Every summer, millions of children attend summer camps. If your child has never been to camp, you may be wondering how to begin the process of deciding if your child is ready for camp.
Although each camp is different, there are common themes that continually come up when talking about the benefits of summer camp. Summer camp is a special type of community where kids come together to have fun. Within the camp setting, children develop a sense of independence as they try new adventures away from home. Summer camps are known for providing a safe environment where children gain self-confidence as they learn new skills. Camp is also a place where children develop a variety of social skills.
There are many different types of camps that have distinct missions. Understanding your goals for the camp experience will help you narrow down the type of camp that is best for your child.
There is no specific age that is ideal for starting camp. Making the decision about whether or not your child is ready for camp depends on the type of camp you are considering. In addition, your child's unique development should be a strong indicator of when your child is ready to go to camp.
All different types of children thrive in a camp setting. If your child is shy, camp may help her develop skills, so she is more comfortable in her social environment. Camp directors should be sensitive to your child's unique personality. As you are deciding on a particular camp for your daughter, be sure to ask the camp director what steps he or she would recommend to help your daughter transition into the camp environment.
If your child attends a sleepaway camp, it is normal that she experiences some homesickness. It is important to talk with camp directors about the approach they take to dealing with homesickness at camp. For example, we think it is important to talk with campers about strategies to deal with homesickness before they come to camp. This approach helps campers to better recognize their feelings and work through their homesickness with the support of caring staff members. Parents appreciate it when others provide suggestions for how they can support their children as they work through feelings of homesickness.