ADDRESSING YOUR CHILD’S CONCERNS & EXPECTATIONS
Remind yourselves about why you chose your camp! Something special must have caught your attention. Discuss what’s exciting and/or potentially intimidating. Set some goals together, being honest about your expectations.
Review all the information about the camp you can: website, video, & print materials. Decide what to review with your child and have fun dreaming about camp together.
If possible, meet the camp director and key staff members. Ask any questions you have. Be up-front about your concerns and your child’s.
Feeling homesick is completely normal; most campers (and many adults) miss home when they are away. Camp directors are experts in recognizing and “treating’ homesickness. Follow their advice! There are several steps you can take to minimize homesickness before camp even begins:
- Practice sleeping away from home. Visit friends and/or relatives for progressively longer periods of time—first one night, then two or three nights. Having a recent memory of a successful time away from home can help a child get through the first few days of camp!
- Discuss what will happen if homesickness hits at camp. Set children up to succeed; plan how you will support their ability to overcome homesickness and thrive at camp.
- Consider packing something to remind the camper of home—a favorite photo or stuffed toy. Remind campers that they always have their memories of home and loved ones with them at all times.
- Pre-address and send mail to camp in advance of opening day or bring a couple of letters to drop off when you deliver your child. Encourage campers to write a couple of words of encouragement to themselves.
- Be positive in your letters. Bad news and sad news are tough to read at camp.