How to Know if Your Kid is Ready for Sleepaway Camp
The American Camp Association shares a couple of factors that will help you determine whether your kid (and you) is ready for sleepaway camp.
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Is it safe to send my child to sleepaway camp during the pandemic?
Of course COVID-19 is a concern for everyone this year. But don’t let it deter you from sending your child to overnight camp. This year might very well be the year your child needs it the most! After a year of remote learning and limited after-school sports and activities, camp provides a structured environment where children can take a break from technology and participate in activities safely.
Many overnight camps ran safely and successfully last year in the Northeast with either no or few cases that were contained using a multilayered plan, which included protocols such as testing, cohorts, outdoor activities, daily health checks, increased hand hygiene, and additional disinfecting of camp facilities. Even if the camp you are considering didn’t open last summer, there is now a blueprint on how overnight camps can operate amid COVID. When you speak with camp directors at the camps you’re considering, ask them to talk about what safety protocols they have in place for 2021.
How can I prepare my child for sleepaway camp?
Once you determine your child is ready for camp, now it’s time to think about preparing them for the experience. While you want to get your child excited about camp, you don’t want to talk about it all the time. Over talking camp can make your child feel nervous. As camp approaches, talk about what a day is like at camp, all the activities the camp offers, and what it will be like to sleep at camp. Let your child know it’s okay to miss Mom and Dad, but that you know they will have a wonderful time. Many camps host new camper get-togethers, orientations, and partner new campers with a “big brother” or “big sister” before camp begins.
Although these experiences may look different due to COVID, the sleepaway camp will certainly offer opportunities for new campers to adjust to camp life before the first day. All of these will help ease your child into camp life and will help prepare your child to have the best summer at camp!