Your son could be the bravest, most independent child you’ve ever met, yet still the concept of overnight Texas camps might terrify him. Homesickness doesn’t just afflict the children who developed an extreme dependence on their parents; the confident kids may be hit the hardest, because their confidence often stems from knowing their environment well. Once they’re pulled out of school, home, and little league, the unknowns of an overnight camp can overwhelm any young boy. The first time they go, kids often want at least one familiar element. If they’ve never used a security blanket, having a close friend go too can be the key to a great camp experience.
Probably the greatest benefit of overnight Texas camps is the unexpected friendships campers form while working, eating, and playing together. It’s a perfect opportunity to gain social skills, but the loneliness of the first day remains incredibly daunting. Having a friend already there relieves a lot of the terror, and with one friendship already settled, forming new relationships comes much easier.
That said, overcoming the initial fears of overnight Texas camps can prove enriching and developmental in itself. Whether it’s college or moving to a new city, we all experience times that require social courage. Many parents like to coordinate their children’s camp plans, but others intentionally send their kids to an overnight camp alone. Most kids end up thriving in both situations, which proves that going to camp with old friends isn’t necessary. For some kids, though, it certainly helps.