Summer Camps for Kids- Pros & Cons?

[deleted account] ( 22 moms have responded )

I went to summer camp for most of my summers. Some I remember liking, some I remember hating. My best summer camp memories were sleep away camp!

My son wants to attend camp. It actually works out well since I return to work in July. It's at his former preschool, and they run a summer camp for school aged kids that centers around a science, math, and art curriculum. I also have him enrolled in a basketball camp for a week. Then he brought home a flyer for the local Boys & Girls Club summer camp that several of his friends are going to. I actually planned to do some homeschooling over the summer, but I see no reason why he cannot attend a summer program so he can be with friends. I'm sure as he gets older, he may not wan tto participate in a summer camp. Or, maybe he will consider sleep away camp. Perhaps I just want to sit back and get my toes done

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[deleted account]

I think the big key is matching the right summer program to the kid, and making sure that the child WANTS to be there as opposed to forcing it upon the kid.

[deleted account]

Okay, this is going to make me sound like the little pastor's kid (which I am... but that's besides the point... lol), but I went to church camp every summer for 3 years (my middle school years). It was one week long (and we slept there) and it was SOOO much fun. I loved going and I loved making new friends (even though I was horribly shy, I made friends despite myself. lol).

When I turned 18 the camp director called me up and asked me to be a couselor. I accepted right away and LOVED it even more than I did as a camper. I did the counselor thing for 4 years but now I can't (my oldest is in year-round school and camp is the same week as the first week of school). I really enjoyed it and I will look into sending all my daughters to the same camp (if they want) when they can (the earliest age for the sleep away church camps is 9 I think... I'd have to look into it).

Of course I missed my parents, but it was one of the best experiences I have had in my life (both being a camper and being a counselor) and I wouldn't trade it for the world :)

Jodi - posted on 05/25/2011

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We don't really do summer camp here in Australia. There are a few, but it isn't common. It really DOES make it tough on working parents juggling the school holidays. We have 12 weeks holidays every year (6 of which are over summer). And that's why I decided to add to my degree and get a teaching qualification, because then I can get a job where I will be home with my kids in the holidays. It's just too hard to juggle.

These days, I just ship my son off to his dad for half the summer :P

Amanda - posted on 05/24/2011

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Both my older children have been away to camp (day camps and sleep away camps). Last summer was a tad lonely for my toddler, as her siblings spent most of the summer away from home.

My son spent 4 weeks at a day camp, that was all about nature, he totally loved it. He was first signed up for two weeks, when that ended he begged for another two weeks.

My oldest daugther won a trip to KY Tim Hortons camp from her school for two weeks. They send away 4 children a year, two children (boy and girl) are picked by how well they do in school that year, and those children pick a friend each to take. Her and her bestfriend had a total blast. For her friend it will prob be the only time she ever leaves Ontario during her childhood.

As well as the boys and girls club by my home, picked children in the neighbourhood to go away to a Tim Hortons camp in Ontario, which both my older children went to for a week.

I hope they dont expect as fun of summer this year HAHA I sure cant afford to send them away to Tim Camps all summer.

Tara - posted on 05/24/2011

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I loved sleep away camp, once I was old enough for it. I wanted to go for two years before I finally decided I could do be away from home that long in a strange place with no friends. I was 11.
I learned how to groom, hoof pick, saddle, ride, clean teeth, clean saddles, etc. etc. for horses. I loved riding and that exp. at camp led me to a life long love of horses and my future involvement in relays, barrel racing and other horse play. lol
My oldest daughter is 11 and is going away this summer for a week at sleepover camp, she'll be less than 10 minutes away as we live in prime summer camp territory.
She is going with a close friend and so at least they'll have each other.
She's super excited and ready for this.
I think as long as the child is ready and wants to go and no one is forcing them all is well.
If parents are sending their kids away over night and the kids don't want to go and the whole experience is designed just for mom and dad to have a break, then I think no, that's no fair.
:) I loved camp and I hope my kids have great experiences that will be memories for a life time.

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Barb - posted on 05/26/2011

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And Krista i'm so jealous!!! Wings from Chuck Yeager?! Holy cow what an honor!!!

Barb - posted on 05/26/2011

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I think camp was great for me and my son.

I went to camp for a week when i was a kid and then sent my son to the same camp when he was old enough.

The pro's were that he loved it, he got to learn to do some fantastic things, including rock climbing, horseback riding, water skiing, and archery.

The con's for me were having to trust the camp staff to keep him safe. One year their county even had a tornado and it was a 3 hr drive to get to the camp. I was hysterical for news from the camp and no one was answering the phone. But he was fine and they had done a great job of taking care of the kids and of course, they had a tornado shelter.

The other con was the price, but it was helped it was split 3 ways between Jr's Dad, his grandpa on his Dad's side and myself.

The pro's definitely outweighed the con's and i think helped him overall with socializing and self confidence.

