Day camps can be fabulous, but there is something to be said for the childhood bond formed as two kids giggle into the wee hours from neighboring bunk beds, or work together to remove a troll-sized spider from the bathroom stall. A unique connection grows among overnight campers as the cicadas start to sing and the day campers head back home. Overnight camps for kids offer full immersion into an alternate realm.
Overnight Camps for Kids Encourage Independence
Although homesickness always looms, most kids get swept into the current by classes, swimming, mazes, art projects, horseback riding, and music. When faced with a hungry pony or a canoe full of singing 8-year olds, it’s often difficult to keep a grip on that desire for the comforts of home. This change is not just an onsite adjustment – parents recount a visible transformation in maturity and consciousness as their children return from overnight camps.
Boys and Girls must Socially Adapt and Grow
When storms brew and trees scratch against the bunk roof, kids embrace their fears without their parents by their sides, sometimes for the first time in their lives. Facing the milestone of separation is an integral part in shaping a child’s character. Incurring this transformation at overnight camp lets kids adapt and grow in a safe environment surrounded by supportive peers going through the same challenging and invigorating process.
Camping Away from Home Gives Parents Much Needed Time Alone
One advantage must not be overlooked: while the kids are gone, parents have the house to themselves. When was the last time that happened? For twenty minutes when Jamie’s swim practice overlapped with Tommy’s trumpet class? For a short time, the house will be quiet, with no extra laundry, lunch boxes or spilled milk. It is a bit heart-wrenching when the kids finally grow up and start to get cool and then decide to leave for a summer. But the bright side of this is that your dusty “me” list can finally get some much-needed attention.
Tips to Prepare for Overnight Camp
Tip 1: Talk Honestly with Your Kids About Overnight Camping
While spending summers sleeping away from home has many benefits for children, it can also bring up some difficult emotions. Many kids experience homesickness, for instance. Talk honestly with your kids about what to expect. They’ll be prepared for the downside of spending time away from home so that they can process those feelings and focus on having a great time.
Tip 2: Check the Camp’s Rules and Policies that Address Bullying
Though the experience can provide great growth experiences, camp is a microcosm of the world we live in. That means your kids will have to face some of the social dynamics we all deal with. Bullying is an issue that, thankfully, is finally being recognized as more serious than just “kids being kids.” Before sending your child away for the summer, you’ll want to check the program’s rules and policies regarding bullying. You’ll want to feel confident that your son or daughter will be safe and cared for.
Tip 3: Choose Activities Your Children Are Passionate About
Why do we send our kids away for the summer? We all want them to make new friends, get sunshine, fresh air, and exercise, but shouldn’t they have a great time too? One way to help is to choose a program that focuses on activities your children love. It’s a good idea to involve your kids in the process from the very beginning. They’ll feel invested, and you’ll feel confident that you’ve made the right choice.
CampPage provides detailed information on overnight summer programs in the United States and Canada to help you find the perfect one for your family.