Fridays with Franky: Sisters at Camp
Happy Friday everyone! I’ve been looking through a bunch of WeHaKee photos from past summers, and I realized that we have lots of siblings that come to camp together. It seems like a great idea to go to camp together, but as parents know, siblings can be great supporters, but don’t always get along.
So what should parents and campers consider when there are multiple siblings in the mix? There are many things to think about, but if you prepare well, having a sibling at camp can be AMAZING!
One of the most common questions Bob and Maggie are asked is, “How do I know when my child is ready for camp?” The truth is, that the parent and camper really know best! The same is true for siblings. Just because one child left for camp at a certain age doesn’t mean that their sibling won’t be ready sooner or later. The American Camp Association article, “Family Matters: Sending Siblings to Camp” reminds us to “Consider each child’s age, past experiences away from home, and expectations about camp.”
Especially for younger siblings, they may have a vision of camp brought on by stories from their older sibling. The older camper may be excited to have someone in their household to share the experience with. One the other hand, if one sibling is older and has been going to camp for a while, it may be hard to learn to share their special place. Talk as a family about what both siblings can do to have their own unique experience, and remind each other that everyone will see camp differently.
It’s especially important to talk about what to do if your sibling campers rely on each other at home or at school. Would it make them happy to be in the same cabin if they are close in age, or will that be harder on one sibling than the other? Will being together help the campers to make friends, or will it close them off from their cabinmates?
It sounds like a lot, but you CAN tackle all this as a family before camp begins. We have some great sister success stories at camp: sisters in the same cabin making really great friends, large families spread out over many age groups sharing camp while making unique memories, and big sisters waiting years until their little sisters can join them. We’ve had sisters come to different sessions, stay for different lengths of time, and pick totally different cabins. That’s great! We’ve also had sisters come and stay the same amount of time, do activities together, and even request the same cabin. That’s awesome too! You know your campers best, but if you ever have questions about camping with a sibling, feel free to reach out! We have plenty of tips and tricks to offer if you are worried about the experience.
Sisters have even come to be camp counselors together! What’s better than growing up together at camp?
Do you have a sister story from WeHaKee? We would love to hear it in the comments below!