Why Camp? And, Is My Child Ready?

Posted by December 17, 2013 • Share:

Written by Josh Steinharter, Camp Director

Overnight camp, also commonly referred to as “sleep away” or “residential” camp, can be an empowering and transformative experience for a child. Sending a child to overnight camp, sometimes as young as 7 years old, is a very common American experience and there are thousands of camp programs nationwide to choose from.

Before deciding which camp to send your child, there are often two hurdles parents face 1) What does my child have to gain from the experience and 2) is my child ready?

What makes camp so special?

In the simplest terms, camp is a place where kids get to be themselves, make new friends and create memories that last a lifetime.  The opportunity to live away from home, outside the norms of everyday life, opens children up to explore different sides of their personality, learn new skills and take safe chances they may not have the opportunity to take during the school year.

Here are some words and ideas often associated with kids who go to camp…

  • Independent
  • Fun-loving
  • Social
  • Willing to try new things
  • Open minded
  • Meaningful relationships
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Increased maturity
  • Decision making skills
  • Caring for others
  • People other than parents as role models
  • Responsible

Questions to help decide if your child is ready

  • Has your child spent time away from his/her immediate family?
  • How easily does your child make friends with other kids?
  • Is your child comfortable telling adults about his/her needs?
  • Would your child be attending camp with at least one kid he/she already knows (and likes)?
  • How independent and responsible is your child?
  • What are your child’s eating habits like?
  • Has your child participated in group activities like day camp programs, team sports, or youth organizations?
  • Does your child want to go to camp?

Once you’ve decided camp is right for you child, next is choosing the right camp.

Is JCC Maccabi Sports Camp the right camp for my child?

If your child loves sports and has a dedicated interest in developing their skills in their core sport and wants to do it in a welcoming, supportive Jewish environment, then this camp is right for you.

Your child’s “coachability” or their desire to be coached is significantly more important than their skill level. Our camp caters to camper of a wide variety of skill level from recreational to competitive, with the common thread that each child is there to improve their skills and be a better teammate and member of a larger community. Bottom line, if your child is passionate about sports with an interest in getting better, JCC Maccabi Sports Camp is the perfect community for them!

We are available to help you navigate all these questions. If you’d like to talk further about camp in general, your child’s readiness, or their specific sports level and needs, please contact Camp Director Josh Steinharter, (415) 997-8844 or josh@maccabisportscamp.org.