Is Your Child Ready for Summer Camp?

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When to start sending your child to overnight camp is a decision that depends on you and your child. A mature six year old might be ready to go, while some ten year olds might not be quite ready. Sometimes, “he’s not ready for camp” actually means you’re not ready. It’s a big step! To help you navigate this decision, we’ve pulled together some tips from experts in the field.

 

Advice from Peg Smith, former CEO of the American Camp Association

 
Parents should consider whether their child has been away from them overnight before, either with friends or family members, and how they have handled those separations. Really, it’s the child’s expectations that will drive the experience, and determine your confidence in them. I remember my son wanted to go to camp when he was about seven, and I had this bubble over my head saying ‘you’re not ready to do that.’ But he was. Talking to the child about camp and what their expectations are can help you decide if they understand what camp is, and if they’re ready to go.

 

How Your Camper Will Benefit

By Katie Adrian, Camp Fire’s Manager of Camp K on Kenai Lake 
Every camp experience provides opportunities for campers to build their social and emotional skills, and practice how to engage with their peers and with adults in a productive way that will carry over into their interactions at home, school, and in the community. From team building and get to know you games to challenging new activities and familiar favorites, camp is full of ways for youth to build self-confidence and independence.
 
You can help ease this transition for your camper by taking them out on a hike or sleeping in a tent in your backyard before sending them on the bus to camp. Sharing photos of camp also helps prepare your child for what camp will be like. No matter what you might be feeling as a parent, showing your child that you are excited for their amazing adventure will help them feel excited, too!
 
Camp is an amazing place to build new friendships and meet caring adults. As soon as a camper has built a connection to another person or activity at camp, any feelings of homesickness melt away and are replaced with independence, competence, and a sense of excitement about upcoming adventures. Families new to the camp experience are encouraged to call the Camp Fire office and speak to me about all of the awesome activities we offer at Camp Fire.
 

 
For Camp K’s session dates, rates, and more: Click Here!