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Old 01-31-2012, 07:14 AM
 
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I went to two week summer camps when I was 8 or 9. Can't remember but it started rather early and wasn't too traumatic. I remember enjoying myself riding horses, swimming, doing arts and crafts. It was pretty fun. Then again, this was in the 60's and early 70's and my parents didn't fret about things all that much.

I guess it depends on the child. I would be hesitant to have my 12 year old go to any sort of extended stay activity since we are going through a very rough time with her. My 9 year old son would probably do better.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:14 PM
 
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My nephew went to camp when he was 6. My brother and I were there too though so that probably made the difference.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:17 PM
 
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I started going to week long sleepaway camp at 6 and went every summer (usually for multiple week long sessions) until college, though I was a camp leader the last few years. I was a pretty unattached kid, though, and being 1 of 5 kids I was used to not having my parents' attention on me all the time.

As a leader, I saw kids demand to go home between ages 9 and 15. The camp staff knows kids get homesick and try to stay informed and give extra attention/distraction to kids having a tough time, but some stay insistent and leave early.

It all depends on the kid. Some are ready to be away at really young ages and some will have trouble being away from home in college. The only thing that really got me homesick during my camp years was seeing all the other campers get daily letters and packages from parents while mine didn't see the point since they'd be seeing me in a few days, anyway.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:20 PM
 
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My son did two summers at a camp, here in NJ at age 4 and 5. We only sent him for 4 weeks each time, but he had an absolute BLAST. I think the age depends on the kids and the camp. This particular camp is HUGE in our area and is primarily staffed by childcare professionals. For instance, the two years my son was there, his group leader was a public school Kindergarten teacher from the area and his group also had 1 certified teachers aide as an assitant to the group leader for every 4 kids. This place was pricey, but well worth the money.

Had we not moved out of their transportation range (tuition included transportation from central points to the camp) and my son started other summer programs in our town we probably would have kept sending him for at least a few weeks each summer.

Liberty Lake Day Camp

Turtles | Liberty Lake Day Camp
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Wherever life takes me.
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I was in girl scouts and we went to camp all the time.
I LOVED it.

I did have a bit of homesickness but I always stayed, I never went home early.
I would send my kids with the scouts or to independent summer camps if they wanted. I went to sports camps all the time too. I loved it, it was so nice to be away from home, not fighting with my mom or getting into trouble.

I wish I had gotten to go more often.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:44 AM
 
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If your child has never been away from you for more than a night or two, I doubt it would be a great idea. Already if you are apprehensive, you already feel like it isn't a great idea. Go with your first instinct that it might be too much for your child and you. Plus you will save yourself the long drive and the money.
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