Is your child ready for overnight camp?

Camp sign

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) Summer camp is an awesome experience that makes memories for a lifetime. But if your child gets home sick, it could be memorable for all the wrong reasons. “Parents” Magazine recommends thinking a few things over before sending your child to overnight camp.

Is he up for the adventure?

If your child does well on sleepovers away from home, he’ll likely feel comfortable at overnight camp. Parents recommends your child should be able to shower or bathe on his own and be able to read the daily camp schedule.

>>> “Parents” Quiz: Is your child ready for sleepaway camp?

Prepare your new camper

Going to camp means unplugging: no iPad, video games, or television. Explain to your child that this is a great chance to try something new and discover fun activities and hobbies. Also, without parents there, children need to figure out how to collaborate with other kids and even adults.

Find the right camp

There are thousands of camp options all around the country. You can choose a specialty camp if your child is into a specific sport or activity. There are also religious camps, co-ed camps, and others. The best way to choose a camp is by word of mouth. Get some recommendations, but before you sign up, meet or talk on the phone with the director and see if you can take a tour of the camp.

Anticipate homesickness

Camps know kids get homesick. Younger children are often paired with a “big brother” or “big sister” to help them learn the ropes. Counselors also tend to form bonds with kids and can comfort them. Your child may be less lonely if he signs up with a friend. But make sure to reinforce the idea that camp is about making new friends as well. Talk to your child and see what he thinks about bringing a buddy.

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