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Summer Camps – Tips For Sending Your Child Off To Camp

Published Feb 23, 2015 | Updated Feb 19, 2020

Check out ChatterBlock’s listing of fun kids summer camps and overnight summer camps for 2013
Plus read our blog on tips for knowing if your child is ready for camp  

Tips For Sending Your Child Off to Overnight Summer Camp:  With the school year wrapping up around mid-June for most school districts in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, it is that time of year again for parents to begin the process of first deciding if you want to send your children to an overnight camp away from home.  If so, where to send them, and how to keep everyone happy.

The benefits of sending your kids to camp are infinite, and with the right attitude, preparation, and research, you can have peace of mind (and a little alone time!) while your kids are enjoy an enriching and fun camp experience that will leave them with fond memories for many years to come. If the idea of sending your children to a summer camp away from home this summer has come up, read on about the various ways to prepare your kids for camp, suggestions on how to choose the best summer camp for your family, and other helpful hints to make the most out of your child’s camp experience.

Coping with homesickness:  Fear on behalf of yourself and your child, that they will experience homesickness while at camp can be a major deterrent for parents to send their kids to camp. While homesickness is a normal and common symptom, it should not be considered the deciding factor for your child to miss out on what great things camps have to offer. Below are a few parent approved tips to help avoid homesickness.

  1. Involve your child in the planning process. Participating in picking out the summer camp they will attend will help make sure it is something they look forward to. Ownership in the process will not only encourage independence, but will help generate positive anticipation and excitement leading up to the departure day.  Take advantage of ChatterBlock by browsing the thousands of summer camps has listed in ChatterBlock’s Summer Camps section.
  2. Discuss communication beforehand. Some camps have communication policies which you can address and work around beforehand, like writing and sending postcards. However, most camps tend to allow you to communicate whenever. If that is that case, plan approximate times and hopefully your child isn’t having too much fun, and they remember to call YOU!
  3. Send a note or care package. Sending a little something ahead of time or in their lunch for the day will show you are thinking about them and positively say that you miss them too. Something as simple as “Thinking about you at your first day of camp, I know you will have a blast!”
  4. Don’t feel guilty. For many children camp is a key development step and a great way to build their independence, help them meet friends and expand their education. It is also a perfect chance for you to get a little personal R&R and doing what also makes you happy.

Picking the right camp:  Camps for kids have greatly progressed from the cabin in the woods experience that may first come to mind when you think of camp. Nowadays they are age specific, vary in time and commitment, and are highly tailored to your child’s direct interests. So while you can still find those classic overnight, food hall and canoe experiences, there are so many more options available to suit not only your child interests, but also align with your values and budget.

When deciding on what camp to send your kids to, start with your own priority list. Think about things that you may care about, for instance, location, price and values. Make sure to have a conversation with your child about what they want. Cross reference your two expectations, and hopefully you will be able to narrow down your search from the many camp categories ranging from sports, art, education, fitness, discipline, faith and many many more.

This is where ChatterBlock comes in. There are plenty of camps throughout the San Francisco Peninsula to choose from and to help decide what would best suit you and your child.  To assist parents, we have created a SF Peninsula Summer Camps guide to highlight some of the camps being offered by some of the best local activity providers.  This guide covers a variety of camps including overnight as well as day and half-day camps throughout San Mateo County and the northern parts of Santa Clara County (Cupertino and Sunnyvale).

You may be left asking yourself whether or not camp this camp business is worth the effort. However with a little planning and intuition, camp can greatly contribute to your child’s developmental and social needs by promoting self-confidence, teamwork, and initiative. All of this while they have fun, and you have a few hours of free time? I think those benefits alone pretty much answers that question. Happy Camp and Program Planning!

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