We know that one of every parent's greatest concerns is that their child make a good adjustment to camp and the social demands of community living. Homesickness is a natural part of the resident camp experience as campers adjust to new situations and people. Most campers make the transition quickly while others may take a couple days to adjust to the challenge brought on by new surroundings and faces, and anxious feelings. As adults, we all know that growth and self-confidence come by going through new and challenging experiences. Camp staff go through extensive training before campers arrive which includes segments on helping homesick campers. We let campers know that homesickness is a “normal” feeling because it is natural to miss family, friends and pets.In addition to the two counselors in the cabin there are also several other resource staff available to assist a homesick child. Most often the best remedy for homesickness is activity.
If you or your child are having misgivings about camp or have had consistent difficulties with overnights in the past, please speak with the camp director for advice on resolving these issues before your camp session begins. Do NOT attempt to calm your child's fears by inferring that he/she can come home if they do not like camp. If homesickness issues appear in your camper’s correspondence, he or she will more than likely have made the adjustment by the time you reply. Telling your child “I’ll come and pick you up if you don’t like it” creates undue stress on campers and staff. It is better to assume a camper will make it through the brief adjustment period and place confidence in your child by talking to them about what to expect prior to their arrival at camp. However, if homesickness is extreme after a brief adjustment period, we will call to discuss the situation.In addition, please inform camp staff of any current issues in your child's life that may contribute to your child's anxious feelings. This information can be provided on the parent letter to counselor or by sending an email to the camp director.
By working together with you, we are confident your camper will make a healthy adjustment.
Top Reasons For Homesickness
The parents have said, "If You Don't Like It, You Can Come Home." This is the #1 reason that many campers are home sick on the first day of camp. parents should never put the burden of this decision on a camper. Never give a child this option before camp. If you have concerns, please call us first.
A Physical Condition: This child is hungry or dehydrated, or may be feeling ill or simply tired. When children feel uncomfortable in this way, they know that their parent take care of these situations at home, and she needs that same attention at camp. Our staff eliminates the "homesick-ness" of these campers early on by addressing the physical needs.
A Social Reason:The child has had an argument in the cabin or has not yet found a close friend at camp. they are uncomfortable about fitting in. These situations are resolved through the combined efforts of the counselors and the resource staff to encourage the child in any way and get involved in activities and seek out new friends.
Camp Anxiety:These are campers who claim they are homesick because they are uncertain of an aspect of camp (the packout, where classes are, sleeping in the cabin, etc.). These situations are resolved by working through them with the counselor.
Left Out of a Big Event at Home: This camper is missing a "big event" at home (vacation, baby, moving, etc.). These children are fine at camp once they become involved in activities.
Expect your child to have a great time at camp. Prepare the ahead of time for some feeling they may experience. Allow them to grow and gain the independence that is age-appropriate for their development to becoming a healthy adult. Keep in touch with them with cheerful news and be ready to hear many great stories from camp.