The idea of a youth summer camp can induce strong emotions on the part of parents and children. These sensations run the gamut from ‘excitement and fun’ to ‘fear and anxiety’. In many social circles it is a status symbol or a family tradition. The correct reason for providing the camp experience is if it is ‘in the best interest of the child’.
Deciding to camp or not to camp—How does a parent determine what is ‘in the best interest of the child?’ Some questions parents should ask themselves are:
- Are the summer camp activities being used to solve a childcare problem?
- Is this an opportunity for my child to learn, grow and experience life in a unique way?
- Is my child a risk taker?
- Does my child enjoy new experiences even before I am ready to provide them?
- Has my child enjoyed overnight experiences with family or friends?
- Does my child have friends who attend camp?
- Will camp provide prospects for my child to enjoy ‘favorite activities’?
- What will be the expenditure for a moderate or super ‘kids summer camp’? Can I bear the burden?
If you answered ‘yes’ to questions two through eight you have it made. If you answered ‘yes’ to question one only, the odds of success are slim. If you answered ‘yes’ to at least four of questions two through eight, the odds are optimal for a successful traditional summer camp experience.