So you’re thinking about sending your young performer or actor off to camp? Very cool!
It’s a big decision though, isn’t it? Are you a little nervous about sending them away for a few weeks? Is it their first time? We completely understand that this can be an anxiety provoking experience – sending the kids off to their first overnight stay at camp.
Yet, by knowing what to look for in a good performing arts camp, you’ll sleep easy when your little actor is away on their first big adventure.
That’s why we’ve created this list of things to look for in each summer camp that you’re researching:
1. What are the camp facilities like? What kind of sleeping arrangements are offered? Are the dorms coed? What are the bathroom facilities like?
2. Who is the camp director and how much experience do they have in this roll? Do previous campers have good things to say about them?
3. What kind of security system is in place? Is there a full-time or part-time chaperone? Do they sleep in with the kids? How many chaperones per actor?
4. What kind of transportation is used: carpools, shuttles, buses with or without seatbelts? How old will the drivers be?
5. What kind of food is served, and who prepares it? How many meals and snacks are provided each day? Is there vegetarian food available, and other special arrangements for campers with specific dietary restrictions? Is fast-food the norm?
6. What is the daily routine? Is there a naptime for kids under a certain age? How many hours per day are kids on the move? How much downtime is offered? Is there a telephone and computer where kids can get in touch with me?
7. What is the camp’s philosophy and purpose – fun, education, entertainment or career prep? What do the actors leave camp with? (A reel, resume, specific experiences?)
8. What kinds of kids have previously attended this performing arts camp? Is there any way to speak to them – and their parents – to find out whether they liked camp or not? (Try looking into online forums for opinions too.)
9. Where do the young actors practice performing: stage, green screen, film, video or publicly? Is there a performance at the end of camp that parents, friends and relatives can attend? Is the camp competitive or are all young actors offered equal treatment and participation?
10. What kind of medical facilities and medical staff are available on camp; and how far is the nearest hospital? Are performing arts camp chaperones trained in First Aid and CPR?
Don’t feel badly about asking each camp a lot of questions. A legitimate and well-run acting camp understands that your child’s safety and wellbeing is paramount.
Hopefully once you’ve had all of these questions sufficiently answered, you’ll feel very comfortable letting your budding young star run off toward his or her dreams (at least for a few weeks that is!).
Quality performing arts camps are not only great fun; they’re a valuable acting experience that any young performer will benefit from.
Kids will walk away from a great acting camp with more confidence, valuable performance training, broader career knowledge, new friends and a huge smile. They’ll thank you for the time of their life!