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How Old is Too Old For Summer Camp

The new year has just started and believe it or not it is time to start thinking about what you’re going to do with your children for the summer.  Once kids reach the “tween” and teen years their enthusiasm for summer camp may not be what you expect it to be.  As kids reach a certain age and maturity they may think they are too old to be heading off to summer camp.  How old is too old for summer camp?  There is no real answer to that.  You as the parent know that kids still need positive and structured activity throughout the summer.

When your child feels they are too old for summer camp and you feel they are still far too young to be spending their summers home alone there is a solution.  There are tons of camps that are geared towards older kids and even teens.  Looking for sleep away camps geared toward teens is a great first step. Campers still do safe, fun and exciting activities that are geared towards their age group while also developing independence. For many, sleep away camp can be that sweet compromise and if you pitch it the right way, like one of our parents did last summer when they told their daughter “ It’s a chance to feel a little like what college might feel like , you live in dorms, take lots of fun classes every day and have roommates!” you might even get them begging you to attend !





The tween and teenage years can be awkward and kids are constantly looking to fit in.  They are not quite adults and no longer children interested in playing with toys.  The key to getting them to enjoy the experience is letting them know that the programs are geared towards them.  “One of the things Im always doing is getting on the phone directly with the teens to answer any of their questions,” said executive director of Amplify Sleep Away Camp for Girls, Jen Baron, “ almost always, their first concern is that they won’t fit in or are too old for the program, but it doesn’t take long for them to get excited – especially when they find out that the camp was created specifically for teens!”





Some programs even offer a leadership program for teens. at Amplify we have a program we call “ Leaders In Training” . Our LIT program is designed for our oldest teens (ages 16-18) who have had at least one session of programming with us. These older teens are connected to a female mentor and work alongside them building leadership skills and mentoring younger campers. If teens successfully complete two summers of being an LIT with us, they are eligible to come back as staff once they are 19 years old.

Older kids have the benefit of camps geared around specific activities, like sports, music or another hobbies that they are really interested in.  That may be what convinces them that summer camp is a good idea!