Conquer Your Overnight Camp Fears: 5 of Your Biggest Worries Answered
We'll let you in on a secret: All parents are afraid of sending their kids to overnight camp. It's no easy thing to pack up your baby (even a teenage one) and send them miles away to sleep somewhere entirely new for two weeks. But while it's totally OK—good, even!—to have concerns, you shouldn't let them stop you from giving your kid one of the most confidence-building, independence-bolstering, unforgettable experiences of their life. (If you're a camper, check out this great post to convince your parents to send you to overnight camp).
Whether you're a little anxious or feeling full-blown panic at the prospect of overnight camp, we're here to calm your fears:
- My kid won't have fun. Unlikely! Not to toot our own horn, but our camps are really, really fun. Kids spend every day pursuing authentic, satisfying adventures and every evening engaged in the unforgettable fun only resident camp provides: skit nights, talent shows, campfires, cookie raids and lots, lots more.
But if you're like a lot of parents, it isn't the campfires that have you nervous—it's the hiking, biking, climbing and kayaking part. You might be worried that your kid isn't especially athletic, that he's afraid of heights or she's never set foot on a stand up paddleboard before. Fortunately, our adventure sports are designed for kids of every level, and our instructors are extensively trained to help them thrive. At Avid4 Adventure camps, kids learn everything they need to be successful in each activity, but decide for themselves how far they want to push their boundaries. We call it "challenge by choice," and we've found that it makes every adventure incredibly rewarding—and a lot of fun.
- My kid won't make friends. Also pretty unlikely. Avid4 Adventure overnight camps are designed to help every camper—whether they're new to camp or returning, already have pals or don't know a soul—make new friends. You may also be asking yourself, is my child ready for overnight camp?However, from the moment they arrive, even before they say goodbye to their parents, they're whisked into teambuilding games with staffers and fellow campers, well on the way to making their first friends of the summer. They'll spend the session in a small group of 13 kids right around their age, a perfect size for meeting people and building strong connections. Chances are, your kid will make new friends fast and build a ton of social confidence in the process. But if they decide they do want to come to camp with a buddy, we're happy to accommodate cabin requests.
- What if my kid gets homesick? This one's actually pretty common—because it's totally natural for kids to miss a home and family they love. We don't ignore or dismiss homesickness, but we do make sure that our nurturing, experienced staff members make camp feel safe and welcoming, complete with well-established routines and fun, jam-packed schedules that keep campers too busy to miss home for long (our staff even get thorough training on how to address homesickness). And at the end of two weeks, having triumphed over their initial fears and feelings of homesickness, kids come home with noticeably more self-assurance and independence.
The vast majority of homesickness dissipates in the first day or two, and we've never had a camper who had to go home because of it. But to cover our bases, we'll have you fill out a Get To Know You form before camp to help us address your kid's specific needs. Also, you can check out our Help Center for specific strategies to prepare you child for homesickness at overnight camp.
- What if my kid hates the food? Our kid-friendly meals are healthy, hearty and really delicious, and we have lots of experience satisfying the appetites of even the pickiest eaters. In short, pretty much everyone loves the food, whether they're eating in the dining hall or out on a backpacking trip.
We also understand that eating is far from a one-size-fits-all proposition, and are happy to prepare vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free meals. We're well practiced accommodating allergies of every kind (including a lot at once) and love working with families to find the best way to keep their kids safe, satiated and included. Whether that means packing your own food for the session, having our chef prepare special meals or some combination, we welcome lots of conversations—with the director, chef, nurse and instructors—before and during camp to find the best way to meet every camper's needs.
- Will my kid be safe? However much we want to keep our kids safe at every turn, no adventure is totally risk-free. That's why, rather than roll campers in bubble wrap, we help them develop good judgment. That way they can assess new situations for themselves and learn to take thoughtful, calculated risks. We find this teach-a-kid-to-fish (or rather, manage risk) approach is the best way to impart lasting skills in personal responsibility and independence, and build lots of confidence along the way. Read more about Avid4 Adventure's approach to risk at camp and safety statistics.
It's OK to be worried about sending your kid to overnight camp (really!). But in the spirit of Avid4 Adventure camps, which are all about helping kids push their boundaries, why not take this opportunity to push your own? Your aspiring adventurer will thank you for it.
To get 2019 savings and coupons on Avid4 Adventure Overnight Camp, sign up for our Weekly Deals! Each week, we send out an email to our exclusive Weekly Deal subscribers with information on how to save on last-minute openings for the day camps that have spots available for the following week and overnight camps that have spots two weeks out.