For first-time campers we recommend the following:
- Schedule a sleepover at a friends’ (staying at another family members home doesn’t always have the same feel).
- Talk about what your camper is excited about and what they can do if they start to miss home (write a letter, look at a picture, or talk to a counselor).
- Reassure your camper that everyone at home will be well taken care of and excited to hear all about their time at camp
TIP: When saying goodbye, it is easiest for a child to be the one to walk away, rather than the adult. When you drop your camper off, stand in one place and let them go with a counselor into camp.
TIP: Reading encouraging letters with pictures of family or pets can be helpful for a homesick camper. You may drop these off with camp staff on Sunday.
TIP: Evenings and bedtime can be especially difficult for a camper experiencing homesickness. Be sure to send a favorite book or stuffed animal along with your camper to ensure they are able to sleep!
TIP: If a camper or family is in a time of transition or uncertainty, being away from home can be particularly difficult. If there are any major transitions happening in the family, please let us know ahead of time so that we can give your camper the support they need.
If a camper is experiencing extreme homesickness, it is best for them to try to engage with camp activities. Our counselors are experienced with coaching youth through these feelings, and are given training and support in this topic. There may be situations in which advice from a parent or guardian will help us in guiding a child through a challenge. In these situations either the Resident Camp Director or a staff member who has been working closely with the camper will get in touch using the contacts listed on the health history form.