The weather is warming up and the flowers are in bloom, which can only mean one thing around here: it’s almost camp season. I recently read an article saying that kids who have completed 2nd grade are ready to spend a week or two at camp. Now, I don’t have any kids, but my little brother just finished that grade and I couldn’t imagine him being from home that long. Not that he’s not independent or smart, because he definitely is, but a week is really a long time to be away from home. So for parents out there with the same feelings, I have compiled a list to see if your child really is ready.
- If they can’t stop asking you about it. Their desire to go means that they are confident in themselves to participate. Keep in mind that younger kids are not at the age to have camp forced upon them. In their teens, maybe, but otherwise make sure they WANT to go.
- If a child is fairly independent. A child that is happy with going to school and sports without crying or clinging to you is probably ready to handle this time without you.
- If they do well at sleepovers with friends or relatives. In that case, they will probably be comfortable sleeping anywhere.
- If they can shower, change and go to the bathroom by themselves, because the camp counselor isn’t going to help them.
- Most importantly, if you are confident in your child’s ability to be away from you. Be sure to share that confidence with your child. Let them know that you know they can do it.
If you still aren’t sure about sending your kid alone, start with a family camp or retreat. That way, they can get comfortable with the idea and schedule, but still have you there if needed. Check out our blog Parents and Camp for some ways to help prepare kids before they leave.
Camp is a wonderful experience that is often the highlight of a kid’s summer. Making that decision to go for the first time can be a little scary. Just remember that age alone is not an absolute criterion. It really depends on the child.