There might be more to Camper Insurance

As camps are getting prepared to provide the best possible camp experience this season, It might make sense to also plan for the worst.

Most are already familar with Camper Insurance but I think few have looked at it as a way to help increase total enrollments, reduce refunds and increase overall revenue.

Check out this article and let us know what you think?

Sending Kids to Summer Camp? You may need insurance

You’ve selected the perfect summer camp for your child and thought of everything they need to enjoy their weeks of enrichment and activity. But what if something unforeseen happens? While no mom wants to dwell on the “what ifs” (like a natural disaster, pandemics…remember H1N1 closing camps last summer?… or even a broken leg), these unfortunate situations are often unavoidable. Everyone knows summer camp is a pricey investment and now it’s one that parents can insure.

“Summer camp insurance provides a safety net should plans change, something unforeseen happens or goes awry,” says Mark Ceslowitz, president of TravMark, a specialty insurance company based in Hoboken and a provider of summer camp insurance.

When researching insurance, parents should look for policies that specifically mention “summer camp.” Traditional travel insurance policies exclude coverage for amateur sports and psychological conditions, which means a sports injury or homesickness won’t be covered. Additionally, many of the exclusions and purchase deadlines in usual travel insurance policies are not appropriate
for young people or summer camp. Ceslowitz says it’s important to read the fine print and look for policies that are clearly de-signed with kids in mind. TravMark’s comprehensive plan provides coverage for amateur sports and psychological conditions and is specifically geared toward campers. The average cost of a summer camp insurance policy falls between four and six percent of the total program price.

TravMark developed the A+ Protection Plan, which includes coverage for program cancellation, program interruption, medical expenses, emergency evacuation and baggage/personal effects. Cancel For Any Reason coverage is also available. TravMark’s plans will cover day camps, sports camps and overnight camps.

“Families now purchase travel insurance for hotel rooms, airline tickets and cruises. Purchasing insurance for camp tuition is no different,” says Ceslowitz. “Purchasing an insurance policy may save families hundreds or more dollars in the event plans change or their child’s camp session is interrupted.”

For more information on summer camp insurance,
contact TravMark at 800-358-0779 ext. 221
www.travmark.com

Article from

South Jersey Mom

Communication Creates Partnerships between Families and Camp Directors

Communication is crucial to choosing the right camp experience. Whether families have already chosen a camp for the summer or are still working on their decision, it’s important to work together with camp directors to create a partnership—early and ongoing conversations establish open lines of communication and trust. The American Camp Association® (ACA) recommends that famiies consider the following when speaking with camp directors:

 What is the camp’s philosophy and program emphasis?

·         Each camp has its own method of constructing programs based on its philosophy.

·         Does it complement your own parenting philosophy?

·         Knowing your child’s personality and style of learning is valuable in selecting the right camp.

 What is the camp director’s background?

·         ACA minimum standards recommend directors possess a bachelor’s degree, have completed in-service training within the past three years, and have at least 16 weeks of camp administrative experience before assuming the responsibilities of director.

 What training do counselors receive? How old are the counselors? What is the percentage of returning staff? What are the desired qualities in camp staff?

·         At a minimum, camp staff should be trained in safety regulations, emergency procedures and communication, behavior management techniques, child abuse prevention, appropriate staff and camper behavior, and specific procedures for supervision.

·         ACA standards recommend that 80 percent or more of the counselor/program staff be at least 18 years old. Staff must be at least 16, and at least two years older than the campers with whom they work.

·         Look for qualities such as trustworthiness and dependability. Other great traits include adaptability, empathy, a strong self-image, and outgoing personality.

·         Most camps have a return rate of 40 to 60 percent. If it is lower, find out why.

 What is the counselor-to-camper ratio?

·         ACA standards require different ratios for varying ages and special needs.

·         Generally, the ratios at resident camps range from one staff for every six campers ages 7 and 8; one staff for every eight campers ages 9 to 14; and one staff for every 10 campers ages 15 to 18.

·         At day camps the ratios range from one staff for every eight campers ages 6 to 8; one staff for every 10 campers ages 9 to 14; and one staff for every 12 campers ages 15 to 18.

 How are behavioral and disciplinary problems handled?

·         Positive reinforcement, assertive role-modeling and a sense of fair play are generally regarded as key components of camp counseling and leadership.

·         Rules are necessary in any organization, and the disciplinary approach taken should be reasonable and well communicated.

·         If penalties are involved for violations, they should be applied quickly, fairly, calmly, and without undue criticism to campers.

 How does the camp handle special needs?

·         If your child has special requirements, ask the camp director about needed provisions and facilities.

·         Is there a nurse on staff?

·         A designated place to store insulin or allergy medicine?

·         Are special foods available for campers with restricted diets?

 How does the camp handle homesickness and other adjustment issues?

·         Be sure you are comfortable with the camp’s guidelines on parent/child contact.

 Ask for references.

·         Directors should be happy to provide references.

 Is the camp accredited by the American Camp Association? Why? Why not?

·         ACA-accredited camps meet up to 300 standards regarding essential health, safety, and program quality issues important to a camp’s overall operation.

