When is my son ready for summer camp?
February 12, 2018 by Don Gentle
When asked whether a child is ready for camp or not, we like to ask the parents whether he can spend the night away at a friend’s house without wanting to come home at midnight. It is important that they do spend the night away from home a few times successfully before attending an overnight camp.
First-time parents may ask, “Do you have a one-week session to start with?” While a one-week experience sounds like the correct answer, we have found that most of these sessions do not allow enough time for adjustment. Many one-week sessions are just five days (check the dates), and parents are there the first and last day, leaving just three to four days away. We feel that two weeks is a healthy amount of time that enables boys to adjust to camp life, meet and develop friendships, and learn some skills in the activities. The best decision will be one upon which both you and your son can agree.
Frequently, we speak with parents who are hesitant to send their son away to camp while their son is raring to go. If he is that excited about it, we recommend you take the opportunity to support his excitement for such an experience and realize that as a parent, sometimes we have to let go. As parents ourselves, we have also had to work through the growing process. We have also seen the campers here grow so much in their self-esteem and confidence year after year. Numerous parents tell us every session that they are picking up a different child and can’t believe how grown up he is. Camp can be such a wonderful experience! Parents! Please call us if you need to talk through the process.