Homesickness is a natural and normal process for kids of all ages. For first-time campers, there are steps you can take to prevent or reduce homesickness.
- Involve your child in the decision to attend camp. Look at the website and brochure together, and choose a camp session that matches your child’s interest and abilities.
- Short sessions (3 or 4 nights) are ideal for first-time campers.
- If possible, attend an Open House or take a tour before camp starts.
- Short stays away from parents can help – kids who have attended day camps or have had sleepovers at a friend’s house tend to be more successful at overnight camp.
- Do not promise phone calls home, or make any deals about picking kids up. Kids will fixate on this and have trouble focusing on having fun.
- Sending mail or e-mail to your child with a positive message can help – send it a couple of days ahead of camp so it will be there when he or she arrives.
Homesickness at Camp
If a child is homesick at camp, counselors will handle it with compassion. Our first priority is to get kids engaged in activities they enjoy and making friends with their cabin mates. Homesickness is common at first, but usually goes away after a day or so.
For severe homesickness, we will call the parents for consultation. Phone calls between campers and parents can be arranged, but are not recommended, as they usually increase homesickness. If homesickness does not improve, or if the child is having trouble sleeping or eating, we may ask parents to pick up their child.