5 Benefits to Attending Summer Residential Camp


Day camps are a summer staple for many families, but sleep-away camps provide an iconic outdoor setting with a wealth of ways to help children grow, expand their horizons and make memories that will last a lifetime. Here are five benefits to sending your child to residential camp this summer:

  1. Foster Independence. Residential camp is an ideal place to learn independent living and self-responsibility. Out from under their parents’ shadows, campers are expected to get up, go to bed and attend scheduled events on time, as well as keep their cabin area clean. And for those who have never spent the night away from their parents, it enables them to embrace the experience as their own, without having to filter it through what Mom and Dad think or feel.
  1. Practice Kindness. Sleep-away camp is a good way to put character-building skills learned at home into practice. Here, kids have an opportunity to show empathy toward others in need, such as sharing shampoo or toothpaste with someone who forgot a toiletry item, or extending kindness to a camper who feels left out.
  1. Make Diverse Friendships. The residential camp community is the perfect platform for children to step outside their normal social circle and forge friendships with kids from other parts of the state, country – even the world. And with the widespread use of electronic communication, it’s easier than ever for these friendships to continue to grow long after camp is over.
  1. Venture Out. Many residential camps offer atypical activities that may not be available at day camps, such as overnight hiking trips, mountain boarding, wilderness adventures, etc. Activities such as these challenge kids to take risks under trained supervision, using appropriate safety gear.
  1. Take a Tech Break. More often than not, children are instructed to leave their tech devices at home before coming to camp. This can turn into a big bonus, as it gives campers the opportunity to work on other communication skills, such as letter writing, and real “face time” with other campers, as well as ample time to enjoy planned camp activities.
Denise Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children and four grandchildren.


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  1. You mentioned that those who have never spent the night away from their parents, summer day camp enables them to embrace the experience as their own, without having to filter it through what Mom and Dad think or feel. My kids have been getting in so much trouble this summer because they have nothing to do. Do many of the day camp options offer educational services as well? Finding a reputable day camp might be a good idea.

  2. That’s a good point you make about how summer camp allows children to step outside their comfort zone and make new friendships. I’ve heard, too, that summer camps can help kids fully enjoy the sun and get away from the electronic devices. I’ll be sure to remember these great benefits as my wife and I look into sending some of our kids to summer camp this year.

  3. My son has been really wanting to do something fun over the summer and he suggested going to a summer camp, but I have been nervous about it. I didn’t think about how it could give my son a break away from all the tech. Maybe it would be a great thing for him to go and get away from all the technology and make some good friends that way!

  4. My wife and I have been thinking of sending our kids to a summer camp this next year. I think they could really benefit from how you mentioned that summer camp attendance helps foster independence in children. We’ll start doing some research to find a good summer camp that would fit my kids’ interests.

  5. I’ve been wanting to put my kids in a sports academy. I think that getting professional lessons would be good for their sports skills. I’m going to have to see if we can find a summer sports academy and see what we can find!

  6. I’m glad this article mentioned that going to camp can help improve a child’s social skills. My little brother was thinking of attending an overnight camp, but was too nervous. How are some ways I can get him to feel more comfortable about going?

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