Scenic view of trees at camp

7 Signs Your Child is Ready to Thrive at Camp

by Pine Cove


Sending your child to camp can be a significant milestone in their personal and social development. While it’s an exciting prospect, ensuring that your child is ready for the camp experience is crucial for a positive, safe, and thriving adventure. Every child is unique, and readiness for camp varies. Here are some signs to look for: 

  1. Independence in Daily Tasks: Children should be 100% capable of handling basic daily tasks independently, such as dressing themselves, managing personal hygiene, using the restroom, showering, and organizing their belongings. Camp is fast paced, and being able to do these daily “personal maintenance” activities in about 15 minutes will help them have a seriously fun experience.
  2. Ability to Follow Instructions: Camp will involve various activities and schedules. A child who can follow instructions from adults, whether it’s a teacher, coach, or parent, is better equipped to participate and enjoy the camp experience.
  3. Good Verbal Communication: Camper safety is a top priority, and each camper should be able to verbally communicate with clear words their needs, desires, and concerns. Our staff encourage dialogue and are receptive to any questions or apprehensions a child may have, as long as they are able to communicate with their words.
  4. Can sleep by themselves in their own bed: Overnight or sleepaway camp means spending time away from home. If your child has previously spent nights away from home without significant distress, they will be more prepared for the overnight aspects of camp. (If your child is attending Pine Cove City, our day camp, this is less important.)
  5. Good Emotional Regulation: Emotional regulation is important to a successful camp experience. A child who can manage their emotions, express themselves appropriately, and seek help when needed will be better equipped to handle any surprises or unmet expectations that may arise.
  6. Tolerates loud noises, loud music, and large groups: There is no way around it: camp is fun, and camp is often loud. If your camper struggles to tolerate loud music or large crowds, be sure to contact us so we can talk about how to best serve your child.
  7. Expresses Interest and Enthusiasm: A child who is ready for camp will likely express genuine interest and enthusiasm about the idea, even if they are a little apprehensive. They might talk about it, ask questions, and demonstrate a curiosity about the activities and experiences awaiting them.

Camper safety is a top concern and as part of the registration process, you will be asked the following question:

Does your child have any of the following formal diagnoses or accommodation plans?

If you check one or more of these, let’s have a conversation! Our heart is for every camper to be able to experience camp in a way that is safe, fun, and successful. 

  • A 504 for medical accommodation, an IEP (Individual Education Plan) or IHP (Individual Health Plan) for school
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Down Syndrome
  • Eating Disorder
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart Disease
  • Mood Disturbance Disorder
  • ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder)
  • Self-Harm
  • Sensory Issues
  • Spina Bifida
  • Transplant Recipient

Additionally, if you know someone who also wants to experience camp but may need special accommodations to participate, we are excited to let you know about Camp Beloved and Beyond. It could be an amazing opportunity for a child with differing abilities to attend camp and thrive!

Posted Feb 8, 2024

Pine Cove

Read More Posts

Click here to sign up for our Inside the Cove newsletter!