Day Camp vs. Overnight Camp: Which One is Right for Your Child?

Choosing the right summer camp for your child can seem overwhelming with so many different options. The first thing you’ll need to do is choose between day camp or overnight camp. 

Day camp tends to be more flexible, but it ultimately depends on what your child is comfortable with and your existing summer schedule. That’s why we’ve put together the main differences between day camp and overnight camp to help you decide which would be best for your camper. 

What is a Day Camp?

Day camp is a form of summer camp, typically meant for a wide range of ages for kids in school. At Brooks School Summer Programs, campers from ages 3 to 14 are welcome. At Brooks, campers can choose from a wide range of activities in a social setting. 

Day camp is one of the best places to discover how we deal with real-life situations — such as conflict and how we can depend on friends and peers — because a lot of the activities at day camp can teach us a lot about how we might handle harder challenges later in life. 

At Brooks, we believe so much in these skills, that we have our own Leaders In Training program. For campers in grade 8 and older, this program helps hone these skills to help create role models and future camp counselors.

Day Camp Activities

The Brooks School Day Camp is comprised of fourteen different activities, in addition to daily swim lessons and free swim. Participants enrolled in the Brooks School Day Camp will be grouped in small cohorts, each group having a different schedule that changes daily.

Day camp activities at Brooks include: 

  • Adventure-ropes course
  • Archery
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Boating
  • Drama
  • Explorations
  • Games
  • Gymnastics
  • Mindfulness
  • Music 
  • Skateboarding
  • Soccer 
  • Sports
  • Tennis

Benefits of Day Camp

First-time campers may find day camp to be a much easier transition into the summer camp experience. During day camp, kids practice autonomy and learn about decision-making and time-management skills as they choose the activities they want to participate in. But they have the comfort of returning home at the end of each day. 

Other benefits of day camp include: 

  • Learning how to work well with others
  • Choosing new activities
  • Learning how to effectively communicate
  • Understanding personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Finding out how others learn 

What is an Overnight Camp?

Overnight camp is similar to day camp when it comes to a range of activities, becoming part of a community, and learning new skills. The difference is that campers sleep away from home for a certain amount of time — usually somewhere between 1-3 weeks. 

It’s an immersive experience that allows campers to build strong friendships and a sense of community. They learn to live with others that may have different ways of dealing with conflict, communicating, and learning. 

Day Camp vs. Overnight Camp

Overall, both choices are great for kids’ development for a number of reasons — spending time in the fresh air, physical exercise, and practicing a number of important life skills — but whether or not you choose day camp or sleepaway camp depends on your child. 

While overnight camps for kids are a great way to introduce them to new experiences, specifically living away from home, it can be nerve-wracking and a lot at once for first-time campers. For those who are young, easily tired, introverted, or anxious, sleeping away from home for days or weeks can be stressful. 

Day camps offer familiar settings such as playing fields, pools, arts and crafts rooms, and auditoriums. While Brooks offers a daily escape to nature and time outdoors and is just 40 minutes north of Boston, it’s not so secluded and far from home, as many sleepaway camps tend to be. 

The Best Summer Camp for Kids

Your camper will love the 270-acre Brooks School campus, with plenty of space, friends, and activities to explore. Our trained group counselors lead children in small age-appropriate groups through an unparalleled activity schedule. The diverse groups of children at Brooks Day Camp encourage children to feel comfortable making new friends. 

Contact us today for more information on our summer programs for the upcoming year!