Counselors must have experience in camping and supervision of children or have completed an acceptable training course. Stringent counselor-to camper ratios and staff qualifications are mandated for supervision of swimming, archery, riflery, and camp trip activities.
At overnight camps, 80 percent of the camps’ counselors must be at least 18-years-old; up to 20 percent may be 17-years-old. There must be at least one counselor for every 10 children aged eight years or older, and one counselor for every eight children younger than eight years old.
At day camps, counselors must be 16 years of age or older. There must be a minimum of one counselor for every 12 children.
Camps that must provide at least 10 counselors may choose to use counselors-in- training (CITs) to meet 10 percent of the required number of counselors. These CITs must be at least 16 years of age at an overnight camp and 15 years of age at a day camp. They must work with senior staff, have had previous experience as a camper and complete a training program. Ask the camp operator if any of their counselors are CITs and how they are used to supervise campers.
Ask about the camp’s staff and supervision procedures, including discipline policies. Do they meet your expectations?