News & Feature Updates
Listings for music camps have now been categorized according to: genre, instrument, ensemble, and other areas of interest (music theory, sight reading, improvisation, technique, live sound, recording).
Whether you’re interested in performing classical music, jamming in a rock band, playing in a jazz ensemble, participating in musical theater, or if you just really like to play an instrument or sing; search the Camp Channel’s directory of music camps by area of focus and location by browsing or using a filter to more effectively find and discover music programs that match your particular interests.
One of the best things you can do as you choose a camp is to schedule a tour. America’s best summer camps realize the value of these personal visits and will encourage you to see the camp and meet some of the staff.
I have conducted hundreds of camp tours for campers and families over the past 30 years. There are certain things I know the kids especially want to see and understand to relieve potential anxiety. I also know that parents have important things they want to know too. If you are a first time camp family (especially overnight camp where there are a lot of new things you haven’t even thought of yet) it can be hard to get all the information you want on a tour. So here are my Top Ten questions you should ask before, during, or after the camp tour. I absolutely recommend a camp tour before sending your child to a camp. Think ahead. If you are interested in a camp that is inaccessible part of the year because of snow or other weather conditions, you may need to take a tour the summer before you plan to enroll.
- Where will I sleep, shower, and go to the bathroom? These are the number one concerns of a young camper on a camp tour. Trust me, they are excited by the climbing wall and swimming pool but make sure you see the cabins and bathrooms. I have seen anxious campers melt with big smiles once they can climb on a bunk bed, make sure the bathroom is not smelly (or too far away) and realize there is a place to shower. A great follow up question if the camp has bunk beds (most do) is “how do you decide who sleeps on which bunk?” Some kids are very anxious about a top or bottom bunk and knowing how that will be assigned is comforting information.
- Where and what will I eat? Super important for kids to understand where the food comes from. They worry about this stuff but may lack the foresight to ask the question. So, ask it for them. After all, Moms and Dads want to know this stuff too.
- How do parents and campers communicate? Ask the Camp Director this question with your campers present and listening. As a parent it is very important that you support the camp communication policy. And, it is important for your child to understand that communication will probably be limited. It is also a great way to make it real for them that they will be handling this experience by themselves without calling or messaging you every 5 minutes.
- Where do your campers come from? There is no right answer to this question but it is an important one to ask. First, it gives you a very good idea that the Camp Director or person giving the tour has a handle on who they serve. It also allows you to focus in on the camp environment you want your child to be a part of. Do you want your camper to have camp friends that he/she/they can see throughout the year? In that case a camp with a strong local presence is important. Want to increase your child’s world view and understanding of other cultures? Campers and staff from around the world can provide awesome insight into life in other countries.
- Can you show us where a camper can go if they need help? I love it when people ask this question (and if they don’t I answer it anyway.) For many campers, Summer Camp is new and a bit intimidating despite all the fun and energy. So having a visual reference of the office, health center, or wherever they can go when they need guidance is very helpful. I notice that the kids I can remember meeting on a tour are much more comfortable walking into the office with questions. They know it’s okay to walk through that door because they have already done it.
- How does the weather today compare to a typical summer day. Many campers may not understand temperature as a number of degrees but can will certainly understand “Cooler, warmer, or about the same.” It is important that you and your camper prepare for the climate at camp and this question, asked on a tour, makes it easy to understand.
- Are you accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA?) There are two reasons to ask this question. 1) ACA is the only nationally recognized accreditation body for camps. So if a camp is ACA accredited they have chosen to pursue a very high level of standards for their camp programs. 2) This is a bit sneaky but asking this question sets you apart as a person that has really done the homework. The fact that you mention ACA will get the Camp Director’s attention. They may pay just a little bit more attention to your needs on the tour because they recognize you as a savvy customer.
- Do you have any materials we can take home? Many camps no longer mail a brochure home but rely on their websites to convey the feel and philosophy of their camp. But most camp offices are filled with swag! Your campers will feel special if they have a sticker, comic book, or giveaway item that isn’t widely available. You should get something special because you came for a tour, right?
- What’s one thing my camper should bring that’s not on the packing list? Every camp I have ever visited or gotten to know has a packing list. And, they all have this kind of secret menu of items that returning campers and staff know about but first time campers couldn’t possible know. At one camp I visited it was glow sticks (for night hikes) and at another it was laundry detergent to add to your own bag of dirty clothes on Wash day because the camp never seemed to use enough. Nobody was trying to keep these things secret from new kids but nobody thought to add them to the packing list. By the way, if you were to ask me that question on a tour I would say “Ping Pong balls!” We sell thousands of boring white ping pong balls in our store for a nickel each (Comes out of the kids camp store account.) So save your camp money and stand out from the crowd with orange or colored ping pong balls. You will also save your spot at the table when you don’t have to run to the store for a new ping pong ball. (Ping Pong is very popular at our camp. We have 6 tables!)
- Finally, one for Moms and Dads: Can we see your kitchen? Food is very important and seeing where it is made and served is a nice touch. But seeing how clean the kitchen is, how well organized and fresh smelling it is, tells you the camp pays attention to details. They didn’t just clean the areas you were about to see but they make sure the camp is safe and clean at all times.
So there we have it. Ten questions to ask on your camp tour. And, please make sure you do schedule a camp tour if you possibly can. It will make you and your camper feel much more prepared for the adventure ahead.
Andrew Townsend is the Director of Kennolyn Camps, based in Santa Cruz, CA. Kennolyn offers overnight camps in Santa Cruz and on Huntington Lake as well as Day Camp and Family Camp. Kennolyn has been a Bay Area favorite since 1946. Kennolyn is accredited by the American Camp Association. www.kennolyncamps.com 831 479 6714.
