Going to sleepaway camp is a rite of passage for many New York City kids. Young city slickers pack their trunks and spend four- to eight-weeks in the great outdoors, communing with nature, and experiencing life without mom and dad.
If you've got an elementary schooler who's interested in trying sleepaway camp but is anxious about going away for a month (or more likely you're the one freaking out), you don't have to make such a big time commitment. These days, many sleepaway camps in the Northeast offer starter camps, one or two-week sessions specifically designed for first-timers. These mini-camps are a great way for families to test the waters to make sure you and your kid are ready to spend the summer apart. We've found a dozen diverse camps that offer these kinds of junior sleepaway programs.