My ds has gone to camp the past two summers, and plans to return this summer. I guess he was 8 yrs old the first summer.. he was gone three weeks..last summer he went for the full 7 weeks. He absolutely loves it.
The camp is less than 10 miles from us, and is owned and run by two brothers, who also teach at our school. one of them is the gym teacher and the other is ds's teacher this year. Also.. there are quite a few local kids there.. allof which make the 7 weeks a breeze for him.. he's actually been saying he's "homesick' for camp.
A little harder on me, I have to admit...Although the camp i close by, we are discourages from visits other than the scheduled "parents weekend" when he comes home for one night..this is not a strict rule, just a suggestion as they find that some kids tend to get more homesick when they're parent show up alot..and for the experience of true camp independence...we try to adhere to that and have found that ds is fine with it. My friends ds goes there too and she goes and gets him to go to the movies etc..
The camp is very rustic and as the campers get older their lodging gets more rustic.. as in lean-tos for the older ones,as they spend most of their summer out camping in the wilderness.
I think that camp is not for everyone, I know ds #2 would not groove to it, but if your child doesn't mind being away from home and isn't the homesick type, there's nothing better...