Summer camp season 2010 doesn’t start for a few weeks, but if you haven’t made travel arrangements yet, it’s time to start planning! Depending on where you live and the camp your child will attend, you’ll have various transportation options at your disposal.
Your first step, however, doesn’t involve calling a travel agent or navigating to your favorite travel website. The family of AFSC summer camps are very experienced with the ins and outs and obstacles of getting children from all over the country and all around the world safely to camp.
As soon as you know which session your child will attend and have completed the enrollment process, review the camp’s website Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for specific details on your camp’s procedures. Once you have a plan in mind, call the camp and make your arrangements. It’s really that simple, and the staff’s reassurances about their personal touch and genuine caring about your child will keep your heart rate and blood pressure low.
Option 1 – The Drop-Off
The most hands-on way to get your child to camp, of course, is to drop them off yourself. For families who live within an easy day’s drive, this choice may make the most sense. Families who live farther away have been known to make the trek to camp a family road trip, stopping to see sights along the way. The bonus? Mom and Dad get to spend some time alone on the drive home!
Option 2 – The Magic Bus
Camp buses are magic because unlike ordinary bus lines, the only passengers are campers and their staff chaperones. Many camps
“bus stops” in several major cities with a day’s drive from the camp. Camp Weequahic, for example, which is located in Lakewood, Pennsylvania, charters buses to pick up campers outside of New York City, at one of two locations in New Jersey, in Philadelphia and in Baltimore.
As soon as the campers step on the bus they are basically at camp—parents can rest assured that their children are in the hands of experts who will handle every aspect of managing check-in, finding the right bunk, getting the luggage to their right place, etc. The bonus for taking the bus? Dropping kids off at the coach stop can make the transition to camp easier. Kids say their good-byes and then settle in for a ride with their friends, old and new.
Option 3 – Big Old Jet Airliner
If you live too far away to drive your child to camp or have them catch a ride on the bus, sending them by air is pretty much your only option. For parents whose children have never flown alone before, the idea alone can cause a cold sweat and a jump in blood-pressure. The airlines and the camps, however, are very experienced at helping kids navigate air travel. Parents are allowed to drop their kids off at the gate – when you receive your child’s boarding pass, you will get a special pass that allows you to accompany him or her past security. When you arrive at the gate, a special airline chaperon meets you at the top of the jetway and escorts your child all the way to his or her seat.
When your child arrives at the destination airport, camp chaperones meet him or her at the gate and provide escort to baggage claim and to onto a camp shuttle or bus. Be sure to review the current TSA prohibited items list shortly before you leave – the list can change at any time. Also, review the airline’s website for their specific procedures regarding children flying alone. The more comfortable you feel before they leave, the less stressful everyone will be on departure day!
To Learn More
For more information on how each of the AFSC camps handle transportation, visit their websites by using the links at the top of this page.