Imagine this scenario… It’s been 5 days since you dropped off Susie at camp. You get a letter from her saying, “I hate it here! There are bugs! I didn’t get the top bunk like I wanted! It’s rained everyday and I miss you! All I want to do is give you a big hug! I have so much more fun at home. PLEASE COME GET ME!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!”
What should you do?!
First of all, take a deep breath and realize that it’s perfectly natural for campers (and staff members!) to experience some degree of homesickness during their stay at camp. Most letters are written during rest hour or before bed, which are times the campers tend to feel the most homesick. While there can be moments when homesickness arises, these are rarely evidence of a true dislike of camp. Typically, these feelings are infrequent throughout the day, and will go away after a day or two. Usually by the time you receive these letters, she will most likely be just fine.
If you do receive a homesick letter, please take a moment to write a very positive and encouraging response. Let your camper know that you are confident in his/her ability to cope with the new adventure and you are proud of him/her. Validate the feelings. Share a story of a time that you felt the same way! Ask about camp, activities, counselor and friends. And, remember not to say how much you miss him/her or cannot wait for him/her to come home.
The following are links to some resources that you might find helpful. As always, you are free to call us at camp to check in and see how things are going.
Did you know that your camper's connection to nature influences their level of happiness and well-being?