Certainly, it can be a little nerve-racking to give a quick hug and drive away, leaving your child alone at an overnight sports camp for several days.
Neither you nor your child is used to being apart for so long. How will your child hold up? In many cases, a lot better than you!
It's not easy sending your child to an overnight sports camp. But it can be a positive experience, one that allows them to discover a bit of supervised independence while making new friends and improving their skills in the sport they love.
Thousands of children as young as 8 years old spend several nights away from home at camps like these. If you have reservations about signing your child up for this type of sports camp, here are some things to keep in mind:
The Campers Stay Busy
In most camps, such as those conducted by universities, the structure of the week has long been in place, and all campers adhere to a strict, busy and fun schedule. It's not the wild west for your child, where they spend four days doing whatever they want. Oftentimes, the children are too busy to fully comprehend that their parents aren't around.
Take, for instance, the University of Florida girls soccer academy. Here is a typical day for their residential camp:
- 7 a.m. -- Wake up
- 7:30 a.m. -- Breakfast
- 8:30 a.m. -- Camp demo
- 9 a.m. -- Practice session
- 10:45 a.m. -- 6v6 small-sided matches
- 12 p.m. -- Lunch
- 1 p.m. -- Optional free time
- 2:15 p.m. -- Practice session II
- 3:45 p.m. -- Indoor soccer matches
- 5 p.m. -- Dinner
- 6:30 p.m. -- Start of evening matches
- 9:30 p.m. -- End of evening matches
- 11 p.m. -- Lights out
That's about two hours a day when they're not doing SOMETHING. And usually, that's the time to nap, take a shower or hang out with new friends in the dorm.
Not a lot of time to be homesick.