Cool summer mornings, jumping in lakes at sunset, roasting marshmallows over a fire, playing capture the flag all day, and sleeping under the stars.
These might be a few of the fond memories that you have of sleepaway camp.
But now you’re grown up and have kids of your own, and although you want them to have similar incredible overnight camping experiences, you might be unsure if they’re ready for such a challenge.
Keep reading to learn if your child is ready for sleepaway camp.
Your Child Takes Care Of Their Own Personal Hygiene
A great way to know if your child is ready for the pressures of a sleepaway camp is if they can take care of their own personal hygiene. Do they brush their own teeth without a reminder? Can they shower and clean themselves on their own? Do they make their own bed without too much resistance?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, your child is probably physically ready for sleepaway camp. They can take care of themselves for the most part, and sleepaway camp will be a chance to grow these skills even more.
Your Child Has Had Successful Sleepovers Away From Home
Another fantastic way to know if your child is ready for a sleepaway camp is to evaluate the success of their sleepovers away from home. Has your child slept over at a friend’s house and enjoyed it? If your kiddo called you every time they slept away from home, they might not quite be ready for sleepaway camp.
However, if your child has successfully been to a sleepover away from home and enjoyed it, they’re probably ready for sleepaway camp.
Your Child Is Successful In New Situations
Your child should be able to successfully navigate new situations with limited guidance. There will always be counselors and resources at a sleepaway camp, but your little camper should be able to make friends and get involved in activities without much pushing from you.
Sleepaway camp can be intimidating, even if your child has expressed interest in going. That’s not to say that they aren’t ready, it’s just something to keep in mind.
Your Child Wants To Go To Sleepaway Camp
Has your child directly told you or asked to go to sleepaway camp? If so, then that’s the only thing you need to know! Once you know that they want to go to sleepaway camp, the next step is to evaluate if you think they’re ready.
If they’re still struggling to make friends, survive sleepovers, or take care of their personal hygiene, be sure to express your concerns. Remind your kiddo that they need to show you that they’re ready by doing some of the actions above.
Your Child Has Successfully Been Put To Bed By Another Adult
When babysitters come over do they struggle to put your little one to bed? If your kiddo can’t seem to stay in bed unless you’re around, they might not be ready for a sleepaway camp where they’ll be surrounded by strangers.
It’s important to keep in mind that sleepaway camp isn’t the same as having a full-time nanny deal with all of the hard bits. If your child isn’t able to hand sleepaway camp, the counselors may give you a call and ask you to come to pick them up. It’s better to be sure that your child is ready before sending them on this adventure.
Your Child Know What Sleepaway Camp Is
Does your child know what sleepaway camp is? Ask them to describe it to you so that you can get a good overview of what your child actually thinks happens.
As much as we might have fond memories of our childhood sleepaway camps, it’s important to send your child off with reasonable expectations. It might rain while they’re camping outside and they might not always get to do their first choice of activity.
If your child can recognize that it won’t always be the land of their dreams (and that there won’t be any electronics), then they’re probably ready for sleepaway camp!
How To Find The Right Sleepaway Camp For Your Kid
If you think that your kid is ready for sleepaway camp, the next step is to decide which camp is best for them. As much as you might love our childhood camp, keep in mind that things likely will have changed since you were there.
There are a huge variety of camps to suit every child’s interest. From sports camps to music camps and math camps and everything in between, take some time to research camps that your child will love and want to go back to.
How To Help Your Child Enjoy An Overnight Camp
The best thing that you can do to help your child enjoy an overnight camp is to prepare them well. Help them set realistic expectations for camp and strategies that they can use if they get homesick.
Sending care packages is always a great idea! Remember that many camps today don’t want parents to send food because there are a wide variety of allergies that need to be minded. Instead, send money for snacks or whoopie cushions for a laugh!
How To Help Your Child Transition Back Home
Even after just a week or two of being away, it can be difficult for both parents and kids to transition back to standard home life. Kids get used to more freedom and space to roam, while parents might have forgotten that bedtime was a constant negotiation.
When your child returns home, start by working in elements of the camp routine that your child enjoyed. You can slowly remove elements (or keep them there) to suit your own living situation and routine.
Find Your Camp Today
After reading this article, do you think that your child is ready for the big sleepaway camp experience?
Whether you think that they are or aren’t, keep reading to discover everything you need to know about camps for kids and teens.
If you still have questions, request free info today!