Considering sending your child to an overnight program for the first time? When is the right time? Where should my child go? Should they go with a friend? For how long should they attend?
There are so many questions about when and where you send your child for an overnight summer program that the process can be overwhelming. Whether you are considering an overnight camp or a travel program, there are so many choices. There are endless locations, types of programs, and lengths of stays. How would a parent navigate all there is to consider?
Here are some things to think about:
- When is the right time? This depends on your individual child. Many children start as early as seven, itching to experience overnight camp as soon as the camp will take them. Other children may need a later start, beginning at 12 or 13. There is not one answer here, as the readiness of each child varies.
- What kind of camp? A specialized program that focuses on a particular activity like theater or sports, or an all-round traditional camp? Talk to your child about their interests.
- Should they attend camp with a friend? Your child might feel they will be more comfortable being away from home if they go with their friend. On the other hand, getting out of that comfort zone may be exactly what your child needs. Summer experiences can allow for cultivation of new friendships.
- How long should they attend camp? There is always a transition period, no matter how ready your child is to leave home for the first time. It is important to allow your child enough time to adjust to their new surroundings, cultivate new friendships, and find their groove in a new place. Sometimes 2-week rookie sessions are a bit short, because just when your child is starting to get comfortable with their new environment it is time to pack up and leave. Of course, a 2-week session is also convenient for families wanting to travel over the summer.
Tips on Trips and Camps advisors are ready and waiting to guide you through the process. Call us and get started!