Mom Defends Her Decision To Send Her Kids To A 7-Week Sleepaway Camp Each Summer — 'Parents Use Camp To Get Rid Of Their Kids'

She just wants to give her kids the best summer possible.

kids telling scary stories around a campfire Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock

Summer camps are a rite of passage for many kids — from day programs, where campers return home every night, to sleepaway camps, which provide the exciting opportunity to stay somewhere new with friends overnight.

One mom shared that her children attend a 7-week sleep-away camp every summer — much to the ire of the internet.

Rachael Potash, a mom and social media influencer, shared a day in the life video on TikTok, likely not realizing what a stir it would cause.


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In the short video, Potash filmed herself making dinner for her daughters and stepdaughter, explaining how the younger girls would leave for their annual summer tradition — sleepaway camp.

On the surface, this sounds completely normal. However, Potash shared an interesting fact about her kids’ camp that shocked many viewers. Instead of lasting for just a few days, it lasts for seven weeks.

Commenters were confused that Potash’s daughters attended a sleep-away camp that lasted for almost two months. They expressed everything from not wanting to send their own kids away for that long to believing Potash was just trying to have a childless summer.

“I could never do that; I would miss them way too much,” one person wrote.


“Everybody knows parents use camp as a reason to get rid of their kids,” another user commented.

A third person added, “They will remember you trying to get rid of them any chance you got when you had to be a mother.”

@rachaelpotash Replying to @LeeDett the kiddos want to go and there are so many positives #moms #momsoftiktok #camp #summer #sleepawaycamp ♬ original sound - mayy✮

While seven-week summer camps may not be common now, they were once normal.

Nowadays, it’s not often that you hear about a seven-week sleep-away camp — most last a few days or a week or two. However, that’s not how sleep-away camps got their traditional start.


According to Stone Mountain Adventures, “Parents have been sending their children to overnight summer camps for over 140 years. This ‘summer camp tradition’ started in large cities and urban areas in the northeast.”

Interestingly enough, these camps lasted for approximately two months. “Traditionally, almost all overnight summer camps ran for the entire summer, which is generally about eight weeks,” they said.

@rachaelpotash Replying to @ccatnyc Here’s what I mailed my girls today:) lmk if you have any questions :) #camp #summercamp #momsoftiktok #morningvlog #lifestyle #sleepawaycamp @StickerBeans ♬ original sound - RachaelPotash✨MomLife&Style

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While they may not be as well publicized as shorter camps, longer or “full” camp sessions are still popular.

“Six to eight-week sessions were at one time the norm for traditional summer camps and many campers still choose this option,” Stone Mountain Adventures wrote. “Campers … choose to stay at camp for the ‘full summer’ and camp becomes their second home.”

Potash spoke to 'Today' about her summer camp decisions for her daughters.

Potash’s videos got so popular that "The Today Show" took notice. She spoke to about her daughter’s seven-week sleep-away camp and explained why it was so important to them.

“Their father passed away four years ago, and he grew up going to summer camp, which I never did," she explained. "He said that camp made the best summers of his life.”


Because of this, Potash’s daughters feel closer to the father they lost by going to camp every summer. They are, in a way, following his example.

@rachaelpotash Replying to @Sunshinelove120211 #greenscreenvideo I’ll never stop sending them! Even The @TODAY Show agrees with me #camp #sleepaway #girlmom ♬ original sound - Rochelle

She insisted that this does not mean she is missing out on time with them. It is their choice, and she respects that while also understanding how helpful it can be for them.

“You’re thinking, ‘I only have 18 summers with my kid,’ but it’s not about you — it’s about them,” Potash explained.


Indeed, as Potash pointed out, she has prepared her daughters for things many don’t experience until they’re much older, allowing them to become more independent. This will serve them well in life.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news, and human interest topics.