Dear Campers!

I’m so excited to see you this summer. For those of you who don’t know me I’m your Camp Mom. I have the best job! Not only do I get to love on you I also get to support you in any way around camp. If you are struggling with homesickness, I’m here for you. If you are struggling with friendship issues, I’m here for you. If you are just wanting someone to talk to, share your day with, share the new challenges that you’ve overcome, friends you’ve made, what you learned about The Armor of God, the horse you rode, or just vent, I’m here for you!

A side note for Parents!

Homesickness is a very common, natural feeling for a child when away at camp. Around 96% of kids are homesick at some point during their time away from home and only around 8% get severely homesick. Our staff is very well trained in handling this emotion so that your child can overcome her sadness and feel successful when the session is over. As Camp Mom, I work with the staff on ways to help your child and I spend time with your child when necessary. Most often by the time you have a received a homesick letter from your child she is over it and off enjoying the joys of summer camp! However I’m always just a phone call away to reassure a “child-sick” parent.

Thurber and the American Camp Association (ACA) suggest the following tips for parents to help their child deal with homesickness at summer camp: *Encourage your child’s independence throughout the year. Practicing separations, such as sleepovers at a friend’s house, can simulate the camp environment. *Discuss what camp will be like before your child leaves. Consider role-playing anticipated situations, such as using a flashlight to find the bathroom. *Send a note or care package (purchased at camp) ahead of time to arrive the first day of camp. Acknowledge, in a positive way, that you will miss your child. For example, you can say “I am going to miss you, but I know that you will have a good time at camp.” *Don’t bribe. Linking a successful stay at camp to a material object sends the wrong message. The reward should be your child’s new found confidence and independence. *Pack a personal item from home, such as a stuffed animal. *Talk candidly with a camp director to obtain his/her perspective on your child’s adjustment. *Don’t feel guilty about encouraging your child to stay at camp. For many children, camp is a first step toward independence and plays an important role in their growth and development.

It is very important that you do not make a “pick-up deal.” A “pick-up deal” is when the parent promises to come pick up their daughter if she is not having fun. Studies have proven that once this deal is made a child will not make the effort to get into camp and overcome her fear, but rather, will only focus on going home.