Ready or not?? That is the question!

16 Apr, 2024

With summer right around the corner, families are asking about camp. Is it too late to sign up? What can we do to help them succeed at camp? Trying camp for the first time can raise questions and even some anxiety. We’re here to help!

As a camp professional who didn’t become a camper until I was 15-years old, I truly believe there is no “right” age to try out camp. Some kids eagerly embrace camp as early as  7-years old, while others may take more time to warm up to the idea.  Here are four indicators  that your child is ready for overnight camp, along with tips to ease the transition for both of you:  


    1. Your child begins to express curiosity about overnight camp. If your child brings up the idea of camp on their own, or they get excited by the idea, that is a great sign. Encourage their curiosity by learning all about camp! Our informative camp videos break down some of the mystery for your child and will help you  assess their interest and identify their concerns. Remember, a mix of excitement and nerves is entirely  normal! 
    2. You and your child are comfortably able to spend time away from each other. Has your child had a successful sleepover? If so, that’s great! If not, consider arranging one to determine their readiness. At any age, kids (and parents!) might experience nervousness when away from each other. If you can help your child articulate those feelings, we can help them adjust to being away from home. 
    3. Your child asks for help when they need it. Your child’s counselors play a vital role in your child’s camp experience, but they won’t know your child the way you do.  Encourage your child to express themselves and ask for assistance when necessary.  Practice problem-solving and communication skills in everyday situations to build their confidence. When you look for opportunities to step back and let your child take the initiative, you’ll be helping them succeed at camp.
    4. Your child is becoming more independent in everyday tasks. Camp fosters independence, but it’s helpful for children to be comfortable with basic self-care skills when they arrive at camp. Practice tasks like showering, brushing teeth, and getting ready independently. Gradually reduce your assistance to encourage autonomy.  


Deciding when to try overnight camp can be overwhelming. If you or your child are feeling nervous, don’t count out camp just yet. Sending your child to camp for the first time can be a nerve-wracking yet rewarding experience that starts you both on a wonderful, growth-filled journey. Remember, we’re here to support you every step of the way! Reach out to discuss your child’s camp readiness.

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