The camp experience can be life-changing - developing independence, self-esteem, problem-solving skills, and a whole host of life skills needed to be successful in today's (and tomorrow's) world. For first time camp families, one very common question is how to determine when a child is ready for camp. Ultimately, families know their child best, and are best able to determine when and if they are ready, however ACA suggests that families also ask the following questions when considering if this is the summer for camp:
- What is your child's age? Children under age 7 may not adjust easily to being away from home. Consider the day camp experience to prepare them for future overnight camp.
- 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?
- Has your child had positive overnight experiences away from home? Visiting relatives or friends? Were these separations easy or difficult?
- What does your child expect to do at camp? Learning about the camp experience ahead of time allows you to create positive expectations.
- Are you able to share consistent and positive messages about camp? Your confidence in a positive experience will be contagious.