What’s the Best Age to Start Sleepaway Camp?

young girls hugging at camp

You’ve sent your kids to day camp and they’ve had a great time. This summer, you are wondering if your child will be old enough for sleepaway camp. Unfortunately, the answer to that question isn’t always an easy one to come by. Some experts recommend one age, while others recommend another. It boils down to this: Your child is ready when they are ready.

For some children, being school-aged is old enough to go to sleepaway camp. For some, this is still too young. Many camps offer overnights to children as young as 6. Other camps don’t allow children to spend the night until they reach age 7. For children this young, overnight camps often take place during a “starter week.” Children spend the days with counselors and friends, and many camps also have parental volunteers.

If you are gasping, feeling as though there is no way your first-grader is ready to spend a week away from you, consider these reasons that young children often do so well at camp:

  1. They are able to develop their confidence and independence early.
  2. They aren’t typically as homesick as older children.
  3. It is often easier to find a spot at popular camps for younger children.
  4. Your children can develop social skills and positive relationships with same- or similar-aged peers.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to you knowing your child. If you are interested in your little one attending a Jewish summer camp this year, reach out to our team. We may be able to help you with financial aid to make camp more affordable.