sleepaway camps? 2 weeks minimum???? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-31-2013, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I didnt grow up with sleep away camps, or camps in general. My son is approaching 8. He's very social etc, but what i dont understand is, why do sleepaway camps have to be for so long? I could go with a 2-3 days sleepaway camp. But even 2 weeks seems  excessive. I can certianly see the benefits of  a camp like this, but hey,  families are separated all day, everyday, all year, and  when summer comes around, the kid gets sent to sleep away camp?


What do you  think of this?


I look forward to my family being together during the summer. However, i dont want  my child to miss out on enriching experiences and making new friends. I LIKE the idea of  a sleep away camp, but really would prefer something that wasnt quite so long and frankly, invasive of the family.... 


I dont know, what do you think of sleepaway camps? Do you know of shorter camps?


Its all new to me....


ps. i think i would hve really missed my family and especially my mother going on such long sleepaway camps  at such a young age, even 12 would have made me sad. At 17 i went away for a couple of weeks, and it seemed like a long 22 i was ready to travel the world alone, and i did...

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#2 of 9 Old 03-31-2013, 07:24 PM
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I went to sleep away camp every year from age 6 to age 12 and it is still some of the best times of my life.

A couple of days wouldn't give the same sort of experiences.

I think going for longer (mine was 10 days) is what jells the kids and councellors together. It is really a bonding experience for the campers. The whole experience of having a new "family of friends" is what makes the camp special.


In my experience. Kids are missing their Mums and Dads in the first couple of days, and then near the last couple of days. But are way more devastated to be going home and leaving their friends for a whole year. The whole bus ride to camp was filled with people crying about leaving their families. And the whole bus ride home from camp was kids crying about leaving their friends.


The days are filled with activities and such. And the evenings were filled with campfires and singing and games in our cabins.


It was a very good experience for me.

And I hope to send my kids away to sleep away camp when they are older.

I think 2 weeks is a suffiencent amount of time.


I do know kids that go for 5-6 weeks!!!

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#3 of 9 Old 03-31-2013, 07:43 PM
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I don't think families are apart all day everyday so I have no problem with camp. I loved going to camp as a child and my DD is looking forward to camp this year. It is a great opportunity to have a lot of freedom and learn new skills without adult interference. Camp is a very free range place to be. Our camps here are only 5-7 days but a longer camp sounds fine.
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#4 of 9 Old 04-01-2013, 05:08 AM
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I went to camp for about 5 summers, and it was a month. Yes, the first few days there was some homesickness, especially with the younger kids. And sadness at the end to be leaving. But. for the most part, we were too busy to be missing home much. 


My son went to Scout camp for several summers - a week. He said it seemed too short. 


I think it all depends on the kid. But make sure it is the KID who will have an issue, and not you...

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#5 of 9 Old 04-01-2013, 05:25 AM
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I know there's at least one camp near me that has a short (3 night?) session specifically aimed at first time campers, and 6-7 night sessions are the norm.  If you keep looking around, you might find what you're looking for.  Longer sessions are fantastic, but I understand being hesitant sending a 8 year old to one.

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#6 of 9 Old 04-01-2013, 05:44 AM
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There are a lot of 7-day camps available here, as well as 2-week, 1-month and 2-month camps. My dc have done the shorter 1 week camps, starting when they were about 8 y.o. They had a wonderful time. I would have sent them for the 1-month camps because I can see the value of a longer session for the kids.  Our summers are pretty busy with family trips to the cottage and sometimes travel, so a 1-month session didn't really work for us. 


Keep looking, you may find shorter camps. Another idea is something like Boy Scouts which often does weekend camping trips with their troops. 

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#7 of 9 Old 04-01-2013, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, good to know there are shorter trips.

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#8 of 9 Old 04-01-2013, 08:06 PM
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soooo much depends on the personality of the child. 


dd went away to a week camp when she was a new 9 and she had a ball. she was scared initially but i knew she would love it. she was ready for it. so i encouraged her. and sure enough she had a BALL!!!! it was so much fun for her. she could have easily gone for another week.


she also went on vacation with her friends. so away from her family. it worked out like a two week camp i guess. 


summer can be a very boring time for dd. we do do a lot of things together. but long days of time together can get tedious. since we dont have a lot of money to join a lot of programs after a while just mom and dd gets boring for dd. she wants other kids to hang out with. 


however she spent the majority of her spring break with friends away. she felt bad leaving me alone so i dont get time to be with her. she wanted both me and the vacation and struggled to make up her mind. i encouraged her (she LOVES the ocean) to go and do certain things throughout the day so she'd feel a connection with me. i told her honestly yes i'd love to have her here at home, but i also want her to have the vacation i cant afford to take her on. she went and had a ball. she missed me - but she also go to hike and wet her feet. she loved that. 


we both lead very busy lives. and coparent. however we snuggle and sleep together. we've slept separately but we find we both still enjoy sleeping together a lot. with dd hitting the emotional side of puberty, snuggling the hour before sleep and talking - means a lot to her. to me too. that is an intense time together. so while we dont really see each other so much during the day, our night time is so much more special because of that. 


dd has been going on vacations with friends since she was 7 and flew unaccompanied for camp at 9

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#9 of 9 Old 04-01-2013, 08:10 PM
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Between the ages of 10 and 14, my kids went away each summer just for a week. It allows mom and dad to have a much needed "grown up" vacation.
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