Children’s summer camps and wilderness programs for boys and girls in the United…

February 20, 2015

How Parents Can Use Summer Camp Programs to Foster Independence

camppage-familyParents want to believe that when their children step into the real world, they can go forth safely with their health, personal integrity, and confidence intact. Spending summer at camp is a great bridge into that world, fortifying a child’s character and giving them the freedom to explore and experiment in a safe environment.

Tips for Parents Letting a Child Go to Summer Camp for the First Time

1. Choose a Program You Can Trust

The hardest moment of the summer is that final hug or squeeze of your child’s hand before he or she gallops off into a gaggle of new friends. You get back into the car to watch your maturing son or daughter through the rearview mirror. What keeps the separation bearable is knowing that your kid is growing, that he or she is having an outrageously good time, and above all, they’re safe. Therefore, the most imperative step in the summer camp process is to find an establishment you can trust. See the article on “Questions Parents Need to Ask About Summer Camp Safety Prior to Registration,” which addresses safety protocols, staffing, and group structure in your camp search.

2. Choose a Program that Suits Your Child’s Interests

The obvious step here is to speak with your child about what he or she is interested in pursuing this summer. CampPage allows you to search by type, activity, and region. So, whether your daughter is excited about magic, math, or Mars, she can find the most ideal summer camp for her interests. The perfect fit might be a day camp out West or an overnight opportunity in the next town over. Which scenario would make everyone more comfortable?

3. Choose a Location Nearby

There are quite a few perks to being right down the road. Having your child at a camp close by may be a bigger psychological factor for you than anything else – you fall asleep at night knowing that if the phone rings, you can be at the cabin door in less than an hour.  Camps nearby often enable kids to maintain stronger connections with their peers – they’ll camp in the summer with the same kids they play basketball or dance with in the winter. Consider everyone’s peace of mind and long-term benefits as you make your decision together.

For more information on the variety of camps to choose from, check out your options at