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What is the Right Age to Send My Child to Overnight Summer Camp?

Camp Cody Team 08/14/2020

Are you thinking about sending your child to overnight summer camp in NH? We understand that it can be a tough decision to sign your child up for overnight camp, especially if he or she has never been far from home before. Continue reading to see what’s a good age to send your child and get some additional tips from our knowledgeable staff.

swim instructors showing kids how to swim at a lake

Five or Younger is Too Young for Overnight Summer Camp

Even if your child wants to go to overnight camp at 5-years-old, this typically is a bit too young. Your child still needs to learn about hygiene, sharing, social development, and independence. A great alternative is to go camping as a family or let your child stay with friends or family. Give your child the opportunity to be away from home for a short period of time.

The “Magic Age” for Summer Camp

Many parents call the “magic age” for summer camp eight-years-old as this is when children are learning how to reason and they’re able to think independently. However, we certainly see campers at age six and seven. They typically stay with cabin mates and counselors so they do not need to find their own way to activities. Many young children have an easy time adjusting to summer camp and come home feeling much more confident.

Age Alone is Not the Ultimate Factor

While there are certain ages that do tremendously well at summer camp, this is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Some children adjust to summer camp at age six while others might not be ready until ages 10 or 11. Does your child seem eager to leave home? Has he or she spent time away from home already? Does your child understand the importance of showering, brushing teeth, etc.? There are tons of things to consider before sending your child off to overnight summer camp. Most importantly, ask your child if this is what they want and make sure your child understands what to expect at summer camp. Have your little one browse the web with you to research camps so they feel completely comfortable.

Why Young Children Do Well at Summer Camp

Young children typically don’t get as homesick as kids over the age of 10 who have never been away from home before. They’re also very resilient and open to change. Since they’ll also be around other new campers, it’s easier to make friends than older kids who are just signing up. Children are also less fearful of new activities and open to trying new things. Overnight camp is the perfect opportunity for children to develop new skills and delve into projects or sports they wouldn’t have tried at home. Young kids are also less critical and judgement which means they’re accepting of everyone. They’ll be meeting kids from different backgrounds, interests, and personalities. This helps kids become more open minded.

Camp Cody Has Programs Designed for All Age Groups

Our overnight summer camp in NH is designed for all different age levels. We offer an assortment of activities for kids to try out and test their boundaries such as a ropes course, sailing, standup paddle boarding, kayaking and so much more. Camp Cody also has several relaxing creative arts activities to choose from like beadwork, candlemaking, t-shirt dying, woodworking, and more.

Pioneers Program (ages 7-9) Kids have the freedom to choose two activities of their interest each day as well as have a blast on the Wibit and swim in Lake Ossipee. Campers share cabins with their peers and attentive counselors.

Juniors Program (ages 10-11): Campers moving from the Pioneers now move into the Juniors Program and there’s also a ton of new campers so everyone is making a new friend. To create the most rewarding experience possible, kids dive into a slew of activities based on their skill and interest. Many choose wake boarding, field hockey, yoga, mountain biking, and kayaking.

Inters Program (ages 12-13): Inters select five electives and maintain their own schedules. The character “focus areas” of the Inters are integrity and helpfulness. Many parents notice a massive difference when kids come home. At overnight camp, older kids grow and develop, listen more, and learn how to work with others.

Seniors Program (age 13-15): Older campers are admired by younger campers so not only are they on their own journey but they’re influencing kids as well. They do have tighter schedules, more challenging activities and more adventure.

Leadership Program (ages 16-17): Teen leaders have fun at camp while also learning about work ethic, helpfulness and responsibility.

Browse Our Summer Camp Programs


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