·         This does not guarantee a risk-free environment, but it’s some of the best evidence parents have of a camp’s commitment to a safe and nurturing environment for their children.

 For more tips and information, families can visit www.CampParents.org, ACA’s family resource site. Families can search ACA’s Find A Camp database, which allows families to look for a camp based on region, activity, cultural focus, budget, session length, and much more! In addition, families can follow ACA on Facebook and Twitter for helpful hints and camp information.

 

About ACA
The American Camp Association® (ACA) works to preserve, promote, and enhance the camp experience for children and adults. ACA-Accredited® camp programs ensure that children are provided with a diversity of educational and developmentally challenging learning opportunities. There are over 2,400 ACA-accredited camps that meet up to 300 health and safety standards. For more information, visit www.CampParents.org.

This is why we love camp!

We received this short note in response to this weeks post from Paige at Eagles Nest Camp in NC.

Its stories like this is why we love camp!

Dear Lets Talk Camp,

Absolutely! I often talk to parents whose children attended camp as children and their stories (and words of gratitude) are always filled with examples of the ways in which camp positively influenced their child’s life. Just yesterday I heard a story from a mother who’s grown daughter is now working as a nurse in LA after two years of working as an HIV / AIDS educator through the Peace Corps. She was very proud of her daughter’s accomplishments and was very clear in saying that she really attributes camp for putting her daughter on this path.

Paige Lester-Nile,  Eagle’s Nest Camp Director 

Beyond Tents and Campfires – Camp Teaches Life Skills

When looking at the big picture, families want their children to become happy, balanced, successful, contributing adults. How can families provide the lessons needed for future success? By providing children with the opportunity to learn these life skills now – in an environment created just for them. That’s where camp comes in.

 Beyond the campfire and tents, a positive camp experience teaches a child critical life skills – important building blocks for the future. Through camp, children learn how to be independent, self-sufficient, and self-assured. They learn a sense of community – learning how to live with others, overcome adversity, and how to respect and appreciate those that are different from themselves.

Camp provides children an opportunity to learn in an experiential classroom – a powerful learning environment that is a critical part of educating the whole child. In fact, camp is comprised almost entirely of “teachable moments” — moments when children are actively engaged and using creativity and cognitive skills. Because of the “hands on” nature of camp, often those children who may struggle in traditional educational settings excel.

At camp, children gain an appreciation of the environment and a better understanding of the world around them. They grow by learning to take healthy risks, developing authentic relationships with peers and mentors, and learning that “I can” is much more powerful than “I can’t”.

 The American Camp Association® (ACA) family resource site, www.CampParents.org, offers families information and guidance as they search for the perfect camp experience. ACA’s Find A Camp search allows families to look for a camp based on region, activity, cultural focus, budget, session length, and much more! In addition, families can follow ACA on Facebook and Twitter for helpful hints and camp information.

 About ACA
The American Camp Association® (ACA) works to preserve, promote, and enhance the camp experience for children and adults. ACA-Accredited® camp programs ensure that children are provided with a diversity of educational and developmentally challenging learning opportunities. There are over 2,400 ACA-accredited camps that meet up to 300 health and safety standards. For more information, visit www.ACAcamps.org
.

How to Green Your Summer Camp, Part 1

Well, this is the week my kids have been waiting for—in the words of the great Alice Cooper “School’s out for Summer!” But after two or three weeks of lolling about the house, catching fireflies in the backyard at dusk, and a few easy going play-dates, my kids (and my sanity) will need a little more structure in their days. That’s why I, like so many other parents, send my kids to summer camp.

If you’re opting for a mostly indoor experience—art, music, or creative writing camp, for example?here are some pointers from from the famed Church Street School for Music and Art, located in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, on how to check if it’s really green.

In this exclusive interview, I spoke with Church Street School’s founder and executive director, the brainy but friendly Dr. Lisa Ecklund-Flores. Here’s what she had to say about making sure your kid’s camp me the eco-friendly sniff test:

Well, we’ve always been green and organic from an environmental standpoint. Here the kids make their own working musical instruments from found objects and such. But as a developmental psychologist, I also know the importance of reducing kids exposure to toxins. Pesticides and even some cleaning solutions are actually neuro-toxins that can interfere with a child’s development. We see the school as being a safe place that allows freedom of experience for the body and spirit, so here’s what we’re doing. You might want to consider it as a safe-haven checklist for your child’s summer experience too:

If the school or camp provides the snacks, check them out. Do they contain artificial colors or flavors? Some have been linked to behavioral issues with kids. Organic whole foods are best.

Ask if they use pesticides indoors or outside. Are they the most benign possible? What is the procedure in terms of time allotted between application and when students come into the area?

Are renovations done with thought to the environment and indoor air quality? We use only low-VOC paint

Note that wood floors are far better than carpets in terms of allergens.

Is there a “shoe-free” policy in areas where younger kids are crawling around? Lots of toxins get tracked in on shoes, even if they look clean.

Are the cleaning products nontoxic? There are so many efficient and safe options now, there’s no excuse for anything less.