Make no mistake that a child’s first sleep-away at a summer camp can be a scary and nerve-wracking experience – for both camper and parent! We have seen time and time again that anxious separation of kid and parent on the opening day of camp and it can sometimes be difficult to wager who will burst into tears first. Russell Hyken, of Ladue News, testifies to this in a recent article. “Our concerns started to spiral. Is he too young? Will he be homesick? What if he doesn’t like his cabin mates” and will he eat the food?” These are all very natural reactions to what is often a traumatic time in a parent’s life – often the first prolonged separation from their child.
|Camp can be a very anxious time for most parents.|
There is no real research into a definitive rule about the appropriate age for a child’s first overnight camp, and children are often ready to attend long before their parents are comfortable sending them. We feel it’s important for parents to understand the benefits that children gain from coming to camp – self-confidence, personal development, a huge increase in physical skills and a heightened sense of self-worth to name but a few. This rationalization will make the pain of this separation seem much more worthwhile. After all, parents want their children to develop and succeed!
Above and beyond the question of whether to attend camp or not comes the question of how long to attend. Hyken argues this should be carefully considered. “Many parents believe that a week is a good length of time to trail the camp experience. Seven days, however, may not be long enough for a camper to relax, conquer homesickness, and develop solid relationships with new-found friends. Consider two weeks or more to fully maximize the life-changing experience camp can provide.”
Rest assured – we stand by our mission statement to partner with parents to make their stay stress free for the grown-ups, too!
– Ricky Searson, Assistant Director