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Benefits of Attending an Out-Of-State Sleepaway Camp

As we travel around the country meeting families who are considering our New Hampshire camp, we field a lot of questions from parents and campers about attending a sleepaway summer camp that’s so far from home. While it’s certainly more convenient to choose a day camp, or another sleepaway camp that’s closer to home, we believe that going out-of-state for summer camp yields more important advantages to children later in life.

Here are our reasons:

1) Kids Have a Better Time Without All of Their School Friends There

One of our own campers described the benefits of going to an out-of-state camp perfectly: “There is nobody else from my hometown at camp so I feel like I can just be me. And, while I didn’t know anyone before getting to camp, and we all came from different places, it felt like there were hundreds of people who were like me.”

When child spend their summers close to home, they’re more likely to go to a camp with and spend time with their regular school friends. Make their summer experience more meaningful by actively expanding their horizons and their circle of friends. Traveling a little further from home is an adventure and a risk, forging relationships and memories that are unique to camp, and attending a sleepaway camp allows them to discover themselves and other perspectives. And while not everyone may not start out as friends, your child will soon learn and grow from each other’s experiences.

2) Whether You’re a Car Ride or a Flight Away, the Camp Directors Will Still Be the Ones You Depend on to Problem Solve and Handle Emergencies

Unless you’re five minutes from camp, you will not be able to be on hand immediately in case of an emergency. So rather than prioritize the distance, consider the quality of the camp and the experience of the camp directors to ensure that your camper has an amazing, safe summer. Make your decision based upon their expertise and staff, the program and facilities, as well as a shared philosophy. Once you find a fit, the miles won’t matter.

3. An Out-Of-State Sleepaway Camp Will Broaden Your Physical Horizons, Too

When you travel to sleepaway camp you can be sure you are going to make friends from around the country. (Last year at Walt Whitman, we had campers from 22 different states!)

This means you’ll make connections to friends throughout the U.S., and have lots of great places to visit during the year as you grow up.

4. Visiting Day Is a Chance to Experience a Beautiful Part of the Country You Don’t Normally See

Campers coming from far away are blown away by New Hampshire’s lakes and the surrounding White Mountains. The topography is like nothing they have ever seen before, and you’ll get to experience it too when you come for visiting day. While much of the country is sweltering in the summer heat, our cool mountain air is a relief. The state is home to some beautiful beaches, too, so you can plan a getaway around it.


Many parents and campers are apprehensive about attending a sleepaway summer camp that’s so far from home. Camp Walt Whitman understands the importance of safety, communication, and personal growth, and we strive to give campers a great summer experience away from their regular friends and family.