It is time to plan for the summer of 2020 and update your listing on the Camp Channel.
NEW (10/2/19): .We’ve just released a new feature update to include six photos within your camp’s Basic or Full Hyperlink Listing; increasing the number of photos your camp is able to display (previously two); allowing potential campers and families to better visualize and become aware of all of the fun and unique experiences offered at your camp!
Directors are encouraged to update your listing(s) with respect to any time sensitive information that might be different for next year such as dates, rates, and other programming changes. Click on the “Directors” button in order to submit any modifications. You are welcome to update your information as often as necessary.
Click here in order to modify your listing. You are welcome to update your information as often as necessary.
For more information about why it is a good idea to create a comprehensive and organized plan to update as much information as possible about your camp or program which resides on the internet, please read the following article:
If you are a prospective camper or parent seeking a summer camp for the summer of 2020 please keep in mind that many camps have yet to provide their updated information for next summer. It is always recommended that you contact a summer camp directly for the most up to date and accurate information.
Our interface has been recently updated to improve navigation; allowing visitors to more easily review search results as well as to retrieve information contained within the full listing profiles for individual summer camps.
On mobile devices: a fixed secondary navigational menu for listing results will now appear at the top of your device; allowing you to more easily process and filter results at any moment.
Likewise, on all camp listing profile pages (for all devices), a fixed secondary navigational menu will now appear at the top of your screen; allowing you to more easily view multi-media elements and read specific information displayed for any given camp listing.
We are pleased to announce the recent implementation of SSL security to the entirety of the campchannel.com domain, as well as its other more specialized directories located at:
https://www.VerySpecialCamps.com (Special Needs)
https://www.CampRentalChannel.com (Camp Rentals)
While the Camp Channel does not gather or retain sensitive information from visitors seeking a camp (such as credit card or social security data), we believe an encrypted and secure site-wide digital interface provides an increased level of security and trust for all website activity and engagement.
Online since 1995, the Camp Channel strives to maintain its position and reputation as a leader in camp search.
We are excited to welcome in the New Year with the release of an updated version of our Job Board: featuring improved navigational components and a more uniform format that is helpful to visitors using mobile devices who are searching for a summer camp job.
Information about a wide variety of camp staff positions is now more accessible with fewer clicks and scrolling; offering a more standardized and easily readable format to more readily evaluate information at a glance.
If you are seeking employment at a summer camp, we encourage you to stop by and take a look at many fun and rewarding camp job openings for the summer of 2018.
Are you searching for a facility to host a wedding, company outing, family reunion, or other large event? Many summer camps rent their facilities before and after their primary camp sessions to groups looking to host various events and functions.
Our newly upgraded website – specifically dedicated to camp rentals – has recently received several feature enhancements to improve usability on both desktops and mobile devices.
If you are camp director and would like to list your group rental on CampRentalChannel.com, you are welcome to view our listing options and sign up by visiting:
A new tool has been recently installed to allow visitors to more effectively look at photos and other multi-media elements housed within camp listings and search results.
The lightbox photo interface is a more elegant system to display photos; helping to minimize viewer distraction by isolating the target image from other elements which may appear within the viewer’s display. ï¿½Upon clicking a smaller “thumbnail” photo, a larger full-sized version of the image is presented; overlayed & centered upon an opaque background — providing an optimal contrast to facilitate an improved focus of attention in regard to the photo content.
Viewing photos on a mobile device via lightbox is now more user friendly than our previous system – which had relied upon opening a new browser popup window to display multi-media.
We are excited to announce the release of a new feature to our Keyword Search: the ability to filter & narrow search results according to location, camp type, and gender. This new feature is especially useful when trying to wade through a long list of results on a mobile device and generally improves efficiency for all platforms – including desktop computers.
Please keep in mind: in addition to our Keyword Search, the Camp Channel offers several different methods and search tools designed to locate and discover programs which match your particular criteria and interests:
At one end of the spectrum, our Full Camp Search offers the ability to define your search criteria with great detail and precision. Alternatively, you are also able to peruse the Camp Channel’s directory structure by browsing according to location or program emphasis. Likewise, within any given U.S. State or Canadian Province page, you are able to perform an in depth state/province specific search.
Located somewhere in the “middle” of the spectrum of search tools offered on campchannel.com, our Keyword Search allows you to enter keywords and phrases of your choice – resulting in matches when corresponding listings contain such language within their descriptive text. Likewise, the Keyword Search allows you to look up the particular name of any given camp (be sure to check corresponding box). Generally speaking, the Keyword Search is a versatile and free form method which works “outside of the box” of our defined directory structure and is just one of several tools to assist in your camp search efforts.
Over the past six months, the Camp Channel has been rolling out a new Responsive web design (RWD) interface designed to improve viewing and functionality for visitors who utilize mobile devices and tablets to access the Camp Channel. In a nutshell, RWD adjusts how information is arranged and displayed on various sized screens.
We are excited to to be able to provide a more robust user experience for individuals who access the Camp Channel on devices other than desktop computers. While the initial launch of our new interface was both a significant and major overhaul to our directory of summer camps and programs, we anticipate several more subsequent releases to improve and refine appearance and functionality over the upcoming weeks and months leading up to the summer of 2016.
If you have any general or particular suggestions / thoughts you’d like to convey to us regarding our new design, please feel free to send us an email and we’ll be happy to consider your ideas for future implementation into our website design.