“…a common sense, meat-and-potatoes guide for all families interested in camp. It’s well-researched, thoughtfully written, easy to read, and–most important–reflects the love and knowledge the authors have for kids and camps.”  –Mary Pipher, PhD, Parent and best-selling author of Reviving Ophelia

“…a comprehensive, invaluable, and powerful preparation tool…a compelling read.”  – Peg Smith, Executive Director of the American Camp Association and mother of two

“…full of practical information. Especially helpful is advice to parents about conversations they should have with their children before they go to overnight camp. Highly recommended reading for families and camp professionals.”  – Bob Ditter, MEd, LCSW, camp consultant and author of In the Trenches


Clinical psychologists Thurber and Malinowski use their own experiences as campers and camp staff to guide parents in the search for the perfect camp experience for their children. Chapters include the rationale for overnight camping, choosing the right camp, preparing for it, forestalling homesickness, getting the most out of the experience, and a short section written for children. The authors describe traditional overnight, specialty, religious, and special-needs camps and give pros and cons for each type. Without pushing their own point of view, other than that overnight camping is wonderful for most children, the authors compare camp philosophies and structures. They stress that parents should match camp styles and values to their own child’s needs. There are many sound suggestions to help children adjust to camp and to prepare children for leaving home, become more independent and enjoy the camping experience. Practical advice includes a sample of a good letter to send to your child, as well as the “do not send” kind. Lists of questions to ask, checklists of things to consider, or suggestions for helping children cope, preparing for opening day, and sidebars are breezy and helpful. Included are bibliographies of books and Web sites of camping organizations and companies that outfit campers. A good choice for the parent collection. (Parent Collection)