The American Camp Association says “Camp Gives Kids a World of Good.” There is overwhelming evidence that a stay at camp gives them a place and a way to learn independence. Children have to learn to overcome homesickness, get along with other campers and counselors, and new physical and social challenges. By meeting those challenges, even if not perfectly at first, children learn persistence. By keeping track of their belongings, children learn responsibility. By meeting other children and making new friends, campers refine their interpersonal skills.
To read an eloquent description of one family’s experience sending their child to camp for the first time, check out: http://www.laduenews.com/living/kids-parenting/your-child-s-first-sleep-away/article_19042a0e-63eb-11e1-8868-0019bb30f31a.html. This article concerns a child going to sleepaway camp, but many of the same emotions are in play when a child goes to day camp.