if you are wondering about sending kids to summer camp check out these other posts.
How do you know if you kid is ready for an overnight camp?
This year my two oldest have gone off on their own away from the family home for the first time. Residential Camps and Summer Travel can be a great way for kids to learn new skills and grow. If you have older children, you know what I mean. You send a kid away for a week or a month and they come back a different kid.
I asked my Facebook Fans some time back and they had some great input.
This one from Working to be Worthy
“having worked at summer day camps for more than ten years, I can at least tell you general characteristics that work and don't work.The kids who liked camp were self-confident, enjoyed structure,and at least somewhat extroverted. They thrived on the schedules, challenges, new activities, and team-building of summer camp.
The kids who hated camp were generally quiet. They disliked the constant NOISE, did not want to be told what to do and when to do it all day long, and wanted time alone, even if their friends were also at camp.
The kids who disliked our over-night trip often wanted to go to bed earlier than others, missed their parents, wanted more privacy, or disliked the change from their regular bedtime routine'”
a Dear old friend shared her experience with sending her daughter to overnight summer camp. “Princess started overnight camp at age 8 . It depends on the child but she was more than ready.”
Making the Decision to Send Kids to Overnight Summer Camp
My kids have gone to day camps since they were in first grade, some started earlier than that. But how do you make the decision to send your kid to overnight camp? It all depends on the kid. Some kids matter of fact will tell you they are ready. Often times it is mom or dad who is not ready to send their little one off to overnight camp. Here are some guidelines to consider before sending your young camper off to overnight camp
- Many camps won’t take a camper overnight under the age of 7
- Has your young camper had some other nights away from home? Sleep overs with friends or family. If so they might be ready for overnight camp.
- Is the camp something that your child is excited about? If it is a horseback riding camp and your child has never ridden a horse this might not be a good fit.
- Recognize that your child may have some homesickness, this is normal. Encourage them to stick with it.
- Make sure your child knows how to take care of themselves and their belongings, this includes basic hygiene, to basic first aid.
- Does your child make friend easily? Children who are outgoing and friendly tend to have a better experience at camp.
- Teach your child to speak up for what they want. Some children are shy, but they should be able to tell a counselor what they want or need
- Is your child self sufficient? Can they decide what to do on their own?
- Can your child follow directions? Camps are often about teaching new skills and the counselors are there to share their knowledge about these skills.
- Campers need to be willing to try new things, experiences and even new food. I know that my children have tried many new foods this summer.
- Kids have to be willing to get outside and get dirty. Many camps have kids outside at least part of the day. I know that my camper is looking forward to spending part of her days exploring the river eco-system.
If your kids seem ready for summer camp, but you are still not sure, you need to check and see if it is you who is not ready for summer camp. Letting go as a parent is a hard thing to do but if we don’t we are holding our children back. If we hold our children back they will never grow to become the adults we want.