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Is My Child Ready for Sleepaway Camp?

Is My Child Ready for Sleepaway Camp?

Monday, 03 April 2023 07:44

Summer sleepaway camps are typically outdoor programs where children and teenagers stay in cabins or tents for several days or weeks. These camps offer a variety of activities such as sports, arts and crafts, nature exploration, swimming, hiking, and team-building games.

Summer overnight camps can be a great opportunity for children to learn new skills, make friends, and gain independence. They offer a chance for kids to unplug from technology and spend time in nature, which can be beneficial for their physical and mental health.

Campers are usually supervised by trained staff members who are responsible for their safety and well-being. In addition to the fun activities, sleepaway camps often have structured schedules that include meals, rest times, and group games and programs.

There are many different types of summer sleepaway camps available, ranging from traditional camps that offer a broad range of activities to specialized camps that focus on a particular interest, such as sports, arts, or science. 

Attending an overnight summer camp can be a memorable and rewarding experience for children and teenagers. It allows them to learn new skills, make lifelong friends, and gain independence in a safe and supportive environment.

This all sounds so amazing, and you think your child might be ready to attend sleepaway camp, but you want to be sure. So, how do you know if your child is ready? 

Is My Child Ready to Attend a Sleepaway Camp
The ideal age for children to begin attending summer camp depends on their individual needs, interests, and readiness. Many children are old enough to benefit from summer camp by the time they are seven or eight years old. When determining if your child is prepared for sleepaway camp, keep the following things in mind:

Social Development

Kids who are outgoing and like to hang out with their friends may be more prepared for summer camp at an earlier age than timid or reserved kids.


Children are more likely to succeed at summer camp if they can take care of their basic requirements, such as dressing themselves, using the restroom, and listening to instructions.


Kids who are passionate about something, like sports or the arts, may be more eager to go to summer camp and more likely to get something from the experience.

Physical Capabilities

Summer camp may be a better fit for kids who have the physical stamina to engage in a variety of activities, such as swimming, hiking, and sports.

Ready for New Experiences

Kids who are flexible with change and willing to try new things may be more suitable for summer camp than kids who are reluctant to have new experiences.

Additional Simple Yes or No Questions to Ask

  • Is your child at ease staying at the home of their grandparents or other relatives?
  • Do they feel at ease spending the night at a friend's house?
  • Do they attend school more frequently than four hours a day, at least a few days a week?
  • Do they generally do well with the start of a new school year? It is normal to feel a little anxious.
  • Have they engaged in extracurricular activities such as clubs, athletics, or scouting?
  • Are these extracurricular activities something they look forward to?
  • Do your kids take their own showers or baths?
  • Do they manage basic tasks like putting their own clothing in the hamper, brushing their teeth, and getting dressed on their own fairly well? 
  • Do they generally find making new friends to be easy? (This does not imply that they are invariably outgoing or that they never feel shy.)
  • Has your child ever attended a day camp?
  • Are they willing to at least occasionally try new foods?
  • When they truly need it, does your child ask for assistance from you, their teachers, or other adults?
  • Do you have faith in your kid to take care of their basic needs during camp?
  • Does the idea of going to summer camp interest your child?

The majority of kids are typically prepared for overnight summer camp by the age of seven or eight, while some might be at a younger or older age. The decision to send your child to summer camp should ultimately be based on their particular need and level of readiness, as well as on how comfortable you are as a parent.

You can assist in making sure your child has a positive and rewarding time by selecting a camp that is a suitable fit for their interests and skills.

Tekoa Foothills

If you are still unsure if your child is ready for sleepaway camp, we at Tekoa Foothills would love to answer any questions you may have. We are dedicated to assisting you in making an informed choice about your child's summer camp experience. Together, we'll evaluate your child's camp readiness and design a special itinerary that suits their particular needs and passions.

After going through all the considerations and you still aren’t sure if your five to nine-year-old is ready for sleepaway camp, Tekoa Foothills has an amazing day camp of four jam-packed days your child can enjoy. Either way, day camp or sleepaway camp, you can register here!

Tekoa Foothills is a United Methodist Summer Camp and Retreat Center located in Casar, North Carolina. The property of 117 acres of land is filled with an abundance of beautiful nature, open fields, and hiking trails, along with a swimming pool, multiple natural bodies of water, and a bamboo forest- all for you to enjoy and explore! For more information, visit our website.