At What Age Are Kids Ready for Sleepaway Camp?
When your kid turns to you and begs to go to sleepaway camp, you know it’s time! Maybe your child saw an ad or heard other friends rave about their summer camp experiences. Maybe memories of last year’s boring summer spent at homemade sleepaway camp seem like a great idea. Whatever the inspiration, excitement and declared interest are the best ways to determine when your kid is ready for camp.
Sometimes a parent feels that a sleepaway camp would be a great opportunity, but your child doesn’t agree. There are many reasons that may be causing your potential camper to hesitate, ranging from anxiety about leaving home for an extended period of time, to concerns that they won’t enjoy the activities, or they’ll have trouble making new friends. Don’t say, “Don’t worry!”. Going to sleepaway camp must be a joint decision between parents and the camper. No child should ever be coerced into attending. Many kids can be encouraged to change their perspectives once their anxieties are addressed and taken seriously.
Determining the Best Age for Sleepaway Camp:
CHECK OUT WHAT OTHER KIDS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT CAMP
Peers are a great resource to learn how much fun sleepaway can be. A veteran camper with great stories is probably the easiest way to influence a reluctant camper. Even if it was a long time ago, even a parent’s own stories of adventure and great friends made during camp can help persuade a hesitant kid to give sleepaway camp a try.
SCHEDULE A CAMP VISIT TO GET A SNEAK PREVIEW
Sometimes camps will arrange for visits in advance. A first-hand view of other campers having a blast can make a huge, positive impression on a hesitant child. Seeing the camp and watching how much fun other kids are having can go a long way towards convincing a child to give sleepaway camp a try.
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT AGE
There are experts who say that children should be at least 7 years old to consider one or more weeks at sleepaway camp. That number, however, is not a hard and fast rule. Variations in maturity and other personal considerations should be factored in. Some younger kids may wholeheartedly throw themselves into sleepaway camp while some older campers might take more time to adapt. Every year that passes brings a new set of factors to weigh as you consider what’s best for your camper.