What To Do if Your Camper is “Campsick”

Our last group of Summer 2016 campers departed on Saturday. While it was hard to see them go, our wonderful tutor Renya shared an important piece of advice with those leaving “Don’t be sad that it’s over; be happy that it happened.”

Camp is an intense experience, full of a lot of learning and growing in a short period of time. When it’s over, it’s normal for campers to feel the loss of it and become “campsick;” a version of homesickness for camp. Here are a few tips from Susie on how to combat campsickness.

•    Ask your child to tell you about daily routines, new skills learned, or friendships made at camp. He or she probably wants to share, but may not know where to start. Asking specific questions will help guide the conversation and spark memories.

•    Encourage your child to write to camp friends: in cursive! This will not only reinforce new writing skills, but will also help him or her to feel connected. Remember tutors and counselors love to hear from campers, too, not to mention Susie and Steve!

•    Suggest your child journal about his or her camp experience. This will make sure that memories are preserved before they are forgotten. 

•  Your camper has learned new skills such as keeping his or her belongings organized and completing tasks such as washing clothes. Encourage him or her to continue with these newfound skills at home!

• Let your child know that he or she can share the camp experience with other students at school. They can advocate for their needs and for teaching practices that help them and others like them. 

• Help your camper to plan a meetup or reunion with a special camp friend or friends. This will help to cement the friendship for the future and gives your child something to look forward to. During the school year, it’s always nice to have a friend who understands what you’re going through. Susie would be thrilled to visit campers, help organize camp reunions, or offer information sessions in your area: just contact her to discuss it!

Returning from camp and getting back into daily routines at home can sometimes be challenging for kids. Acknowledging that your child has changed and grown—that his or her world is a little bit bigger now—and that you’re proud of him or her goes a long way toward increasing your child’s self-confidence. And isn’t that a big part of what camp is all about?