Homesickness is an emotion that most campers feel to some degree at camp. Fortunately, in most cases, the fun and excitement of camp outweigh any sad feelings. If this is your child’s first experience away from you for a significant period of time, we encourage you to read through the following recommendations.
Homesickness Dos & Don’ts
How We Handle Homesickness
During our staff training, our counselors learn positive ways for handling camper homesickness. Our counselors and staff will do the following things to help your child work through the normal adjustment period of being away from home:
1. Give your child time and attention. Talk to them about their feelings and let them know they are normal.
2. Do things for them that make camp more “homey” for them, such as read them a bedtime story, tuck them into their sleeping bag, etc.
3. Encourage your child to use coping strategies that have worked for other campers.
When to Contact Camp
If you receive a sad letter from your child, call us so that we can observe your child and talk with his/her counselor. We will call you back with detailed information about your child’s attitude and behavior. Our Camp Directors, Assistant Directors, and Camp Moms are in camp with your children throughout the camp day and will call you back within 24 hours.
When we will Contact You
If your child is visibly upset (crying frequently, not participating, having trouble eating or sleeping) and not getting adjusted to camp after two full camp days, we will call you to let you know what is happening and discuss a plan for helping your child adjust. You will not be contacted if your child mentions that he/she misses his/her parents but appears happy and is participating for the majority of the day.
Without the option of going home, most campers adjust to camp within a few days. Campers who overcome homesickness and successfully complete their camp stay feel a great sense of accomplishment and independence.
Call our office at 800-554-2267 if you’d like to talk with us more about homesickness.
Visit campparents.org (American Camp Association) for articles and resources related to camp and homesickness prevention.
Read the related article, “Kidsickness: Help for First-Time Camp Parents.”
Have More Questions?
Please email us or call the camp office at 800-554-2267.