Somewhere around May, my son started begging me to go to sleepaway camp. He saw a poster on a kiosk at a local shopping center which he decided looked like the most fun place on the planet. This was not a fleeting thought, a whim, a passing phase. He was determined. He asked me every day for two weeks if he could go.
My husband and I discussed it at length and came up with a list of “points of discussion” which we would use to determine if he was sleepaway camp ready. I’m sharing it with you so that when your child comes to you begging you to spend two thousand dollars on one week of camp, you’re prepared to ask the tough questions and hit ‘em with the hard facts. Or, you know, get out your credit card.
10 Questions to Consider Before Signing Up Your Kids for Sleepaway Camp
- Can s/he make it through a sleepover without calling you?
- Does s/he have high-level conflict resolution skills?
- Is s/he a self-starter?
- Is s/he an independent thinker?
- Does s/he have wilderness experience?
- How does s/he have any reservations about being far away from you?
- Does s/he have any sleep-related issues or problems?
- Does s/he have any allergies that need close supervision?
- Is s/he responsible with their belongings?
- Are YOU ready for him/her to go to sleep-away camp?
Now, I can’t tell you what the right answers are, as each family has its own set of values. Only you really know if your child is ready for sleep-away camp, but these questions are a great starting point for the discussion. Much to my relief (because with literally no notice I was clueless as to how I would come up with the money for that place), my son changed his mind. He decided he wasn’t ready to sleep somewhere that was five hours away from our house. We opted for a week of the most outrageously fun daycamp we could find and put the sleepaway camp on the back burner until next summer.
When your son or daughter comes to you begging for a summer long stint at Camp Anawanna, you’ll be prepared for the discussion with this trusty list. Good luck! You’re gonna need it!