Many parents wonder if their child is ready for the rewarding experiences that can be found at summer camp. While only you can truly know if your child is up to the challenge, there are several traits you can check to see if your child is ready for camp this summer.
Is your child comfortable being under the supervision of another adult? Is this true even if your child has only recently met the person? If so, your child might be ready. If your child is unable to follow the directions of another adult without your direct prompting, you might consider waiting until next year for camp.
The food at summer camp is never very exotic. You can expect your child to eat plenty of sandwiches, hot dogs, and roasted marshmallows. However, if you child is reluctant to eat foods outside of their usual menu at home, you may want to reconsider shipping them off to camp. Outside of the obvious exceptions for allergies, your child should be mature enough to eat whatever is served at the camp without complaint.
Independent Bedtime Routine
If your child has a solid bedtime routine he or she can perform independently, there is a strong chance your child is ready for summer camp. Sleeping away from home can be one of the most difficult challenges at camp. If your child struggles to go to bed without a consistent parenting routine, allow your child to put herself to bed without much assistance before packing her off to camp.
Much of the fun at summer camp revolves around interacting with other children and making new friends. A child who struggles in group settings may not be ready for camp. Take the time to make sure your child is able to get along with other children independently. Your child doesn’t need to be perfect at this life skill, but it can go a long way in helping a child have a positive experience at camp.
Camp is a great place to allow children to be gently nudged out of their comfort zones. If you see your child regularly giving new experiences a try, he or she will most likely have a blast at summer camp. At the same time, your child should also generally know when to call it quits when something appears dangerous or unsafe. A child who is unable to be in self control at camp puts everyone in danger.
By default, most kids are ready for summer camp. If they weren’t, these camps wouldn’t exist in the first place. However, it’s always helpful to do a quick checklist here before sending your child off for the first time.