Overnight Camp

Updated on October 23, 2013
K.C. asks from Denver, CO
11 answers

Have you sent your kids to overnight camp? Did *YOU* go to overnight camp as a child? I'm considering sending my 10yr old for a couple of weeks this summer. I think she'd absolutely love it, but would like to hear from some of you about your experiences. My daughter is a bit shy at first, but otherwise is fine socially. She loves swimming, the outdoors, animals and has no issues that I can think of that would prevent her from having a really good experience. She's a pretty average 10yr old girl in most ways. I'm thinking about sending her to Camp Tockwogh in Maryland, so if any of you have had experience with this *particular* camp, I'd love to hear it. My entire camp experience is limited to watching "Little Darlings" back in the '80s (so not a really great first impression of camp...). Thanks, mamas!

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So What Happened?

It sounds like camp would be a really great experience for ANY kid! Now you've got me wishing I'd had the chance to go as a child, too. I asked my daughter if she'd like to go and she is TOTALLY excited about it. Now I need to really do my research. Thanks so much for your feedback, mamas!!

More Answers


answers from Austin on

I LOVED girl Scout camp for 2 weeks. It was at the summer between my 3rd and 4th grade. Actually my best friend also went. We won a free week from selling so many cookies!Fun, fun!

Our daughter went to a private camp also between her 3rd and 4th grade.
She went with a classmate. Unfortunately her friends father died (terrible) about 3 weeks before they left for camp and then while our daughter was there my husbands grandmother died (our daughters beloved Great grandmother).. We went up to visit one weekend, just to make sure she was ok. She had fun, but there was a lot going on for those girls.

We sent lots of Care packages and lots of letters. She liked the archery and all of the water activities,.She became more more independent and more willing to try new things. She really did great considering all of the drama back here.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

i loved it and so did my kid it is an experience every kid needs.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I went to overnight camp for three weeks each summer for four years and LOVED IT! It become like a little family and I still keep in touch with my "camp friends" 20 years later. My husband refers to it as "the cult" b/c we have our own langauge and experiences from those days. My sisters both went to the same camp and we all went to a wedding at the camp last summer for a "summer friend".

I too tend to be shy when I first meet people, but overnight counselors tend to be really good at building relationships and making the kids feel comfortable from day 1.

Really, if you can afford it- go for it! She will have the time of her life!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I think my first overnight camp, was only two days long, was at age 8 and then at age 10 I did a week long, over night camp. I love, love, loved it and made so many friends and had a lot of fun. Every year till I was in highschool I went to a week long overnight camp. I am in Wisconsin so can not give any info on your camp but talk it over with your daughter and see what she thinks.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My girl when to her first overnight camp when she was 10. I WAS A NERVOUS RACK! LOL. I actually cry when I let her there if it wasn't because my husband stop me I may have come back for her.
The told us to don't bring food but I put some any way because I was worry she would get hungry. I ask her to mail me everyday (they couldn't call but they could mail us everyday) and I gave her a "secret" word in case she need me to go and pick her up ASAP. I call the camp because I wanted to make sure I write that she is allergic to pollen (which of course I did) just because I wanted to hear my girl (yeah, guilty!).
When I went to pick her up she was soooo happy (can you believe it? lol) I was happy too but I ask her to wait another year to ask me to do it again.
Last vacations was her 3rd time (she is 13), this time she went with the bigger kids and they went canoeing, hiking, and camping!
That experience change her life, her self-steem grow at ton, she did things she didn't believe she could accomplish, she made many friends, and she learn many things about nature, surviving, team work and religion (this was a Christian camp).
Most of my friends wouldn't send their kids to the camp, some of them would but their kids didn't feel ready. I understand and respect all of them. I think it depends on you and your child.
I still worry (and probably will everytime) and I still call all the time (I love this camp because they understand paranoid moms like me) but I have see how much my daughter love it and how much she got from it and I am happy.
Make sure you get to know the camp stuff and make all the questions you have and don't feel shy about calling or show you are nervous, you will be not the only one.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

No experience with that one but both my girls have gone to Girl Scout camps.
In VA the couselor to child ratio was great, the kids were supervised and they had a great time.
Lights out was enforced, the counselors checked in on the girls at 10.
Girls who were unkind were dealt with.

