Find the Right Fit: 4 Important Summer Camp Qualities

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(BPT) - As this time of year approaches, kids start staring at the clock, counting down the minutes until the last day of school. But as a parent, you're likely not wishing this time away so quickly, especially if you haven't finalized any day care or day camp plans.

The sheer number of summer day camp options can leave any parent feeling overwhelmed. And there's more to consider than just sing-alongs and friendship bracelets. The best camps provide your kids with lifelong memories and the skills they need to be successful. With an endless stream of possibilities, how do you navigate and find the best fit for your child?

Erin Cox, senior manager for Life Time Fitness' Kids Programming, shares four things you need to consider before signing your child up for a summer camp:

A history and well-trained staff

It's important to send your kids to a camp run by an organization you trust. There is something to be said about a camp that's been in operation for several years, and a well-trained staff definitely has something to do with it. The staff should be background checked and certified to take care of children on a daily basis. Before you sign up, ask about safety standards and what the camp's protocols are for camper-staff interactions.

A mix of activities

Whether it's a camp with a theme or a general kids' day camp, kids do well when presented with a variety of options when it comes to activities. From arts and crafts to field trips, sports, swimming and games, find a camp with activities your child will love. Your child will thrive at a camp that offers full days of play, thrilling field trips and healthy activities, like the camps at Life Time - The Healthy Way of Life Company. And don't forget to pack a swimsuit and sunscreen.

Healthy meals and snacks

Active kids need to be properly fueled during the day, so make sure whichever camp you choose provides adequate and healthy nutrition and time for breaks. Sugar-filled, processed foods are often the norm and it's always okay to question the menu. And, don't forget to ask about how the camp handles food allergies. Make sure whichever camp you choose makes nutrition and hydration a priority.

Flexible drop-off and pick-up options

Just because your kids have the summer off doesn't mean your schedule becomes more flexible. Look for camps that offer the option to drop them off early so you can still make to work on time. Similarly, many camps offer later pick up times, often key for working parents. Life Time Kids camps offer early drop off for just $20 per week if your kids are signed up for a camp that starts in the morning.

There's no need to worry about finding the right kids' camp when you know what to look for. Use this as a checklist and your child will be on their way to a summer full of fun and adventures. For more information on kids camp options visit