Popular culture abounds with myths and stories on every topic under the sun, ranging from the spookiest to the funniest, and kids’ camps seems to be one of the subjects that have sparked the interest and imagination of many storytellers. Whether you’ve been to a summer camp or not in your childhood, you surely know of at least one camp story that may or may not be true.
Although they’re fun to listen to, these widespread stories that we’ve been hearing about kids’ camps ever since the practice started also do a great disservice to both parents and children: they drift away from reality so much that they paint a very distorted picture of what going to a camp actually implies. This has given rise to a large number of myths and misconceptions that people have been taking for granted, influencing and altering perceptions on summer camps, more often than not in a negative way.
We think it’s time to shed a bit of light on the matter and put these common myths and misconceptions about kids’ camps to rest.
Camps are only for the rich
One of the most common things you may have heard about summer camps is that they’re not for everyone. A lot of people think that summer camps have been created for kids that come from rich families, so they’re basically reserved for the elite. That stops a lot of parents with lower incomes from even taking the idea of sending their kids to camp into consideration. If they would do a bit of research, they’d see that these programs come in a wide range of prices.
It’s true that some camps can be a little on the high end but fortunately there are options for every budget. If you shop around, you’ll be able to find a camp that suits your kid’s needs and your budget. With the sheer number of great camps in Queens, it’s virtually impossible not to find a program that falls within your price range and checks all other boxes as well.
Kids sleep in tents in rustic conditions
When one mentions summer camps, most people instantly get this image of kids sleeping in tents or telling stories around the fire in the middle of the woods. That’s a very picturesque portrayal of kids’ camps, but not a very realistic one. This myth probably stems from the fact that many of these programs include camping excursions where kids learn about nature and develop outdoor skills.
While kids’ camps are not designed as retreat spots where one goes to relax and unwind, they’re far from being rustic. So, parents can rest assured camps are equipped with all the modern amenities that kids may need, including comfortable beds, running water, electricity, working bathrooms, and healthcare facilities.
Younger children don’t do well at camps
Families often refrain from sending children to camps because they’re not yet camp-ready. They usually think that younger kids will have trouble adapting to camp life, or they won’t benefit from this experience as they’re too young to process it, when in fact the opposite is true. Younger kids have greater chances of adjusting and having a positive camp experience considering they haven’t yet developed a sense of fear or reluctance.
Therefore, young age shouldn’t represent an impediment in sending kids to camps. On the contrary, parents should sign their kids up for summer camp as early as possible in order to get them accustomed to these types of activities.
Kids get homesick really quick
It’s completely normal for kids to feel a bit homesick during summer camp, especially if it’s the first time they spend a longer period of time away from home. Dealing with a new environment, new people, and a lot of unknowns can easily make a kid miss the comfort and security they have at home.
The good news is, in most cases, homesickness is just a fleeting feeling that goes away once kids get busy with all the activities that the camp has prepared for them. It’s usually the parents that experience a higher level of anxiety than their kids, so it’s important to maintain a positive attitude and encourage kids to enjoy their camp experience.
Camps expose kids to many risks and hazards
Health and safety represent a major concern for parents when it comes to sending their kids to summer camps, and it’s absolutely understandable. Every parent wants to make sure their kids are safe and protected at all times, so it’s normal to worry about the risks and hazards that kids might get exposed to while they’re away from home.
However, that’s no reason to exaggerate things and think that summer camps are unsafe or unhealthy for kids. The purpose of summer camps is to help children get out of their comfort zone, try new things, and develop self-esteem, independence, and lifelong skills, not put them in life-threatening situations. Everything happens in a controlled environment and kids are supervised at all times, which means they’re actually much safer than at home.
Camps are a good idea only for kids who love the outdoors
Another common misconception regarding kids’ camps is that they’re only for the lovers of the great outdoors. So, if your child loves to stay inside and play video games and engage in activities that don’t involve spending time in nature, they’ll have a terrible time at summer camp.
Once again, this is couldn’t be further from the truth. Even if kids aren’t big fans of outdoor activities, a few days at a summer camp will definitely change their minds about that. Once they realize how much fun they can have playing outside with others kids, they’ll never want to go back inside.
Don’t miss the opportunity of giving your kid the experience of a lifetime because of these widespread myths and misconceptions. Do your own research, learn as much as you can about the topic, and base your decision on facts not on some unrealistic stories that have been circling around for ages.