I send my two daughters to different overnight summer camps, and people often ask me why I did it, since daughter No. 1 was so happy with my choice for her. I think there are a number of reasons why a parent might want to do so. (By the way, daughter No. 2 also loves the camp I chose for her.)
Every parent with two or more children knows they are individuals, with different likes and dislikes, preferences and, above all, interests. It may be more convenient for you to send them both to the same camp, but it can shortchange one or both of them. In addition, making the extra effort to find the best overnight camp for each child can provide both of them with the happiest camping experience, and you with the best value for your camping dollar.
Some children thrive with athletics, such as baseball, tennis, soccer, or gymnastics, and water sports-related activities, like swimming, diving, boating and snorkeling/scuba, while others are less athletics-oriented and love drama, music, and graphic arts, or some other specialized non-athletic subjects. And many children can benefit from exposure to activities they haven’t experienced.
Even placement within a family is a factor to consider. When a girl goes to the same camp her older sister goes to, or went to, she may not consider it “her” camp, and can feel she is in the shadow of her “first child” sibling. Let each child have “ownership” in something she feels belongs to her, not something she shares with her sibling.
You wouldn’t necessarily put all your children in the same extracurricular activities so don’t feel as if you need to send them to the same camps. Yes, it may be the easier choice, but is it really the best one? Dig a little deeper for each child. There is that special place for everyone. And once you have found it, then you can start figuring about how to navigate through different visiting days, which, I can tell you from experience, can be done!
We’ve all compared our camping experiences with friends; some loved it and others are a lot less enthusiastic. Why? I believe the difference is often that the less enthusiastic ones were not fortunate enough to have found “their niche,” the right camp for their interests and their personalities. Your children will make lifelong friendships at camp and you can enhance their experience by guiding them into the camping environment best suited to who they are.
It’s well worth the effort.