Goodbye 2017 and hello 2018! Writing “2018” will take some getting used to, but Happy New Year! Now that the season of gifts and excessive eating has come to a close, it’s time to get serious. It’s time to take a good look at the next year and put a plan together to tackle all of the challenges that come along the way.
Last month, we talked about the four factors for choosing the perfect camp or summer program. So, assuming you have evaluated those factors and chosen where your child will spend their summer, it’s time to make the call. These days, that call tends to be in the form of filling out an online registration form. But before doing so, make sure to consider the following things:
- Early Bird Pricing – many camps and summer programs run early bird specials until sometime in the middle of winter. These deals vary and should be clearly labeled on the program’s website, but if you don’t see anything about this, pick up the phone and call. You definitely don’t want to miss out.
- Additional Fees: Like most purchases made, the sticker price doesn’t include everything. The most common additional charge would be an application fee. On top of that, ask your summer program what else you will need to consider before pressing submit on your registration. Most of these charges will be minimal and they are very common, but knowing what they are will help avoid surprises throughout the process.
- What Happens Next: Typically, the registration form is the first of many forms included in the process of getting your child ready for camp or a summer program. Most of the time, you will receive an email immediately after you submit your registration, outlining what the next steps are and how to access your account. In the event that this isn’t the case, a simple phone call should answer this very important question. Scheduling doctor appointments and chasing people down for important documents before summer requires coordination, and knowing when these items are due will help you greatly!
- Supplemental Information: We will discuss this in more detail in the early spring, but know that more is coming. When you receive the email asking you to fill out a series of additional forms and read various documents, we recommend you pay close attention to that. Those documents are likely the ones that the camp will use to take the best possible care of your child. Keep your eye out for that information and pay close attention to it! It can be a lifesaver.
- Money, Money, Money– When you register, you will be required to pay an application fee and a deposit. While the rest is important, this is the part that actually guarantees your child a spot in the program. This is standard across most summer programs. The follow up material should also include a payment schedule so that you know when the remaining balances are due. While this isn’t the most glamorous or fun part of the process, it is important to know.