Parent Resources: Sending Siblings to the Same Camp, is it Right for my Family?

I’ve blogged a lot about my sons’ experiences at their summer camps, and this year my youngest will finally get to join one of his big brothers at a sleepaway camp! My sons do go to the same camp together, and at Alleghany, we have a LOT of sisters who attend together. But is this right for all families? Let’s take a look and break it down a bit.

Ease of Logistics

First, a pretty obvious plus for sending your children to the same camp is that it’s just easy – the schedule is the same, the packing list is the same, the planning and preparation emails are the same, the expectations are the same, and so on. 

If you send your children to a single-gender camp, such as Alleghany, often there are brother-sister camps nearby with the same or similar session dates. In our case, Camp Greenbrier is our brother camp and they offer sessions with the same dates as our 1st and 2nd Terms, and we do have several campers with brothers there. 

There is also the financial perk in that many camps offer a sibling discount, so that is of course something to take into consideration. 

And if you do send your children to a camp together, or camps with the same dates, you have the potential to get some much-needed adult time – whether that is time solo, a trip with your spouse, or a girlfriends getaway (see my recent blog post on this!). This just may be what is needed for your family at this time.

Familiar Faces

Another reason to consider sending your children to the same camp is so that they have a built-in friend or familiar face at camp if that is something you or they are worried about. Now, don’t get me wrong, MANY campers come to Alleghany without a sibling or a friend, or maybe they don’t even have siblings. So this is certainly not something to stress about if you’re considering a camp but your camper doesn’t have a sibling attending. 

My youngest son is quite young to be going off to sleepaway camp this summer, but knowing his big brother will be in a cabin next door has eased some of his anxiety. Of course, my oldest son never had this luxury, but… perks of being the baby, right? ☺ 

In the end, it can ease some worries or anxiety to have that familiar face in camp with you.

Shared Experiences

An inevitable occurrence at summer camp is coming away with a whole new experience under your belt – new friends, new traditions, new personal growth – and camp friends truly bond over this experience. As a camper, after camp each summer I would hide in my house for several days, not ready to see my “home” friends yet because they “just didn’t understand” the amazing experience I had just come home from. 

When you have siblings attending the same camp, they have that shared experience and can bond together over it, each of them understanding the other and what he or she has gone through at camp. When I pick up my sons after their camp sessions, there is nothing I love more than when they eagerly want to tell me EVERYTHING and they are both so excited and their energy is high and they’re laughing together and retelling stories and recounting memories together. I love how they just bond together at camp and then have that camp bond throughout the year.

Sibling Rivalry?

On that note, we all know siblings argue, squabble, bicker, fight… whatever you want to call it, they don’t always get along! And some siblings have a harder time than others getting along.

Here is where you need to decide what’s best for your children because you know them best.

Historically, siblings at Alleghany will overwhelmingly tell you that they get along so. much. better at camp. Why? They can’t really pinpoint it, but the vast majority will explain that they are closer at camp, or they’re ONLY close at camp, or just simply that they get along better when they’re at camp together. 

This could happen for a number of reasons. First, the demands of home aren’t there at camp – they don’t have the pressures of school, friends, sports or other teams/groups, and they can relax into themselves while at camp. Secondly, there may not be as much competition at camp between siblings. They have their separate friend groups, separate activities, separate goals, and some separate experiences as well. And finally, parents aren’t there! While of course they love you and miss you, there is something to be said about the independence of being away from your parents for a short period of time. 

Again, bonding over the shared experience tends to bring them closer, in camp and out. 

Separate Experiences

That said, there are certainly situations that would necessitate separate camps for siblings. 

First, if your children spend a lot of time together and simply need a break from each other, different camps could be a good thing for them.

Similarly, if they don’t get along on a more extreme level and really need some time apart from each other, this could be a positive thing for your family harmony. We all need a break from each other sometimes, right?

If there is intense competition between them, or one tends to feel overshadowed by the other, allowing them separate experiences could also help them grow and develop in confidence or character-building without anyone from home around.

Separate Interests

And of course, the big one! If your children have vastly different interests, they simply may not enjoy the same camps! One of them might be more into acting while another is into computer programming. One may want horseback riding while another wants a more culinary experience. There are camps for EVERYTHING, and one of my favorite phrases is: there’s a camp for everyone, and Alleghany is not necessarily the camp for everyone. 


So as you weigh your options and your children’s interests, relationships, and your own family’s scheduling/financial/misc. needs, make a pros and cons list of sending them to the same camp or a different camp, with this blog as a guide. I am confident you will come to the decision that makes the most sense for your whole family – parents included (remember – parents’ needs should also be met!)