It’s a question that every parent has to ask when the option for a summer camp presents itself. There are benefits to both, and although some may not think the answer matters it actually does, especially if your kids are at the age where romance can bloom.
Thankfully, answering the question is easier than some might think, and with a little creative thinking everything can come out alright and you as a parent can be confident in your choice.
Benefits of co-ed
The best time to be a co-ed camper is when kids haven’t hit puberty. When I was younger, all my female friends were just like me, except they looked different. We still did all the same things, and that was enough for me. Many other mixed gender friendships feel like this too, and it allows for them to be good teammates.
Romance isn’t on people’s minds, enabling them to work together without the pressure of having to impress one another or deal with rampaging hormones. In addition, this can help combat stereotypes about girls in sports and even help towns field teams when there aren’t enough players for a single gender team.
Finally, the skills and mindset that every athlete can bring to the field varies widely with each player and gender, creating a more balanced team.
Benefits of single gender
As puberty hits, things such as height, size, and strength can give boys or girls an advantage in some sports, and going to a single gender team can keep the playing field even. In addition, contact sports such as football and soccer can cause some safety concerns with coed teams and it’s often safer to keep them apart.
Plus, sometimes having a girl on a boys’ team or a boy on a girls’ team can lead to bullying, bias, and even problems with teamwork as the players compete for the affections of the girl or boy. However, if disrespect is stamped out and the opposite gendered player has the skills or strength to play the sport well, a co-ed team can still work.
Also, less pressure on looks can be a benefit of a single gender camp, as girls can simply be girls and boys can be boys. This can lead to more freedom in conversations and actions, as well as a different atmosphere. In addition, single gender camps often have single gender counselors which can provide role models for the students involved.
It’s always the parents’ choice
Sometimes it’s okay to have older students go to co-ed camps, especially if you want them to make friends with and get more comfortable around the opposite gender, and having younger students go to single gender camps helps expose them to life with just boys.
No choice for camp is wrong, and it boils down to a talk with your child to see what makes them the most comfortable, as well as what makes you the most comfortable. Still, there’s no wrong decision at all, and as long as the kids have fun around each other, that’s the best part.