This is one in a series of Frisco Kids summer camp articles. This post comes from Camp Broadway, on 7 tips to choosing a performing arts camp:
1. Safety first. Make sure the program is taught in a clean and secure environment with clearly defined child safety procedures in place such as background checks for staff, adult supervision of children, medical protocols and meal/snack plan.
2. Credentials matter. Your first call should be to the local performing arts center to inquire about their youth and community programs.Read the biographies of the teachers to ensure that every member of the teaching staff is an experienced professional. Make use of media that may post reviews about programs that are of interest to you. A social networking site pertaining to the program is a reliable way to connect with parents and past participants who may be willing to share information about their own child’s experience.
3. Class size is important. Ask about the student/teacher ratio. As you may have discovered from your child’s educational experience, different ages require different ratios. To provide an optimal learning environment, a typical performing arts program will offer one teacher and one assistant to no more than 25 students.
4. Attitude is everything. Understand the mission and goals of the organization to determine if they complement your child’s age, ability and interests. Ask yourself if your child would be best served by a program that uses the performing arts to teach life skills or a program that teaches performing arts skills to aspiring professionals. Both approaches are equally valid, but the program experience can be very different.
5. Value vs Price. Weigh the reputation of the organization, the location of the program, the expertise of the staff and guest artists and the authenticity and quality of the content. It is also important to understand what is, and is not, included in the program including meals, merchandise, theatre tickets, etc. Prices vary greatly. However, as is often the case, an exceptional experience may be well worth a greater investment. Don’t forget to inquire about scholarship opportunities!
6. No guarantees. Be realistic and avoid promises of stardom or future employment.
7. Camp is fun. Many programs feature photo collections and videos on their website that will help you envision your child at camp. A child's participation in the performing arts should be a joyful experience that produces happy memories, which will last a lifetime.