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Should Your Child Go to Summer Biology Camp with Their Friends?

A group of campers in wetsuits, jumping into the water.

One of the best parts about any camp experience is the friendship! At Catalina, our marine biology camp brings kids together from all around the country who share a love for the ocean and science. It’s a great place to bring a friend or two, but it’s also a special spot to make new friends. Some campers thrive in new social settings and can easily form new relationships, whereas others need the confidence of an old friend to bring them out of their shell. If you’re thinking about sending your child to biology camp this summer by themselves or with a friend, consider some of these factors and how they could impact your child’s experience.

Sending Them Solo

While it may seem scary to send your child off to camp on their own, this experience can help your camper grow in a lot of ways they may not experience with a friend. When a child goes into a new environment alone, they are responsible for taking the first step to becoming independent. Pushed outside of their comfort zone, they can grow into a more adaptable and self-confident person. But if they have a friend from home to fall back on, they probably won’t push themselves to make new friends or step out of the box. 

Just because two kids get along well in one environment doesn’t mean they will mesh well in a new one, either. For example, an extroverted friend could feel held back by her introverted friend. Or the more reserved friend could become too reliant on his personable friend. Many kids reinvent themselves or discover new parts of their personality at camp that may clash with their roles and friends from home, causing tension in the old friendship. 

On their own, your child will have the freedom to spread their wings and choose their own adventure. If they show up with an open mind, nothing will hold them back from enjoying everything camp has to offer. 

A camper jumping into the water.

Send With A Friend

Kids are pretty resilient, but not everyone of the same age is ready for sleepaway camp. Having a buddy who’s been before to show them the ropes or go through a new experience with them can relieve a lot of anxiety. Camp can be stressful for parents, too, with your child going away overnight for days or weeks. Knowing that your child is going with a familiar face can bring a lot of peace to a parent’s mind. 

You’re probably considering camp in the first place because another family recommended it to you! A lot of camps, including Catalina, offer a summer camp referral discount to campers and families who bring a friend. These discounts can make a big difference in camp tuition costs, saving you money and giving both children a fun summer experience. 

If you do send your child with a friend, encourage them both to branch out at camp. Maybe they should request different bunks or sign up for different activities so they’re not stuck together 100% of the time. That way, they have room to make new friends and try new things but still have each other for support.

Two happy campers.

Come to Catalina, a Marine Biology Summer Camp 

If your child (or their friends!) loves everything sea-related and learning through hands-on programs, they will have a blast at Catalina. We have state-of-the-art campuses and equipment for unique, science-based approaches to learning about the ocean. We also have a nurturing environment and community that takes special care to welcome new campers. We carefully assign cabin mates and activities to give each child the best experience possible during their time with us. 

We’d love to see your camper or a friend of theirs join us this summer as they study marine biology and ocean science. We offer referral discounts too! Check out our summer camp’s dates and rates, and enroll today.