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Is my child ready for overnight camp?

How to involve your child in the decision to go to overnight camp

By Joanne Kates
Is my child ready for overnight camp?

Photo by Judson Abts/istock

Q: We want to send our 10-year-old to overnight camp for a week this summer. He says he wants to go, but we worry he’ll change his mind before then. Do we send him anyway?

A: It’s not a good idea to force a child to go to camp. But the more you involve your son in the decision, the more likely he is to stick with it.

Arrange for him to meet with the camp director this spring — it’s the director’s job to connect with your son and draw out his hopes and fears about camp. If you still have doubts, don’t sign him up yet.

Registration deadlines are approaching, but few camps fill up that fast (especially for the second session). Tell your son you’ll send him to camp if he’s still interested in a few months. He will appreciate making a final decision at his own pace.

This article was originally published on Mar 19, 2012

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