Is your daughter ready for an extended sleep away experience? Is her age a determining factor?
Trying to figure out when the right age to start camp is can be a real challenge for families. Actual yearly age carries a lot of weight in our society. We celebrate milestone Birthdays with celebrations and sometimes commiserations! My daughter is about to become a teenager and I have been blown away by how much emphasis there is surrounding this event. Mom friends commiserate that I will have a ‘teenager on my hands’ it is apparently just the beginning of the tumultuous years and I am supposed to shower her in adult type recognition and responsibility to help her develop her true self as a young adult. Truth is she will be the same person today at 12 as she will be tomorrow when she turns 13. She has displayed some of the teenager characteristics for a couple of years, others are sure to develop over time or may never appear on our radar. Age does not define us yet it has societal normative behaviors placed up on it.
As a parent I feel like I am often battling the social norms imposed upon my children. It is hard to go up against them when ‘everyone else’ does it, has it or has been there. I love that my sons school uses the ‘wait ’til eight’ theory for cell phone use as it has taken the pressure off getting my 6th grader a phone as it is not the norm in their school culture.
Figuring out when your daughter is the right age for camp can also appear to have social norms and external pressure about when is the right time to send kids off to sleep away camp. We all know that kids develop at their own pace, have varying life experiences and certainly come with an array of different personalities that are more or less conducive to the camp experience. We often get calls from concerned parents wondering if their rising 7th grader is ‘too old’ now for camp? Or if aged 7 is ‘too young’ to start. Will she fit in if she didn’t start in 5th grade when all of her classmates went off to camp? Can we advise them about what truly is the best age to send your child to an overnight camp experience?
The truth is there is only a perfect age for each individual child, some kids are ready at 7 others at 12 or 13 and some girls just may never have the desire to be away for an extended time period. As we talk to parents starting the camp research process we are always excited to chat about their daughters and to help them figure out if she may be ready to join the Runoia fun.
Great questions to ponder for prospective families are: how does your daughter feel about camp? is she driving the process? does she enjoy being away from home overnight with family or friends? is she age appropriately confident managing her own things and time?
If you are pondering camp for 2019 and are wondering if your daughter is ready give us a call we are happy to help support you in the process – Camp Runoia 207 495 2228.