How Going to Sleepaway Camps as a Child Changed My Life

Going to sleepaway camps as a child is a rite of passage for many young people. It is an opportunity to leave home and spend up to six weeks in the great outdoors, making new friends, and experiencing new things. For me, attending sleepaway camps as a child was a life-changing experience. It not only allowed me to gain independence, but it also taught me valuable life skills that have stayed with me throughout my life.

Discovering My Independence

When I was eight years old, I attended my first camp. I was nervous, and I didn’t know what to expect. But as soon as I arrived, I was greeted by friendly counselors who made me feel at home. I quickly realized that I could survive without my parents and that I was capable of taking care of myself. This newfound independence was empowering, and it gave me the confidence to try new things and take risks.

Making Lifelong Friends

One of the most significant benefits of attending sleepaway camps as a child is the opportunity to make new friends. At camp, you are surrounded by people who are in the same boat as you. You are all away from home, and you are all looking to make new connections. I made some of my closest friends at sleepaway camps, and we have stayed in touch to this day.

Developing New Skills

At camp, children have the opportunity to learn new skills. Whether it’s canoeing, archery, or rock climbing, sleepaway camps offer a variety of activities that children may not have the opportunity to try at home. These activities teach children to be brave, to take risks, and to push themselves outside of their comfort zones.

Learning to Work as a Team

Many sleepaway camp activities require teamwork. For example, a group of children may need to work together to complete a challenge course. Through these activities, children learn the importance of communication, collaboration, and compromise. They learn that working together can lead to greater success than working alone.

Building Self-Confidence

Trying new things can be scary, but camps provide a safe space for children to step outside of their comfort zones. When children try new activities and succeed, they build confidence in themselves. This confidence can translate to other areas of their lives, such as school and sports.

Cultivating Independence

Sleepaway camps offer children the opportunity to make decisions for themselves. For example, they may need to decide what activities they want to participate in or what to eat for dinner. These small decisions may seem insignificant, but they teach children to think for themselves and to take responsibility for their actions.

Creating Lifelong Memories

Attending sleepaway camps as a child creates memories that last a lifetime. From making s’mores around the campfire to swimming in the lake, these experiences are unique and special. Whenever I think back on my time at sleepaway camps, I am flooded with warm and happy memories.


Q: At what age should children start attending sleepaway camps?
A: Children can start attending sleepaway camps as early as six years old. However, it is important to consider your child’s maturity level and readiness for this type of experience.

Q: What should children bring to camp?
A: Children should bring comfortable clothes, a sleeping bag, toiletries, and any necessary medication. It is also a good idea to check with the camp about any potential restrictions on what items are allowed at the camp.

Q: Are sleepaway camps safe for children?
A: Yes, sleepaway camps prioritize the safety and well-being of all campers. They have trained staff, medical personnel on site, and strict protocols in place to ensure the safety of all attendees.

Attending sleepaway camps as a child had a profound impact on my personal growth and development. It allowed me to gain independence, make new friends, learn valuable life skills, and create lifelong memories. If you are considering sending your child to a sleepaway camp, I highly encourage it. The experience can be life-changing and can provide your child with valuable skills and memories that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. How going to sleepaway camps as a child changed my life, and I believe it can do the same for others.

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