Before you forget: Evaluate this summer’s camps for next year

Jessica Gonzales, from the Oak Hill YMCA, is outnumbered as her camp kids spray her with water guns as part of the festivities in the summer camp Olympics. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2015

Every year you swear your going to write down some things about the summer camps you’ve been sending your kids to so you’ll remember them when it’s time to sign up next year. And then you don’t. Then come January or February, when it’s time to start signing up for camps again, you think, “Huh, I think my kid liked that camp, but I can’t remember why.” “Huh, I remember there was something about that camp that was problematic … what was it?”

The really horrible things you remember. The OK things you don’t. We’re here to help. Even if your child has aged out of a camp, jot down some notes because it will help you figure out a camp or activity for the next year.

Print out these questions below to help you and your kids put your mental notes onto paper, or at least take some electronic notes and mail them to yourself based on this evaluation. You also can add your own questions to this evaluation.

Name of camp:

Contact with phone number, email, website: 


Was it easy to get to?

Length of camps in weeks, hours: 


Was it worth the price?

Were meals and snacks provided or did I provide them?

Other equipment or supplies needed?

Did I feel my child was safe and well-cared for at this camp?

My impressions of the staff at this camp:

My child loved this camp because …

My child did not like this camp because …

Things my child wishes would have been different: 

Things my child would be upset about if it wasn’t there next year: 

Friends my child made that we should connect with during the school year:

Children my child should not be with next year if possible: 

Things I liked about this camp:

Things I would like to see changed for next year?

Does my child want to go back?

Do I want my child to go back?

Does this camp offer school-year holiday coverage or after-school care?

Would my child want to attend those other activities?

Find more camp tips in our camp guide,



Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at She tweets at @raisingaustin.

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