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Art Class

Summer Camp Directory

For Summer Camp Directors:

Choosing a Camp

As you consider which camps are the best fit for your child, keep in mind that camps accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA) comply with nationally recognized health, safety, and program quality standards, including these requirements: emergency transportation; first aid facilities and training; aquatic programs supervised by staff who are certified lifeguards; health histories, including immunizations, for all campers and staff; emergency exits from second-floor sleeping quarters.

Other questions to consider include:

  • What type of camp are you looking for? Same-sex or coed? Overnight or day camp?

  • Should you consider a specialty camp that offers a focused curriculum, such as basketball, or a special-needs camp designed for specific physical or medical disability?

  • How long is each session? Would your child prefer attending camp for a week or two – or for an entire summer?

  • Is the staff trained in safety, supervision, counseling, problem solving, and other issues important to working with young children?

  • Is the price all-inclusive or do extra charges apply for transportation, food service, group pictures, t-shirts, special skills instruction such as horseback riding, and other items?

  • Are discounts or scholarships available?

  • For day camps, if before and after care is offered to accommodate working parents, who will be supervising children and what activities take place during that time?

  • Is lunch and/or a snack served, or do campers bring their own? Can special dietary needs be accommodated?

  • If swimming is offered, are lessons included, or is swimming only recreational?

  • Does one counselor stay with a group all day? Or are campers free to roam from one activity to another? How is adequate supervision assured?

  • Are parents allowed to drop by for visits at any time?


The Alexandria PTAC Summer Camp Fair Directory includes camps from all over Virginia and the Washington Metropolitan area. We took personal recommendations from Alexandria parents and used the following resources to help us extend over 200 invitations to area camps specializing in art, adventure, dance, drama, music, science and sports.

  • American Camp Association – The American Camp Association is a not-for-profit educational body that accredits all types of camps throughout the United States. (

  • Camp Page Guide to Summer Camps – This website is a national resource guide for traditional summer camps in the United States and Canada with comprehensive camp lists and descriptions of camps by state. (

  • Frost’s Summer Camp Guide – This website has articles for kids and parents and also has a discount summer camp page. Visitors can customize searches by region or camp specialty. It publishes an annual magazine listing summer camps. (

  • Very Special Camps – This website is dedicated exclusively to camps that serve individuals with one or more of a wide range of special needs. (

  • Washington Family Magazine – Washington Family Magazine is a regional parenting publication distributed throughout the Washington, DC area, including Maryland and Northern Virginia. (

  • Washington Parent Magazine – Washington Parent Magazine has been serving parents in the Washington Metropolitan Area since 1983, providing family enrichment through education. It publishes annual guides on overnight and day camps. (

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