How Young is Too Young For SleepAway Camp?

I am an Instructional Aide in a kindergarten Autism class.  Now is the time of year for parents to start making plans for their kids summer.

You hear talk around the school from the parents and fellow teachers, about what is out there for kids.  Most of the talk at my school is, if sleep away camp is good for their kids.  And these kids are as young as 5 years old.

My kids never did this.  Believe me, there were some days where I wished to God that they were away.  And I was sitting on a beach somewhere sipping a margarita!!

Even though I have no experience with this, I realized I do with kids.  If you are contemplating this, here are a few thing to think about and question.

1.  If your child is 5 and under, I say no way to it!  They are still babies in so many ways and I feel it will traumatize them.

2.  If your kids are 6-8 years old and fairly independent, think about it.  If they can shower themselves and enjoy going to school happily, this could be a match.  Most important is if THEY want to go and ask.  Sending a child to camp who unconditionally does not want to be there, could lead to a disaster.

3.  If your child is between 9 - 11 years old, the thoughts could be a little different.  The ones who are ecstatic about being away from home, let them go and embrace it.  Those that still don't, give them a one year pass.  Stick to that, but encourage them that they will be with friends. And they will do so many activities that maybe you would not be able to do with them.

As these kids nowadays grow, we as parents need to give them coping skills in life.  We want our kids to fly and maybe it starts at summer camp.