Many children enjoy day camps and overnight camps. Research has shown that a camp experience can boost a child's self-esteem, social and leadership skills, and more.
Day camps usually offer activities during school holidays or breaks. These activities may have a special theme, such as basketball or horseback riding. Private homes, local youth centres such as the YMCA, churches, schools, or child care centres for younger children may all offer day camp programs. Some provinces license day camps and usually include training requirements and behaviour guidelines for all staff.
Overnight camps range from one-night sleepovers to a few weeks. They usually involve a trip to a nearby destination, such as forest cabins or a beach.
All camps should have written health policies and disaster plans. They should also tell parents and children how to get the most out of the camp program.footnote 1 All campers should have a recent health evaluation and immunization record on file. Camp records should include how to contact parents in case of an emergency.
Some children feel distressed (homesick) about leaving their home and loved ones to go to camp. Some of the things you can do to help prevent homesickness are:footnote 2
Council on School Health, American Academy of Pediatrics (2011). Policy statement: Creating healthy camp experiences. Pediatrics, 127(4): 794-799.
Thurber CA, et al. (2007, reaffirmed 2012). Clinical report: Preventing and treating homesickness. Pediatrics, 119(1): 192-201. Also available online: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/192.full.pdf.
Other Works Consulted
American Camp Association (2005). Directions: Youth Development Outcomes of the Camp Experience. Available online: http://www.acacamps.org/research/enhance/directions.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsThomas M. Bailey, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Current as ofMay 4, 2017
Current as of: May 4, 2017
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
& Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine & Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
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