Summer is a great time to get the kids involved in activities they are often unable to do during the school year. These can include overnight summer camps. Choosing a camp that adequately fits your child’s temperament and their experiences with away-from-home stays is vital. Even though we may have forgotten, overnight camp is a big deal for tweens and even teens, and can bring about a range of emotions from excitement to extreme apprehension.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Be careful not to assume that they will love camp just because their siblings or friends did. Listen to their particular concerns.
- For some children, having a friend at camp with them might make a big difference.
- Be aware of your own emotions. For instance, if you show hesitation, they may feel more reluctant to go.
- Remember that your emotions and attitude can also show up in the love notes that you tuck away in their suitcase. Avoid emphasizing how much you are going to miss them, but rather write about looking forward to hearing all about their experience when they return.
Ultimately, some children may not be ready for an overnight, week-long camp. If they have expressed a great deal of doubt and dread, have a contingency plan for them to come home, if needed. Feeling a bit nervous about camp can be expected; being so anxious that they fear their camp experience or cannot partake in the camp activities may not be worth it. Remember that just like in baseball, there is always next year…
Photo by: Joe Cavazos via Flickr