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Day Camp or Overnight Camp - Which One is Best For My Child?

Posted by Jordan Snider on Jun 9, 2022 1:00:00 PM

Summer is almost here, and with it comes one of the most exciting times for kids: Summer camp season!

The camp season also involves choosing the right type of summer camp for your child. You’ve got traditional vs. specialty camps, art camps, sports camps, and more. 

There’s also the choice between sending your child to day camp or overnight camp.

To help you decide, we’ll lay it all out for you—here’s what you need to know about day camps and overnight camps. 

Day Camp

Syosset Volleyball campers smiling with ball

A day camp is a type of summer camp where children will be taken to camp each morning and return home every evening. 

Since children come home at night from day camp, it allows parents to have nightly check-ins to see how things are going. It may also be the better choice for a shy child or a younger child, considering the environment is still familiar and day camps are typically located close to the home. 

Day camps tend to specialize in one particular area, such as sports, arts, or academics, and can even niche further down and specialize in a specific activity, such as basketball. In most cases, this makes day camp the best choice for children who want to hone their skills at a certain activity. However, not every day camp is the same and some provide a more varied experience with no particular specialization. 

For a child who wants to eventually attend a sleepaway camp but might not be ready yet, a day camp is a perfect place to build the necessary confidence. They’re great for easing a child into the overall summer camp experience while still giving them the opportunity to have fun at camp. They get to spend some time away from home but return home every night. 

Since costs are always an important consideration, day camps tend to be less expensive, since there isn’t a need for sleeping accommodations. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule.

Overnight Camp

Overnight camps involve children going away to camp and staying overnight for an extended period of time. 

Sending a child to an overnight camp helps build some independence and confidence. When a child is ready to tackle the challenge of being away from home, an overnight camp provides a fully-immersive experience. With a child being at camp essentially 24/7, there are so many opportunities for them to form new bonds and friendships with both camp counselors and fellow campers. 

Overnight camps tend to provide a more varied experience, depending on the specific camp. Instead of specializing in sports or arts, overnight camps usually have children experience a variety of events, from sports to group building activities and more. 

Overnight camps for kids will usually carry a higher price tag, but this will largely depend on the camps that you’re comparing. 

Which One is Right for My Child?

Both overnight and day camps have their own experiences to offer. However, there’s no right or wrong answer for which one is right for your child. Only you know your child and what type of experience they want to get out of camp.

For kids looking to hone their skills and improve at a certain activity, a day camp would be best. For example, a basketball camp or a science camp. Day camps are also great for kids who aren’t quite ready for the full overnight camp experience but still want to meet new friends and try something new. 

Overnight camps are better for kids who want the full immersion experience and time away from home. 

If you’re not sure which one is right, ask your child! They’ll be able to tell you what they’re looking for from their camp experience. 

Questions About Day Camps and Overnight Camps?

Future Stars staff are happy to answer any questions you have about the types of camps out there. Reach out to us—we’re here to help.

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Topics: Camper experience, first time campers

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