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Traidhos Camps Suggestions to Prepare Your Kids For Camps

traidhos summer camps

One of the most frequent questions parents have when registering their children for summer camp is what is the ideal age for kids to attend an overnight summer camp? Our suggestions are that if your kids suffer from separation anxiety or are very attached to you then the transition will be more difficult at whatever age. We always suggest that kids can maybe attend their first summer camp with a sibling, cousin or school friend, someone who they feel safe and comfortable around. This way their first summer camp experience will be positive as they will feel more secure and the anxiety of being away from parents is reduced. We have collaborated with Traidhos camps in Chiang Mai to give you some great suggestions to make the transition easier in these great info graphs.

As a generalised rule a kid’s first summer camp would be between the age of 5 to 8 for a day camp and age 8-14 for an overnight camp, although in reality the ideal age to attend a camp really depends on how mature your kids are. There are always kids that run off on their first day at school or summer camp and never look back, and kids that cling to their parents’ legs as the leave (and then normally forget about them within 10 mins!) There is no golden rule for when your child is ready for a camp but by preparing them in small steps can make things easier for them, and for you. If your child has never spent a night away from you, maybe consider letting them have a sleepover at a friend’s or relative’s house for the first time to see how they can manage being away from you, but in a familiar setting.

Another good tip to gently try to help them overcome their separation anxiety is to send them to day camp before they try out overnight camps. Many schools and activity suppliers offer different day camps where they can be away from you for a few hours or the whole day and there is no better way to get your child used to being away from you than a camp full of fun activities. The advantages of these day camps is that they use the same school schedule that the child is already familiar with but the kids get to come home at the end of the day. Choose a camp that is age appropriate and suits their interests as they will be far happier going to camp if they enjoy the daily activities, the time to push them out of their comfort zone to try new things can be much later when they are used to being away from you. The idea is to make their first camp experience fun so they can adjust to a new situation away.

As parents, we want our children to enjoy the experience but secretly we all still want to know how they are settling in or managing at the end of the day. The first time your child goes away to a camp can be just as difficult for the parents as the child, if your child sees you being anxious they will feel something is wrong and naturally be cautious about leaving you. Try to remind them about all the fun they will have and how exciting it will be, if they see you excited for them they will be far happier when it comes to leaving you.

Remember the companies that organize summer camps know very well how to handle any situations and will have very clear communication pathways for you. For younger kids, you may find the provider will send you daily check-ins on how they are managing, send you pictures or updates, kids love smiling for the camera to show their parents how brave they are being or what fun they are having.

For pre-teens they may allow the use of a mobile phone to check-in independently with parents, although this is not always ideal as camps should be a fully immersive experience. Remember kids need to learn how to manage their own emotions, self sooth and sleep alone and they won’t be able to develop these vital life skills if parents enable attachment behaviours. Talk to your child ahead of them leaving so they know what to expect, when they might speak to you next and reassure them the camp providers can contact you at anytime.

Any camp should be a fun and educational experience and the aim is to help kids integrate as best as possible into the camp, interact with other children and enjoy the experience to the fullest.

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