Choosing a summer camp in New Jersey can be overwhelming for parents and guardians. Not only do you want children to enjoy their day and thrive, but you need a program to meet schedule demands and still be affordable.

And what about the safety and security of it all? It can be a mistake for parents to assume that a camp is properly vetting staff or is up-to-date with emergency plans.

How secure is your kids' NJ summer camp? (Thinkstock)

Susie Lupert, executive director of the American Camp Association New York & New Jersey, says parents should take the time to do their own research and even speak with a camp's director.

By talking with the person in charge, parents can run down their questions about what kind of employee or volunteer screening is done beyond required background checks, references for younger staffers and the staff-to-camper ratio.

How secure is your kids' NJ summer camp? (Thinkstock)

Much of the screening has been done for you when you choose a camp that has ACA accreditation. The process involves more than 300 standards, from health and transportation to staff screening and individual safety requirements for camp activities like swimming.

Other mandatory standards for accreditation include emergency transportation being available at all times, and having first-aid facilities and trained staff.

To see camp safety regulations as required in New Jersey, click here.

Whether looking for a day program, a specialty camp or a sleep-away, you can search through the American Camp Association of NY and NJ website at, or call 212-391-5208.

Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee.  A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.

Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook as ProudJersey.