As parents, we are all about the “what if”. What if my camper gets sick? What if she forgets to brush her hair? What if he doesn’t like what’s for dinner tonight? What if my camper is homesick? A pre-camp conversation with your camper about homesickness, how it is normal and how to handle it is very helpful, even for returning campers. However, have you had the conversation with yourself about how to handle being “kidsick”? Here are some helpful hints and tips from Lonehollow moms!
Keep yourself busy. What goes for kids at camp can apply to parents as well. Too much down time can attribute to homesickness/kidsickness. Use this time to get started on your “When I Have Time” list. Start a new book series, tackle a DIY project, clean out the closets in your house, spend a weekend at a B&B, or grab a friend who also has kids at camp and talk Lonehollow over lunch at a restaurant with real cloth napkins!
Stay connected with Lonehollow. We post daily news and photos which you can view by logging into your CampInTouch account and live updates on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Check out all of the ways you can stay connected while your camper is away here!
Put yourself in your camper’s shoes. Focus on all of the positive things your child is getting from camp. In your letters, ask about classes, cabin and crew. Before you send off your letters, re-read them from your camper’s perspective. Will your child feel he or she is missing out on things at home? Could anything trigger some homesickness? Being excited about all aspects of the camp experience will not only help you, but will ease your camper’s mind as well.
Take a step back. As a parent, your child means the world to you and it’s easy for his or her needs to take precedent. By taking a step back and letting your child practice their independence before camp starts, you’re setting your child up for success and calming your own concerns. Still worried? Try writing down your concerns and pinpoint exactly what you are worried about.
No news is good news. Have no fear, not hearing from your camper means he or she is too busy having fun to write! (Veteran camp moms suggest creating your own fill-in-the-blank letters for quick responses.) We assure you, if anything is going wrong, we will contact you right away! Don’t let irrational fears get to you, kids are constantly surprising us with all they say and do. They will make friends, they will be well fed (we eat five times a day!) and they will wear sunscreen!
The most important thing to remember is that your child will be looking to you to shape expectations of success for the summer. It’s easy to worry about the negative “what ifs”, but look forward to the positives. Your son or daughter will come home more self-reliant and confident with new skills and stories from the summer..