Attending Camp with a Friend
Some parents prefer their child attend camp with a best buddy. Others would never hear of it. Is there a right? Is there a wrong? Absolutely! But the answer is different for each family.
To decide which choice is right for your child, think carefully about your goals for his or her summer experience. Are you hoping for your child to meet new friends and try new things? Or are you hoping to fortify existing friendships?
"I sent my son to day camp with a friend from school & requested they be grouped together. I thought this would be good for him, as he is shy in new situations," said New Jersey mother, Cyndi Hack. "In the end, this friend treated him differently at camp and my son was hurt by this. It probably would have been better if I had put him in a group alone and encouraged him to step up to the plate socially."
"I wanted my daughter to go alone," said Samantha Jaffe of Long Island. "I wanted Chloe to have what I had: a whole separate group of camp friends. Prior to camp, Jaffe contacted the camp for the name of another first-time camper in her area. The girls met beforehand and even went camp shopping together. Jaffe said, "If nothing else, it was a familiar face for the bus ride up to camp. The rest was up to her."
Karen Dreyfus, also of Long Island, believes her son Zach had the best of both worlds. "I didn't plan for him to go to camp with friends,"explained Dreyfus, "but two of his friends ended up choosing the same camp. Luckily, we all agreed to bunk them separately. This way, they had the comfort of a friend nearby, but also the opportunity to spread their wings."
If you do decide to send your child to camp with a friend, think carefully about the state of this particular friendship. Does either child get jealous easily? Do the kids know how to successfully work out their differences? Is it an equal partnership? Of course, no child should be too reliant on another child, as this is not good for either of them. And don't allow another parent to pressure you into a situation that you're not comfortable with.
Only you can decide what the right situation will be to ensure a successful situation for your child.
About the Author: Laura Miller has been a staff member at several camps and has worked in camp marketing. She is the founder and Director of Marketing for CampRatingz.com.