Jun 10, 2011, 9:40 AM
by Amanda Formaro
Is Your Child Ready for Overnight Camp?
Is your child ready to embark on an adventure that's far away from the comforts of home? It's a question that is asked over and over again by concerned parents everywhere. By asking yourself some questions about your child, you can determine if they're ready for a fun few weeks at an overnight summer camp.
Does your child attend sleepovers with friends?
While some children have been attending slumber parties and spending weekend nights at various friends' houses since they were in first or second grade, others have only slept away from home once or twice, or not at all. If you answered yes and this is something your child does with no negative issues, that's the first step to knowing if he/she will be able to handle sleeping somewhere other than their own bed.
Is your child shy or withdrawn?
While shy children can certainly attend summer camp, it can be a more challenging adjustment, though overall it's an experience that that could help him/her come out of their shell. On the other hand, if your child expresses any sort of fear or major apprehension, overnight camp may not be something you want to explore just yet. If you child is shy, but still able to make friends and get along with others, summer camp can be a very positive experience for them.
Whose idea was it anyway?
When the topic of summer camp came up, who was it that expressed the interest? Did you present the idea to your child, or did he/she come to you first? If your child brought this idea to you and is excited about the notion, that's a great step toward knowing he/she will adjust quickly to their new surroundings. If you brought up the idea and your child is still hopping up and down, that's great too! The key here is that your child is showing genuine excitement and is looking forward to camp.
How does your child behave in school?
The school environment is structured, with a set of rules that must be followed for everyone's safety and well being and subsequent consequences for breaking those rules. Does your child do well following the rules at school? All camps have rules, much like a school, to keep everyone safe and keep their program running smoothly. The ability to follow rules ensures that your child will have a great time at camp.
Is your child fairly self sufficient?
At bed time, does your child brush his/her teeth? Does he/she get dressed without too much assistance? Overnight camp means your child will be spending several days and nights away from your reminders. They will need to be able to shower, practice good personal hygiene and be able to sleep comfortably in a bed other than their own.
Is your child socially active?
Most children that are socially comfortable with their peers will have little to no problems adjusting to overnight camp. Generally children that have no problem making new friends or getting along with a wide variety of peers will return from camp with plenty of smiles and stories to tell.