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Old 01-19-2012, 03:35 PM
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
1,917 posts, read 6,304,019 times
Reputation: 1957


I am going to pose this question to you parents out there.
I have a nine year old son, who will be 10 this summer.
There is an opportunity for him to attend a two week summer camp at
a very nice camp about 3.5 hours away from us.
My question is, is 10 years old too young for him to be away for such
a long time with total strangers?
He is the youngest in our family and extremely close to his big brother
who is 14. I am concerned that he will become homesick and they'll call us to come get him (we've been assured by the camp directors this won't happen, but still).
Also, as a mom, I am concerned (panicky, paranoid??) about him being abused while away being that he is so young? ( I know this can happen anywhere, but STILL)

At what age did you send your child away to summer camp like this one?
What was their experience?
BTW, it's called camp Hwuani in East Texas. Any experiences with this particular camp?
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:57 PM
Location: Arizona
1,206 posts, read 2,094,316 times
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IMO, it all depends on the child.

My daugher will be 10 in February and does not want to go to any overnight camps. I tried last year and the camp was church run and only a mile or so from our house. She said, "Mom, I don't think I am ready for overnight camp yet."

Some kids do better than others with this kind of thing. Why don't you ask your son what he thinks about it and let him decide if he wants to go or not.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:00 PM
Location: southwestern PA
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My kids were going to church camp at age 8.... 3 day camp.
They were gone for a whole week starting age 10.
They never did a 2 week camp.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:08 PM
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i went when i was 9 or 10, it was a week long camp about 2 hours or so away from home.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:22 PM
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Our kids first went to camp when they were 10. It was only a 4 night camp though. When our oldest went I wasn't sure how he would deal with it so we sent him to a shorter camp. They had the kids call home the last night there. I was expecting tears but instead I got "Love it here, coming back next year, gotta go, bye". Two weeks is kind of long for a first time but they are usually kept so busy that they time flies for the kids, it's worse for the parents. My suggestion is that you DON'T call them during that time. They kind of "forget" about you after a couple days and if you call them, it only reminds them you are around and makes it much worse for the kids. Most camps don't allow phone calls anyway. Send mail though. Our kids still go to camp and I mail something a couple days before they leave so it is there on their first "mail call". This is for their high school band and they make a HUGE production out of getting mail so it is more for the fun of doing that than anything though.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:23 PM
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
17,402 posts, read 3,537,755 times
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FYI....I was a camp nurse (RN) one full summer (8 wks)....most children came for 2-4 weeks. No problem.

Then there were the "parents" who dropped off their young children for the full 8 weeks. I was horrified to find a 6 year-old and others just as young, at camp for the first time---for 8 weeks. That little girl and others like her had a miserable/sad time. She came every day to the infirmary to see me, get some deserved attention...but was unable to voice homesickness.

She began having "stomach aches" and a variety of vague complaints...I had her evaluated by a MD who also felt she was too young/homesick. Oh, it was a pitiful time.

After discussing w/the camp dir., we called those parents come to pick their child. They sent a chauffeur.

I think 8 yrs for one week...older for longer...but please, err on the side of caution! YOU know your cild best.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:44 PM
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Did you (the North American parents) have summer camps when you were growing up? 60s -90s? I was growing up with 3-week summer camps from age 8, and some working parents re-enrolled kids throughout the summer (three 3-week camps in a row). It was nothing out of the ordinary. Yes, some kids were miserable and wanted to go home, but the main attitude was basically "Sorry, bud, that's just the way it is."
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:52 PM
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 5,856,135 times
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My daughter did it last summer and had a great time. There will be a little homesickness, but if the camp and counselors are great then it won't be that big an issue. My daughter said that she missed us the most at night, right before bed, but otherwise she was too busy and happy to be sad. You know your child. Just make sure the camp is wonderful. You can ask the camp for references.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:00 PM
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my oldest started camp at 6 yo. It was a week and just about ll the kids in church went at the same time. He went every year for a week until about 12 when he lost interest. The younger two have only gone to camp a few years (I married their father when they were in early elem school). One with the church and while he enjoyed it, he is ho-hum about going. His first year he was 9. The youngest has gone to an activity based camp for the last fourish years. She is now 11 and is eager to go back.

My kids have only been gone a week at the time, two weeks might be a bit much for the first time. I have a friend who sends her (now teenage) kids to a month long camp every summer. The girl has gne to the same one every year and had developed deep friendships, loves the camp and is now at a private boarding school for her freshman year of high school. The boy always chose a different camp with a different theme and enjoyed every minute of it. He is in his home school, even though he could easily g to a boarding school as well.

It really depends on the kid. Just make sure the choice is made by the child and not by the parent's influence and you'll have your answer.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:39 PM
897 posts, read 2,094,978 times
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overnight camp is a great experience but not for everyone - I think that he should try it- homesickness usually will come and go(if he even gets it) My Daughter started at 7 for 1 week and by 10 she went for 4 weeks... son was more of a home body and only went for 2 weeks in 3rd-6th grade.
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