Going away to summer camp is a mainstay for many families. But, for those that are still “on the fence,” let’s take a closer look.
Is My Child Too Young?
This is probably the biggest question that parents ask. The hard part is that there is no one right answer. Every child is different. Some are ready to be more independent at 8; others don’t reach that threshold until older (if ever!) Experts suggest kids between 8-10 are more likely to experience success.
Here’s What To Look For In Your Child
Desire: Your child expresses a desire to go despite knowing he will be going to an unfamiliar place, meeting new kids, and not be around family.
Self-Discipline: Is your child independent enough to keep a schedule, respect the rules, and keep track of his things? If the answer is “yes,” it’s a go.
Stress: If your child has recently experienced a stressful event (loss of a loved one or move), it may not be best to send him away.
Health: How is your child health-wise? Does he have any chronic conditions? (If he does and still wants to go, there are specialized camps.)
How To Choose A Summer Camp
There are so many different kinds of summer camps so it can take some time to make a choice. Some focus on being sports-orientated or therapeutic. Other camps concentrate on adventure, art, natural history, or even foreign languages.
Is Summer Camp Safe For My Child?
Perhaps, the most significant question a parent ask is, “Is it safe?” Summer camp has come a long time through the years. These days credible ones have strict licensing rules. Make sure you ask and check the credentials of any camp in which you are interested.
[Pros] Of Summer Camp
Your child will not be left alone and be kept busy
Fixed daily regimen helps your child develop emotionally and physically while having fun
The entire family gets a break from each other (It’s a great time to do home projects)
A new environment allows the child an opportunity to discover new talents and strengths
[Cons] Of Summer Camp
The comfort level can be less than what he is used to
Meals are highly regulated and healthy (Some kids may not be used to that much healthy food 24/7)
Children may lack communication skills
Your child may experience losing interest if the camp lacks enough events or he does not find the activities interesting