Apr 2, 2015 10:08:12 GMT -5
Post by ACADEMY FACULTY [INACTIVE] on Apr 2, 2015 10:08:12 GMT -5
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY TWEEN IS READY FOR OVERNIGHT CAMP?
By Jennifer O'Donnell, About.com
article found at: tweenparenting.about.com/od/physicalemotionalgrowth/f/OvernightCamp.htm
Question: How do I know if my tween is ready for overnight camp?
Answer: Many children first experience overnight camp during the tween years. For children, camp is an opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills, learn independence, and broaden their knowledge of the world and of their interests. For parents, however, deciding whether or not a tween is ready for a week or two away from home can be a challenge.
Before you commit your child, and your wallet, to an overnight summer camp program, ask yourself if your child is really interested in the experience. Did he bring up the idea of going to camp or, if the idea was yours, how did he react? Does he respond to the idea of being away from home with anxiety, or does he welcome a little freedom and independence? Children who have experienced sleepovers or short trips away from home without their parents often have the skill set needed to make it at overnight camp for a few days without mom or dad. A few conversations with your tween will help you know if he's really prepared for the experience, or if he should wait another year.
Overnight Camp - Is Your Child Really Interested?
If it's clear that his interest in overnight camp exists, be sure you also analyze your child's sense of independence. Does he dress himself and prepare himself for school without your interference? Can he fix himself a snack? Does he take the initiative to accomplish tasks without being told? If not, be sure to prepare him to clean up after himself while away at camp, and do all the little things he'll need to do if you're not there. This is a great way to teach him responsibility and help him mature into the teen you hope he will become.
To keep your child optimistic about the overnight camp experience, talk positively about the activities he'll be doing, and focus on all the great things he'll learn. It's also important to point out that he's likely to make a good friend or two at camp, and when he returns home he'll have a lot to share with the family about his experiences.
Finally, be sure your tween has input when deciding on an overnight camp program. You might be sold on the idea of a soccer camp, but he may be more interested in a residential camp that offers a little bit of everything, like hiking, canoing, crafts, etc. Attend a camp fair or try to visit the camp your child is interested in to see if it really is a good match, and to gauge your child's interest in the program.