Sleepaway Camp :: Should You Send Your Kid?

Sleepaway Camp :: Should You Send Your Kid?

So you’ve got a chance to send your child to an overnight camp? I bet you’re nervous. Wondering if it’s the right choice. Wondering if they’ll be safe, if they’ll get homesick, if they’re mature enough to handle it.

This was me last summer. The opportunity to send my then 8 year old away for a whole week turned me into a pool of emotions and nervousness.

Now here we are, one week post her second year of sleepaway camp and here’s my take:

  • It harbors independence. Whenever our kids don’t have us readily available to take care of their needs, they learn how to do things on their own, in an environment they’re not necessarily familiar with.
  • It gives your child a chance to interact with people outside of their inner circle and introduces inclusion to them on a small scale. They’ll interact with children of different races, backgrounds, and may even interact with children with disabilities. They may find that their similarities are greater than their differences. Which is awesome!
  • They learn new skills. All of those typical summer camp activities like archery, canoeing, horseback riding, etc. may just be an introduction to something your children fall in love with. Don’t be surprised if they bring their new found skills back home and want to integrate it into their normal lives.
  • It toughens them up. As well as the independence factor, it also broadens their strength to handle a variety of situations. Whether it be homesickness or breaking out of their shell if they’re shy. You can bet they’ll be more mature when they get home.

Sleepaway Camp :: Should You Send Your Kid?All in all, I think if you have the opportunity to send them to camp and they genuinely want to go, there’s no reason not to send them. My daughter has made so many life long friends in just a short period of time. For the second year in a row, she’s come home from camp already counting the days until she can go back.

Aside from the normal generic camps, you can often find camps tailored to your child. My child attends a camp specifically for children with heart disease. I’ve also heard of camps specifically for children with other disabilities, which is amazing. It truly means almost every child, no matter their limitations have the opportunity to attend camp and build those lasting experiences.

Sara Hodge
Sara is the proud mother of four children and 3 cats. Born in Baton Rouge, she grew up in Ascension and decided to settle down in her hometown of Gonzales. As the mom of two children with congenital heart disease, she's passionate about raising awareness for the cause. In her rare moments of spare time, she enjoys reading Stephen King novels, spending all her money on Amazon, and scrolling through TikTok. You can usually find her cruising the streets listening to 2000's emo, being her children's personal chauffeur.

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