Is Your Child Ready for Overnight Camp?
You’ve collected the brochures and visited the web sites. You may even have visited a camp or two. Your calendar is marked off for 'Summer camp.' But how do you know if your child is ready for overnight camp? Every child is unique so there is no magic answer. There are however, some signs of readiness. If you’re thinking about a sleep-away camp for your child, ask yourself the following:
1. Is your child interested in and asking about camp?
If your child is already asking about going away to camp, take it as a good sign. Children who are self-motivated and interested in attending camp have a greater chance of enjoying camp once they arrive.
2. Can your child manage personal care needs and the tasks of daily living without parents around?
Overnight camp involves independent living. Can your child get dressed for school without your help? Fix a snack? Take a shower? Remember to brush their teeth? If so, they should be fine. Remember there will be great camp counselors to care for them but your child will generally be expected to take care of themselves and follow schedules and routines without close supervision.
3. How long has your child been away overnight without you and was it a positive experience?
If your child loves slumber parties (at friends’ houses) transitioning to sleep-away camp may be a breeze. And if an overnight without you has never worked, do some trial runs before registering your child for camp.
4. Does your child follow and listen to instructions?
If your child is well-behaved in school, with coaches and other adults in positions of authority, they should do fine at camp.
5. Is your child willing to try new things?
Summer camp is all about adventures! Each day is filled with new people to meet, new surroundings, and new activities to try. For kids willing to give it a go, there’s no better place to spread their wings than Summer camp. If you child is the type of person who thrives in new situations and makes friends easily, chances are he/she will have no trouble at camp!