Make your campers happy

Parents can quiz camp directors Jan. 21-22

Your basketball star wonders if the counselors will keep score, your picky eater worries that the food will be gross and you’re concerned about the safety and supervision of your child.

When it comes to summer camp, there’s no easy answer as to what’s right for your kid. But area families will have the opportunity to see beyond the brochure Jan. 21-22 at the Camp and Summer Adventure Fair, a free event organized by the American Camp Association, Illinois and Chicago Parent magazine.

Directors from more than 80 adventure, day, specialty, academic and special needs camps from the Midwest and across the country will be on hand to answer all the questions you and your child might have—from camp philosophy and programs to whether the kids sleep in bunk beds or sleeping bags. The camp association even provides a list of suggested questions.

"It is such an important decision when you’re sending your child ... away," says Gordie Kaplan, executive director of the American Camp Association, Illinois. "To meet with someone face to face, get them talking about what they do and how, can help with the decision."

And finding a camp that’s a good fit for your child is important, Kaplan says, because camp can teach kids things they won’t learn at home. "Camp is important because the kind of youth development skills and challenges that a young person can deal with at camp are not the kind that can be duplicated at home or with family."

The Camp and Summer Adventure Fair runs 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan 21 at Seven Bridges, 6440 Double Eagle Dr., Woodridge and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Marriott Lincolnshire, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire. Call Kaplan, (312) 332-0833, or visit for more information.

Teresa Dankowski

Kids Eat Chicago

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