Sending a child to camp is exciting for any family, but how does a parent know that that their child is ready to take the plunge?
AGE: There is no singular age that is the “right” age. Some sleep-away programs take children as young as 7 but it is more common for a first experience to be at 8 or 9. Children are often ready to attend overnight camp well before the parent is ready to part with them. There are summer camps for first time campers at every age. There are traditional camps for younger kids, teen camps that start at 12 for middle school students, and broader experiences for high school students.
SHOWS INTEREST: If your child starts talking about camp, this is often a sign they are ready to start the process. Trepidation is normal. This is a new experience as they do not know what to expect.
HYGIENE: Any child going to camp must have some idea of how attend to basic personal needs. This includes showering (not bathing), able to wash their own hair, brushing teeth, etc. Bed wetting is not an uncommon issue and it is best to speak to a director to see how they handle the situation.
FOLLOWS INSTRUCTIONS: All camps have structure and all and all campers must abide by rules. This includes waking up at reveille, getting to activities, doing chores, etc. Kids do not have to be perfect but basic compliance and cooperation is needed.
ADAPTABILITY: An excellent indicator of being ready is If your child can adjust to new situations or speak to new people somewhat easily.
Once your child shows the signs of being ready, we can help you choose the right match for your family and your child’s interests. This new experience will help every child, every age, grow and develop.