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Debunking Myths About Summer Camp

5. A letter from my child indicates that he is unhappy at sleepaway camp.

It is always unpleasant to hear that your child is unhappy at sleepaway camp, but before you rush to pull him out and bring him home, take a close and careful look at the situation. Is this the first time that your child has described a troubling experience? Have previous letters or phone calls indicated that your child was unhappy? Children typically feel intensely homesick after an unpleasant encounter that may later seem trivial, such as quarreling with a friend or being last in line at the canteen. Writing letters can be a way for them to vent anger and frustration that eventually dissipates. If you are concerned, call the camp director and ask to speak with your child's counselors to discuss the situation. Sending your child away to camp is an important decision that indicates a commitment; your child should understand that untangling himself from this "contract" should not be taken lightly. On the other hand, the purpose of camp is growth and fun. If your child is truly miserable, don't let him feel that he is imprisoned and without options.

6. I'll register my child at summer camp in the spring.

When it comes to camp registration, keep one fact in mind: the earlier the better. Rosters fill up quickly, so you should secure a place at camp for your child well in advance. Families that wish to take advantage of discounts or scholarships should be particularly mindful of time. Research camps early in the school year and be ready to register by winter. Otherwise you risk having a house full of kids moping around all summer long!



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