Family Matters: Sending Siblings to Camp

April 19, 2012

If you’ve got a multiple-kid household, you have a lot of choices when it comes to summer plans — including camp!

First, assess each individual child’s readiness for camp. Consider each child’s age, past experiences away from home, and expectations about camp. Read specific tips at The Right Time — Gauging Your Child’s Readiness for Camp. Make sure to talk through any decisions with your children as a family.

Camping Together?

If you do decide more than one of your children is ready for camp, consider whether they would thrive at the same camp or separate camps. Siblings who are close in age and interests and consistently get along with each other may find camp even more enjoyable if given the opportunity to experience it together. And when the camp experience is over, the siblings can reminisce and engage jointly in any new hobbies they picked up over the summer.

Keep in mind, however, that camp also helps attendees develop better social skills and encourages independence and healthy risk-taking. If your children are too focused on each other, they could miss the opportunity to make new friends and spread their wings.Also, if your children don’t get along, you might want to consider sending them to different camp — you don't want unhealthy competition to color what ought to be a fun-filled experience.

You may also choose a compromise. You can always send your children to the same camp so they know someone is there if needed, but request that they be placed in separate cabins and activity groups. That way, they can compare notes when they are back home, but each will have had their own unique and rewarding experience.

Is an older sibling going off to camp this summer and leaving a younger sibling at home? Learn what you can do to help a child that is really going to miss his or her older sibling!

Thanks to Camp Howe, in Goshen, Massachusetts for the photo!