My 2nd daughter went to a NC Girl Scout camp. THey were allowed to roam at night into different tents.
My daughter ended up sleeping by herself in the middle of the woods and the couselors didn't know until the morning.
I found out later some girls were also bullying the younger ones.
The counselors were invisible in the beginning and when we did see the instead of helping us find our tent they went on talking. My gut said bring her home but I let her stay, I should have followed my gut.

Ask how about counselor/girl ratio
Ask about discipline
Swimming--Do they have to test before getting into the water?
NIghttime routine
Do the couselors eat with the children and how many counselors eat with the girls?
Is your daughter on any medication or may need any meds? Ask how that is administered.
What is the reputation of this camp, get recommendations from moms who have sent their daughters there.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I went away for camp for 4 years starting when I was 10. I really loved it! Both camps I went to were church camps in Ohio and ran from Sunday afternoon to Saturday morning, but I wished they were longer. We weren't very religious, but my grandma was a faithful Methodist and she made the arrangements through her church (she lived in Ohio, but I lived in IL). The first 2 years I went with a friend of the family who also lived in Ohio and was Methodist, but the last 2 years I went to a different camp on my own. One year was just normal camp, one year we did "rustic camp" (tents not cabins) and a 2 day canoe trip, the last 2 years it was sailing camp. It was a great experience and I hope I can offer similar opportunities to my children when they're older.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I went to overnight week camps when I was young. I went to a church camp when I was in 2nd grade (I was probably 8). My older sister went to the same camp different camp area but at the same time, so I only got a little homesick, not bad though. I don't ever remember crying, just missed my parents a little. Then when I was 8th grade I went to week long basketball camp that was over night. I loved it too, however, I had two friends that went, there was a group of 6 of us, well, two of them got really bad homesick. They had never been away from home and they cried a lot. They were 14 years old and crying, not eating, sad. I also went to Girl Scout camp on the weekends starting when I was around 4th grade to 9th grade I would say. My sisters where in the same girl scout unit so they were there and it was from Friday night until Sunday afternoon.

Only my daughter has went to overnight camp, for girl scout camp for the weekend when she was in 2nd grade, I went with her. They wouldn't allow the parents to be in the same tent as their child, so she was in another one, but she did fine. But again, I was there with her so I didn't leave her alone.

I think you have to know your child too. Does she spend the night away from you? Go to sleep overs with her girlfriends? At 10 she would probably love the camp, she's still at that age where she may get homesick. However, I found if kids really want to go somewhere they are usually a little less homesick than if it's more of the parents idea.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Wow. We partipated with the family camp weekend ( Memorial Day Weekend) last yr and just sent my check today for this year. IT WAS A WONDERFUL experience for all 5 of us. They have archery,swimming,sea kayak,sailboats,rock wall,tree house,human slingshot, and other stuff I can't think of. I would recommend going as a family that weekend. We love Camp Tockwogh it was a wonderful experience.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My oldest daughter has been to overnight camp a few times, for weekends, one week summer sessions and two week summer sessions. (Girl Scout camps) . I think the first time was arround age 9. She had a wonderful experience and wanted to go back. Yes, there was some "homesick" moments, but those are only natural and almost every child experiences it to some extent.

I would avoid a co-ed camp. I've heard stories/rummors.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I went to camp for a month (called a session vs full season) year after year as a child and had such a wonderful experience that I decided to become a camp advisor with Tips on Trips and Camps for a second career as an adult while raising my three boys. There is such tremendous growth and confidence building that goes on, that I can't say enough good things about it. The key is finding the right camp for your child. You need to figure out what their interests are. Are they socially competitive? Are they athletically competitive or would they do better in a non-competitive environment? Are they ready to be away from home? Are you? Are there any medical or allergy issues to consider? Quite a few camps are now nut free. If anyone wants to know more about various types of camps available, just let me know. It's a totally free service for parents and I am more than happy to help.

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