I have very strong feelings about summer camp.
I think your child should go.
My two kids vehemently agree with me.
There comes a point in your child’s life when you need to let them stretch their own wings. Mind you, they have a loooong way to go until they fly the coop, but as parents, it’s our job to provide some practice before they do. Camp is a perfect way to do this.
Maybe your kids have had a little experience on their own, like a sleepover at a friend or relative’s house. Maybe they haven’t. Either way, camp provides a fun, exciting, safe way for kids (and parents) to gain a bit of independence.
If it’s your child’s first time away at camp, either one of you, or both, may be a little anxious about going away for so long. Trust me, I get it! Even though I went to camp as a young child every summer until I graduated high school AND I was a counselor for four summers, I was still hesitant to send my youngest for the first time when he was going into third grade.
I was worried his personality might give him trouble being gone for four days and three overnights. However, I was proven very wrong and he LOVED it so much. This year is the first year he can go all week and he is so excited!
Many children have never had the opportunity to go on a creek walk with a bunch of buddies, shoot bows and arrows, or pound designs into a leather craft. But at camp, these opportunities arise, and your children might find a new passion!
I usually went to camp with my bestie cousin, so I already had a great friend going with me, but we grew closer over that week of camp. I would also bring other friends, too, and we could fill up the rest of the year with talk of camp memories.
For me, camp brought an excitement of meeting new people, wondering if I would make friends with the people in my cabin? Where were they from? Would they like getting dirty, or work hard (but fruitlessly) to stay clean the entire week? It was always so much fun getting to know the different personalities each year. I am now in my late 30’s, and I still keep in touch, and get together with several former cabin mates who are now spread out across the country and around the world.
Experience Personal Growth
There’s nothing like stepping outside your comfort zone to insight personal growth. For a lot of kids, going to camp is an experience that causes them to grow and stretch into a better person.
Learn About God (in some camps)
Disclosure: I have no experience with summer camps other than church camps. I cannot tell you how much I loved the experience of being around kids who learned and worshiped God unafraid for a whole week. This was also one of the first reasons my kids brainstormed for wanting to go to camp as well.
My time at camp truly grew me into the woman of faith I am today. I would not be the same had I not learned from Christ-like examples and felt the presence of God the way I did at camp.
If you, or your child, is on the fence about attending an overnight summer camp, please consider all these (and more) benefits that camp can provide that you really can’t get anywhere else. If you’re still not sure, check out our summer camp guide to day camps in the Des Moines area.
Don’t miss an interview with Jennifer on WHOtv Channel 13, tomorrow Saturday April 15 at 9 a.m. She will be talking more about why she recommends sending your kids to summer camp.