Many parents or group leaders plan summer camp activities without any thought for understanding the appropriate duration of the camp for different age groups.
Some day camps offer short stays of two to four days and accept children as young as five, but most traditional summer camps with one week or longer durations typically set their minimum age at seven or eight.
How Long Is Best For My Campers?
One of the main reasons for a minimum age restriction for longer camps is that over the years summer camp administrators have come to learn that younger children typically have far more challenges related to separation anxiety or homesickness.
Some camps may make exceptions to their age requirements but it is not common and a parent should seriously question whether it is in the child’s best interest to seek one out. Experience shows that sending children into a situation where they will be the youngest person may cause more problems than it is worth.
Preparing Your Child For An Extended Stay Away
As a parent, you can help to prepare your child for their first camp away experience by encouraging positive expectations about camp in your child’s mind. You definitely want to include them in choosing and planning for camp.