Is Your Child Ready for Sleepaway Camp?
It’s hard to believe, but school will be out for summer sooner than we know. That means it’s time to start thinking about summer activities for your kids. Sports camps, daycare, day camps, and even sleepaway camps are all possibilities.
When it comes to picking a camp for your child, you may be wondering if your child is truly ready to go to an overnight camp. It’s a big step for both parents and kids to send them to a camp away from home. If you’re trying to decide if your child is ready, ask yourself the following questions.
Have they asked to go away to camp?
A huge indicator as to whether your child is ready for overnight camp comes down to whether they have asked you to go or not. If a child has a real interest in going to a sleepaway camp, they will probably bring up the subject with you. If they don’t bring it up, they may not be ready to go.
Have they slept away from home before?
Have your children slept away from home before? Do they do sleepovers regularly at friends’ homes which don’t involve phone calls in the middle of the night to pick them up? Have they spent several days away with grandparents or relatives? If your kids have done things like this with few or no issues, they are probably ready.
Are they comfortable meeting new people and with new surroundings?
How does your child do when they are put into new situations with new people? Are they comfortable introducing themselves and getting involved with new activities? If yes, then they will likely do great with all the new activities and people that they will encounter at an overnight camp.
Can they take care of themselves?
Your child needs to be able to take care of themselves in order to go to overnight camp. They need to get dressed, take a shower, brush their teeth – all of those types of things – without you having to continually prompt them.
Can they follow directions?
When they go away to camp they need to be able to follow directions – both to have fun and to ensure their safety. How does your child do with taking instruction? Do they listen to those in charge – for example, a coach? You want to make sure they have good listening skills for sleepaway camp.
Can your child swim?
Most sleepaway camps have pools or lakes where the children will swim. You want to make sure your child is a strong swimmer to ensure their safety at camp. If you have hesitations about this, you might want to reconsider an overnight camp.
Do they understand what camp will be like?
Many children think that overnight camp means they get to stay up as late as they want, eat whatever they want, and do whatever they want – without their parents around. In reality, most camps have bedtimes. Most camps provide structured meals. And, most camps have scheduled activities throughout the day that children are required to do. You want to make sure your child has realistic expectations of what camp life will be.
Sleepaway camp can be a fun and memorable experience if your child is ready for it. If you’re thinking about sleepaway camp for your child this summer, hopefully, some of these questions can help you decide. Then you can start looking for the perfect camp for them!