When is my child ready to go to summer camp? We get this question pretty frequently, and it’s a great question to be asking.
In this blog I’d like to look at what questions we parents should be asking, some tips on how to decide, and real feedback from a camp mom.
What questions should I (the parent) be asking?
- How independent is my child?
- In what ways do I want my child to grow?
- What does my child need developmentally right now?
- What is the quality of my son or daughter’s friendships?
- How long should my camper attend in their first summer and what are my options?
Tips on making the best decision for my child
Use independence level as a gauge for why to send your child to summer camp. If your child is already fairly independent, it will likely be an easier transition sending them to camp for their first summer. If you child is not particularly independent, it might be a good idea to go ahead and send them because this is exactly what they’re needing to grow in.
Your child’s current developmental needs can help you make your decision on when to send your child to camp.
There is no perfect age at which to send your child to camp— it really depends on the child.
Don’t wait too long to send your child to camp or to another experience where they are away from home. Once a child reaches the age of 9 or 10, I generally recommend they attend camp. Waiting longer could lead to a child being too dependent.
Call or meet up with a current camp parent. They can give a real-world perspective of when the timing is right to send your child to camp.
A real story from the mom of a 6 year old
Before camp my son needed to face fears, make new friends, and be more independent, which I believe he did at Camp this year. Our son just finished his 1st year at Camp Huawni. At 6 years old we weren’t sure if a two week camp was okay and we were nervous. All the directors, Owners, office staff, and camp counselors were amazing and answered all my questions, returned calls, sent packages on time, made us know they really cared about our child. You name it they did it! So we picked him up to non-stop camp stories and showing us around. He was so happy and excited to share all his fun activities with us. The stories of adventures and the amazing time he had makes us so happy we made the choice to choose this camp for our him and our other son next year!! We are already signed up for next summer!
So when is the right time to send your child to camp? It depends on the child. By asking the right questions, looking at your child’s needs, and seeking the wisdom of parents who have experienced sending their child off to camp.
Would you like to talk to a real camp parent to find out when the best age is to send your child to camp? You can do so here.