By Alex Samuels
If you have a school-age child, an overnight summer camp might be something you’re considering. Whether you’ve gone to a summer camp or not, you should know that this can potentially be a great opportunity for your child to meet new friends and learn new skills. Do not limit your child’s opportunities to only traditional summer camps for children. There are many alternatives that you can find even more attractive. But before deciding, there are a few things you should think about. You will have to think about your child’s age and maturity level, your child’s interests and goals, and what you can spend in the camp. Most importantly, a summer camp for children should be a positive learning experience for your child.
An overnight summer camp is also known as sleepaway camp. As the name suggests, it is an all-night camp and children have their own area to live during the camp session. Before you consider a sleepaway camp, you should consider some of these questions and tips.
- Has your child ever lived outside your home before?
Has your kid left home before? Or has he slept elsewhere? Does your child feel comfortable at a party with a group of kids or does he come home in the middle of the night? Although an overnight summer camp is longer, if your child is comfortable staying somewhere else, he or she has high chances to adjust to the summer camp.
- Does your child adapt to new situations easily
You really need to ask yourself if your child adapts to new places and situations easily. If yes, your child will probably have a simple transition to the new environment, routines, and laws of the summer camp. A child who adapts to situations slowly may need a little more help and time adjusting to a sleepaway camp. In that case, it is advisable they go to the camp with a friend or have a family member attend the same camp.
- Check if your child follows instructions
One important part of camping is cooperating with counselors, staff and other adult leaders in the camp. Your child should be ready and be able to follow instructions and treat the staff with respect. Campers learn many amazing things in the camp, from swimming, climbing, paddling, sailing, and gymnastics. To make the most of the experience, the campers should be able to listen and cooperate with instructors and leaders.
- Check if your child is interested in summer camps
Summer camps are very different. Some are traditional style camps, focusing on outdoor recreation and adventure, while others may be more sporty. Make sure your child attends a camp he considers suitable for his or her interests. In some camps, there are opportunities to focus on specific interests, such as gymnastics or trampolines, with the inclusion of traditional camping activities.
- If you want your child to give technology a break, then a sleepaway camp is the best solution
The Internet today has brought tremendous benefits to children. Kids can now connect to the internet to talk to their friends. They can complete research projects on the internet. However, too much time on the internet can sometimes affect the child’s self-esteem. Social networks sometimes give the impression that everyone has a better time than them. In the camp, children have no doubt that they are spending the best time of their lives and catching the best fun they can.
- Check if your child can take care of themselves
In a night camp, children need to take care of themselves. They should be able to unpack their bags, shower, sort their own clothes, make their own bed, decide what to wear, brush their teeth and choose healthy foods. It is unlikely that a child who can easily do most of these things without the help of the parents but it is important they give it a try as this will build their confidence.
- Your child is ready for sleepaway camps if he or she is ready to make new friends
The social aspect of the camp is what attracts so many children. Kids can make new friends who do not know whether they are a “small child” or “quiet child” at home. Kids spending the whole summer together also create strong bonds among them. It is not unusual for camp buddies to be friends till they are adults, especially now that social media keeps you connected.
If you think your child is unlikely to be ready for a sleepaway summer camp, then choose a local camp if they have to come home late in the night. If they are homesick, think about what you and your child will benefit from by visiting the camp. The summer night camp is usually the first time that most children spend longer time from home. Usually, summer camps during the night will leave many beautiful memories for a child or teenage camper.
While some parents don’t actually like the idea of sleepaway or all night camps, I would really love to say that it’s advisable that your child attends a sleepaway camp as this will enable him or her to build confidence, self-esteem and also they will be independent. They will also be motivated when they see other children doing things such as packing their suitcase, sweeping, and other basic things alone. They will be motivated to do such things and as such build their confidence and self-esteem.