Purls of Wisdom

Overnight vs. Day Camp: Which Is Best For Your Family?

Posted by Laura Kelly on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 @ 05:30 PM

Choosing the Right Camp For Your Family


The summer may be your child’s favorite time of year, but it could easily turn into a logistical nightmare for you. Many parents have found that summer camps are a great option for providing an enriching, challenging, and purposeful summer break. Whether you’re a veteran or a first-time camp parent, it’s always an exciting and nerve-wracking time. Choosing the right camp can be the difference between a flawless summer and the longest twelve weeks of your life. 

With many different types of camps to choose from, we’re going to help you narrow down the biggest deciding factor. Camps generally fall into two distinct types: day camps and overnight camps. The difference between them may be obvious, but the nature and benefits of each may not be.

Day Camps

As their names suggest, day camps are camps that are operated for a set amount of daily hours. Campers are either transported by bus or dropped off by their parents each morning and picked up at the close of camp. The ages of campers average between 3 and 15.

Day camps provide all the expected activities of a ‘traditional’ overnight camp, but allow parents daily interaction with their children. These types of camps are perfect for younger and first-time campers, who may not be ready to leave the comfort of their parents for an extended amount of time.

Things to Consider

  • Day camps require more time investments from parents than overnight camps. Be sure that you’re prepared for the daily pick-up/drop-off that comes with day camps, and packing lunch. Relatives, car-pooling, and any offered bus transportation are all ways to ensure that your children are able to get to camp each day.
  • If you’re considering sending your children to an overnight camp in the next few years, enroll them into a day camp to help them get used to the idea of camp life. They may not stay around the clock, but it would be much less intimidating to go leave for overnight camp if they have a foundation of what to expect.

Overnight Camps

Overnight camps are typically what come to mind when discussing summer camp. From popular culture to your own firsthand knowledge, summer camp has established itself as a memorable experience, and many parents want to provide such an experience to their children. Overnight camps generally see campers between the ages of 6 and 17. They can range from just a few weeks to up to the entire summer (8 weeks).

Campers who are ready for overnight camp have proven to mom and dad that they are mature enough to spend a night or two away from their parents without too many tears. Homesickness is always expected and comforted, but overnight camps may be too much distance for too long for some children.

Things to Consider

  • With little transportation needed during the camp session, you’ll be able to consider camp locations that exceed the distance you would if you were looking at day camps.
  • Overnight camps provide an excellent environment for children to identify, explore, build their independence. As children become teenagers, many parents have found comfort in preparing their soon-to-be graduates for college life (a.k.a. daily life without mom and/or dad).

So, Which is Best?

Choosing the right type of camp for your family doesn’t have a cut and dry answer. Take some time to review how much time you’re able to invest in the transportation of your children to and from camp and how ready your children are to spend a considerable amount of time away from you. With those two questions answered, you should have a clear next step!

The Handwork Studio is a kids' needle arts, machine sewing and fashion camp. Our purpose is to pass down the tradition of teaching practical arts such as knitting, weaving, hand and machine sewing, embroidery, quilting, fashion and crafts in a fun and relaxed environment. We’re an alternative arts camp for girls and boys.

We are proud to offer our classes in over 40+ locations and 10 States. Interested in finding a location that offers our classes? Visit our locations page to search for a camp near you!

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Tags: Summer Camp