Is My Teen Ready? The Transition from Summer Camp to Teen Travel
For generations, summer camp has been the quintessential way for kids to fill the time during their summer months out of school. From traditional sleep-away and day camps to art camps, drama camps, sports camps, and science camps, you name it and someone has done it during their childhood. And no matter what type of camp kids attend, they pretty much always come away with new experiences, skill sets, and independence. But what about after summer camp?
Are They Ready?
Most summer camps has staff from all over the world work for them as counselors, so it’s no wonder that many campers develop a curiosity about other parts of the world when they meet foreign staff. Spending their days (and sometimes also nights) away from friends and family back home also helps to form a nice bridge to their independence as young people. As they get older, many campers start to develop an interest in traveling beyond the realms of sleep-away camp, and oftentimes an interest in traveling without their parents. This is a telltale sign that they are ready to join a teen travel program.
Where in the World?
Now just when you thought choosing a summer camp was tough, how on earth (literally) do you and your camper-turned-future-teen-traveler narrow down where they want to go? While it’s easy for teens to get pumped about going just about anywhere, what it really boils down to is where the parents are comfortable with their child going. 45 countries is a lot to choose from, so a good way to start is by checking out regions and within those regions, countries as well as cities and other locations.
How Long is Long Enough?
Just like summer camps, there are a variety of teen travel programs and durations for teens and parents to choose from. The average program length is about two weeks, but some are shorter and others longer. There is also always the option of combining programs, so this can also add a variety of program lengths to choose from. Just like choosing where to go, it’s important that both teens and parents are comfortable with the amount of travel time spent in the chosen destination(s).
Which Program is the “Right” Program?
Some teens love participating in service projects, some teens thrive in the classroom, and others simply want just the right amount of adventure and culture. No matter where your teen’s interests lie, the “right” program can be any program as long as it gets them excited about traveling!