In three short weeks, I will be giving my tween daughter the gift of sleepaway camp.
Surprisingly, she loved the idea.
When the opportunity presented itself a few months ago, I didn’t hesitate from signing her up and paying the fees.
I never had this chance when I was a kid, my parents could not afford it and I’m not really sure if they would have let me go (let’s just assume this part anyway).
I believe that all kids should experience being away from mom, dad and home for a while and here’s why:
Taking on new challenges can be just the right boost a tween needs. At sleepaway camp, kids are presented with opportunities to show off their skills without the help of mom and dad.
Sharpen social skills
Social media robs kids of knowing how to talk to others in real life. Phrases like “talk to you later” and “totally” have given way to “ttyl” and “totes”. We, as humans, have not yet arrived to operate totes (totally) digitally. Until that time, we still need to know how to talk to people. While at sleepaway camp, kids don’t have mom and dad there to nudge them to talk to the fellow camper from Wisconsin. The kids get to decide if and how they choose to introduce themselves to others while at camp. Hopefully, these skills will continue once the kids return home.
Social media break
Speaking of social media, kids in this day and age deserve to know what it’s like to not have a cell phone, tablet, laptop or television strapped to their sides. Sure, they will swear they can’t survive but as parents, we know they will make it.
Chance for new experiences
Just simply being exposed to new experiences is a great reason to send a child to sleepaway camp. Camp activities can vary but many offer activities like kayaking, archery, jewelry making, researching sea turtles (my tween will spend some time doing this) or arts and crafts. Your child will have the opportunity to try something completely new or become more skilled at something they already know how to do. Having this type of exposure without parents is good because they can try these things because they want to not because mom and dad said so.
Prep for letting go
Please believe it when you hear moms with older kids say:
The days are long but the years are short.
Our tweens will grow up and leave us one day, either they go off to college (been there, done that with my oldest), or they move out on their own. Why not use the opportunity of sleepaway camp to prep us for letting them go?
Ultimately, sending your tween off to sleepaway camp is your decision. Of course, you have your reasons for not wanting to do so.
When I signed Tween Girl up for camp, I didn’t immediately feel nervous but as we get closer to send-off day, I am a bit anxious. My anxiousness comes from worrying if she will have enough clothes, will she make new friends and few more “mom type” worries.
She, on the other hand, is getting more excited by the day. I am sure she’s a bit anxious but moving past it because she’s excited to do something new.
During this time, I am making sure that I don’t cast my worries on her. So, if you’re feeling “some kinda way” about sending your tween to summer sleepaway camp, be sure to make sure your reasons are valid.
Ok, so as we get closer to the start of camp, I thought about all of the “stuff” Tween Girl will need for her stay. If you’re sending a tween girl off to camp this summer, use this packing list to get some ideas of what to pack.
What else would you include on the summer camp packing list for tween girls?