If your daughter has never spent the night away from home, you may want to start her with a day camp or a short stay such as 1 or 2 nights at resident camp. After that, she can progress into whatever length of camp she desires.
Although age is one factor in readiness for resident camp, a child’s maturity level and personality are more important indicators. Talk to your child. If she is enthusiastic about attending, she will probably enjoy camp. The following questions may help in determining readiness for resident camp.
- Has your daughter ever been away from home for more than one night without family members?
- Can she keep up with her personal belongings?
- Can she take care of her own basic hygiene needs such as showering, toileting, and brushing her teeth without assistance?
- Can she cope with unfamiliar people, new places, and group schedules?
- Does she enjoy making new friends?
- Does she like group situations?
- Does she enjoy being outdoors? Can she see mosquitos, bugs, or other “nature” friends without being frightened?
Am I ready for my daughter to attend Resident Camp?
Parents and guardians sometimes have a difficult time sending their daughters to resident camp. The following questions will help in your decision making.
- Can you relax and enjoy yourself when your girl sleeps overnight away from home?
- Are you prepared to be away from your daughter for several days?
- Are you willing to have your daughter participate in camp kapers (chores) such as setting tables, cleaning the cabin, sweeping, picking up trash, and cleaning the bathroom?
- Are you confident in your daughter’s ability to take care of herself, make her own bed, and keep track of her own belongings?
- Do you believe that camp provides girls with a fun and rewarding experience that builds self-worth and independence?
- Are you willing to trust the camp staff with the care of your daughter?