Choosing the Right Camp: What Should You Ask?

How to Choose the Right Camp

With more than 3,000 overnight summer camps in the U.S. the big question is, “Which one is right for my child?” Even when you narrow it down to arts and theater camps, each one is focusing on their strengths and putting their best foot forward, making the decision a very tough one. Below is a list of questions to help you decide if Acting Manitou is the right fit for your family. Some of them are by suggestions of the American Camping Association; others are questions we have heard from our families as they made the decision for their campers .

What does the director/owner look for in hiring counselors?

Counselors are the foundation of any camp and safety is directly linked to their skills. When a director hires a counselor they should be aware that the moment your child walks in the cabin they want to be exactly like their counselor. Click here for more information on how we do this.

How many years have the counselors been at camp?

Continuity is crucial for developing tradition, and tradition creates a sense of timelessness that is so important at a great camp. You should look for a camp where a large percentage of the counselors began as campers. Then you should ask what skillsets and interests the counselors bring from their own lives and university experiences that directly benefit the campers, not only in cabin life but in the production of our shows as well!

What is the ratio of counselors to campers?

This will vary, even among good camps. Our average ratio is 1 to 3.5.

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How experienced is the camp’s leadership? What is their background?

Directors will hire staff that they want children in their own lives to emulate ,so if you can learn something about the camp directors you will learn a lot about their staff. Speak with the directors and ask about their own children’s camp experiences. Click here for more information about our leadership team.

What is the camp’s philosophy?

This topic covers a broad range of concerns including: Is the program structured or open? What does the camp consider a healthy sense of competition? Is the camp simply to have fun, or foster growth, or both? The best way to answer these questions is to speak with the Directors. Please feel free to call us at (201) 857-5208.

What is the camp’s mission?

Making sure that what you want for you child is the goal of the camp you choose is crucial. While we in the industry always want to have as many campers as we can, while still maintaining the feel of our camp and the one-on-one attention campers need in activities, we moreover want to make sure that every camper is going to have a good summer. Our mission at Acting Manitou is based around the following core values:





The mission of our camp and the challenge we give our campers each summer stems from these core principles that guide everything from classes, bedtime and rehearsals!

What are the sleeping arrangements?

Acting Manitou campers are housed in cabins, with private toilet and shower facilities in each cabin. Our cabins are rustic by design but still on the more comfortable side of the camp spectrum. Cabins are arranged based on the camper’s or staff members stated gender identity and each cabin is made to be a summer home for everyone in it by our incredible counselors.

Is the camp accredited by the American Camping Association?

There are lots of wonderful camps that have chosen not to seek accreditation. We are very proud to be members of the ACA and membership verifies that a camp complies with up to 300 individual standards, so if they are not members you should ask why.

Sound like a good fit?


We look forward to seeing you in the summer!