility where their kids will be spending their summer days.”

Select a camp that matches you child’s age, interests and personality. Some facilities offer structured programs, while others are more flexible and allow campers to select some of their daily activities.

Connecticut BBB offers the following tips before putting down a deposit for a summer camp:

* Find out how long the camp has been in business and consumers’ experience with the facility at

* Always visit the camp to assess its living, dining, recreational facilities, and what kind of safety programs are in place, particularly for water activities, out-of-camp trips and other activities with a potential for personal injury, such as archery.

* Ask about the camp director’s background, how the staff is trained and the ratio of campers to staff members.

Other questions to ask include:

* What are the total fees, deadlines, deposit refund policy and extra charges for any camp activities?

* What is the camper and counselor return rate?

* Is there a doctor or nurse on site, and what are the procedures for transporting sick or injured children to nearby hospitals or clinics?

* What are the rules for communications with campers and how is homesickness handled?

* Are references available from parents of repeat campers?

Finally, look for summer camps that are certified by the American Camp Association. ACA-accredited camps must meet 300 nationally-recognized standards.

Contact Information
Better Business Bureau CT
Howard Schwartz
203-279-2700 ext. 103
94 South Turnpike Rd
Wallingford, CT 06492

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