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How Long will it Be?

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Hey, Camp Seekers!

Last week I posted our first installment in our March series all about how to ‘Choose the Right Camp’. This helpful series covers information that we’ve learned from the incredibly informational and easy-reading guidebook, ‘The Summer Camp Handbook’, written by summer camp experts Dr Chris Thurber and Dr. Jon Malinowski. Each installment of this series poses its own question that will help you to narrow your search for the right camp.

Today’s question:


It’s a good idea to focus on a range instead of trying to pinpoint a set amount of days or weeks. Start by asking your kid how long of a stay would be most comfortable. All kids are different—some will prefer to try a week or less, others want a solid two weeks, and some want a whole month or more!

When it comes to approaching your soon-to-be-camper on the topic of the length of their camp stay, you want to be aware of key phrasing when asking certain questions: It’s always helpful to children when you make comparisons when talking about lengths of time. Try to avoid such an open question like, “How long sounds good to you, Joe?” Instead, ask “What do you think about a two-week stay; that’s how long you stayed with Uncle Matt last summer. Does that seem like a good length to stay at camp?”

Of course you should respect your kid’s choice for a shorter camp stay if that is so desired, but if they’re okay with it—the longer the better! While a specialty camp could get boring, concentrating on the same activities routinely, but traditional camps that offer such long camp sessions are typically exceptional, advanced, and well-rounded programs with a variety of choices in activities and more than just one or two visiting days.

A major benefit to a longer stay a well-designed camp is that campers have the opportunity to grow and develop significant skill levels in the activities of their choosing. As Dr. Thurber and Dr. Malinowski put it in their book, “You simply cannot go through all the archery or riflery marksmanship rankings, or learn the finer points of English riding, or earn a SCUBA certification, or become and expert sailor, in one short week. Those sort of accomplishments require a longer session.”

Help your kid to consider a longer camp stay for a fully immersive experience to get the most out of camp. Be sure to tune in for more great tips and advice next Monday and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John


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