Personal Communication with Camp Leaders
This may not always be possible but it's nevertheless quite important. It may be possible to meet the staff before camp begins. In my experience, if there still lingers some question of compatibility, I'd invite the person over prior to camp so we could check out the scene and each other.
In all my years running camps, the thing that I try to avoid at all costs is to have somebody attend that is not ready or not really enthusiastic.
My camp for teens is more for the hardcore devotee, and I let parents know that right up front. Because of the integrity of my programs there are some that I cannot help, but I get lots who return and everyone who attends--including myself and my staff--has a great time.
My adult camps are set up for all levels, from beginner to hardcore. As a leader it's important to be straight and honest in representing your offering. Bottom line, though: if folks get what they came for the word will spread and numbers for next camp usually go up.
If you still have questions, even after speaking with camp personnel, ask if they might give you the phone number or e-mail of any previous attendees.
There are other factors, such as cost, to consider as well, but these broad guidelines should help you begin your search.
Cliff Krolick is a biking adventurist and, since 1991, founded and operates Back Country Biking Center in Maine. When in Maine, he's guiding mountain biking tours and doing instructional seminars on biking at his center. When abroad, he is leading tours in the Andes of Ecuador, Tuscany, Italy, and is now the exclusive biking outfitter from the U.S.A. guiding tours in Bhutan and partnered with the Bhutanese company AHKE Adventure.