Sending your child to camp for the first time is a big step in your child's life. Going to camp can often bring up the feelings of excitement, anticipation and maybe some nervousness. When is the right time to send your child to camp? How do parents know if their child is ready? The American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey has the following 5 tips for parents to help parents decide if their child is ready for camp.
1. Consider your child's age. Children under the age of 7 may not adjust easily to being away from home at resident camp. Parents should consider day camp at an early age which can prepare children for going to resident camp in the future if he or she would like.
2. How did your child become interested in camp? Does your child talk about camp and camp activities on a sustained basis? How much persuasion is necessary from you?
3. If you are considering resident camp, how has your child's overnight experiences away from home been? Has he or she had successful overnights with relatives or with friends? Consider if these separations were easy or difficult for your child.
4. What does your child expect to do at camp? Learning about the camp experience ahead of time allows you to create positive expectations. Touring a camp the summer before a child goes to camp allows children to see camp and all the great activities. Many camps also offer Rookie Days which are designed to give future campers a chance to experience the camp in session by joining in on the camp activities the summer before going to camp.
5. Are you able to share consistent and positive messages about camp? Parents should let their child know that they are confident in the child's ability in having a successful summer camp experience.
Parents searching for a day or resident camp can visit the American Camp Association, New York, and New Jersey's camp database website www.campwizard.org. For more information, please visit the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey's website www.aca-ny.org.