Bonnie - posted on 05/26/2011

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My brother and I went to summer camp once and hated it. Something is telling me my parents did not choose the right one for us!

Jodi - posted on 05/25/2011

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We DO have "day camp" - basically a whole heap of school holiday programs. But they cost about $40-$50 a day and are only for children 5-12. Once they hit 12-13, there are very few options. And I am NOT a fan of my 12-13 year old being home alone all day every day in the holidays with no adult supervision. Short periods to go to the movies with friends, or off to the basketball courts, fine, but not all day every day.

Stifler's - posted on 05/25/2011

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Summer camp is an awesome idea. I would totally send my kids if they had them here.

Joanna - posted on 05/25/2011

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I did week-long day camps as a kid, never sleepaway. I went to 2 different week-long sleepaway camps in Colorado, when I was 15 and 17, for a Lutheran Youth convention type thing. But my mom was one of the chaperones both times, so it wasn't really a break for either of us :P

Amie - posted on 05/24/2011

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Our oldest is a Navy cadet and goes to camp with them each summer for a week. She started when she was 9 last year. She loved it. The one thing that did worry me was that if any of the kids start getting homesick they are not allowed to call home for you. The officers said they figured out in all their years of doing the camps that was the best way to handle the home sick kids. I wasn't worried about mine (that girl has no separation anxiety whatsoever) but I knew a couple of the cadets were fairly clingy to their parents.

As for our younger ones, we have never enrolled them in day camps. I've honestly never had the patience for it and don't view it as "camp". It's like outside day care to me so mine have never gone.

I remember being young (about 7) and starting camp, the one we were sent to took kids that young. We were an hour from home but we loved it. It was bible camp but we only had to go to church on sundays - just like we were at home. It's also where I was thrown from a horse - that fear took awhile to get over but meh, summer camp was always something to look forward too! Our oldest does already and our younger ones will in the years to come too. =)

Mrs. - posted on 05/24/2011

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I went to "vacation bible school" too when I was a kid. We weren't really religious at all, but the christians had the best summer camps in Nebraska. My parents took advantage of it and sent us. I wasn't so keen on the bible study aspect, but I had an amazing time. I have really good memories of it.

My two "older" roommates (I'm guessing the were like 12-13) taught me how to shave my armpits. I will forever remember them telling me how the cool girls all shaved their armpits. When I came home that particular summer I told my mom to start buying me razors and requested a Tears for Fears t-shirt I'd seen both of them wear. Ah, summer camp in the 80's....

Katherine - posted on 05/24/2011

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I LOVED summer camp!!!! It was only a week though, but we learned how to skeet shoot, shoot bow and arrows, we played capture the flag, had an overnight survival day. It was a BLAST. I went every year until I was too old.
I would send my kids there in a heartbeat.

Medic - posted on 05/24/2011

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I went away all summer (atleast 8 weeks) of every summer from the time I was 9 years old. from 13 till 17 I went to swim camp and trained all summer with the university swimmers at UT.

Rosie - posted on 05/24/2011

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there was slightly more than kissing going on too, lmao not much more, but still, a bit to much while everyone is spilling their hearts out at the end of the week campfire. hehe.

[deleted account]

I sinned too at summer camp! It was the Jewish sleep away camp ;-) The 13 year old summer is when a lot of kids were practicing for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Yeah, we had services daily too. The summer going into 10th grade....well lots of sinning. Pass the bottle....I ended up with mono and was out of school for 5 weeks. I know better now as a parent what to expect if and when my son wants to go away to camp.

Rosie - posted on 05/24/2011

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i went to bible camp when i was 10-14. it was a week each summer, and i absolutely LOVED it. wasn't too keen on going to chapel everyday, but dealt with it like i did everything else i wasn't too fond of.
i had loads of fun, kissed my first boy, had memories that will last me a lifetime. i sooooo wish i could find something affordable for my boys, i also am terrified of having someone else have to deal with my oldest child and his ADHD, OCD, autistic tendencies. he's very hard to handle most of the time. maybe one day...

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/24/2011

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I am actually looking into summer camps for my son right now!

What scares me....eek.....There was a news report about 1 month ago about the very camp I went to as a kid. There was sexual molestation going on there. During the same year I was there. I am concerned about this....but my son would not be at that camp. I don't know if I am being overly worried for nothing...but it is a real life concern.

Krista - posted on 05/24/2011

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I think that camp can be a great experience for kids, as long as the kid's interests and personality are kept in mind.

I went to Air Cadet camp every summer from when I was 14 until I was 17. It was great -- I was gone for 8 weeks, and so my parents got a lovely break. Plus, one of those camps consisted solely of training to qualify for my private pilot's license. During our graduation ceremony, we were presented our wings by Chuck Yeager!

For younger kids, day camps are a good option -- it gives them a chance to get used to the camp experience, without feeling like they're stuck there.

[deleted account]

Oh, one of my closest and dearest friends is someone I met at summer sleep away camp-the summer of 1985!!!

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