DFW Camp Expo

Day Camp or Sleepaway Camp? Which Summer Camp is Best for Your Family?

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Deciding what kind of camp to send your kids to this summer can seem like a big decision. There are so many different kinds of camps to choose from. One of the first choices you’ll need to make is between a day camp or a sleepaway camp. Once you’ve narrowed that decision down, you will be able to determine whether you want to send them to an eco-adventure camp or a robotics camp. 

What is a Day Camp?

With a day camp, parents drive their children to camp in the morning and pick them up at night. Campers go home to sleep at night. Parents are usually responsible for packing lunches, as well as providing their kids with breakfast and dinner at home.

Often, the hours for day camps are between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., with some camps having the option for an earlier start or later pickup with before and aftercare. However, each camp will have its own hours and policies regarding start and end times.

Reasons to Choose a Day Camp

There are many different reasons why parents may choose a day camp over a sleepaway camp. Day camps tend to be less expensive than sleepaway camps, and there are more options to choose from in your local area. Some kids aren’t old enough to attend sleepaway camp or are not ready emotionally to spend a week away from their families.

What are Sleepaway Camps?

Sleepaway camps are sometimes known as overnight camps. At a sleepaway camp, children spend the night at the camp, either in a tent, cabin, or other sleeping facility. Camps might last a week or two. Some sleepaway camps last the entire summer. 

While there might be visiting days scheduled for families, children generally stay at the camp and do not see their parents during camp. Their meals are provided by the camp. Children may need to bring sleeping supplies, like sheets and comforters, or the camp might provide them.

Reasons to Choose a Sleepaway Camp

Sleepaway camps are a lot of fun for kids when they are ready. With so much time together, it’s very common for children to make lifelong friends while attending a sleepaway camp. They will also learn important skills, such as independence, that will help them for the rest of their lives.

Some sleepaway camps are travel camps, where the entire camp goes on a trip to a fun destination. This travel experience can be life-changing. It can be a way for kids to travel during the summer even if their parents have to work.

Which Type of Summer Camp is Right for My Child?

The decision of which type of summer camp to choose is a personal choice you’ll have to make based on your family’s needs, finances, and emotional readiness. First, ask yourself if your kids are ready for sleepaway camp? Even if they meet the minimum age requirements, they may not be ready.

Next, consider your budget. Summer camps can get expensive, especially all-inclusive sleepaway camps. Also, if you plan to travel a lot as a family or have other commitments during the summer, a day camp could be a better fit.

Find the Best Summer Camps in the Dallas Fort Worth Area

Once you’ve decided to look for day camps or sleepaway camps, it’s time to find the right programs. Don’t delay, as the most popular summer camps sell out fast. Check out DFW Camp Expo’s directory of summer camps to learn more about the summer camp options in our area.