It’s apples and oranges. Cottages and camps are similar in that they are often in the country and on a lake. That is where it ends! Camp is where you are without your parents. This can be a tremendous opportunity for growth as much more is left up to the camper than would be typical at home: from waking up and seeing friends, to getting to activities with appropriate gear and on time, to being able to walk a distance under the watchful eye of staff (yet much more on their own than would be typical). Read more
At camp, kids learn to make more decisions on their own, to advocate for themselves. They learn to deal with being homesick. Feeling homesick is a normal and natural way to feel—campers learn that it is okay to feel badly, but that you need to ask for help, you need to learn how to deal with those difficult feelings. Most camps don’t have TVs, screens, technology, or the internet as cottages often do. Take the internet as a single factor—eliminating that from a child’s life has enormous consequences. Campers and staff love not being able to be in the social loop at all times.
Cottaging is great, but camp is about independence, feelings of acceptance, growth, and self confidence—skills often not learned at a cottage.