Friday, June 6, 2014

It's Summertime!

It’s time for summer fun and for many youth, going to camp is a rite of passage.  The prospects of being away from parents bring feelings of excitement and nervousness.  While homesickness is a normal thing, parents can lay the groundwork to help youth prepare for homesickness.  The American Camping Association has some great tips for dealing with homesickness:

Involve the child in choosing the camp, as well as planning and packing
Encourage independence throughout the year with sleepovers
Focus on confidence in your children
Discuss what camp will be like.  If you can, visit the camp beforehand
Invite a friend to go along too
Discuss what homesickness might feel like and that it is normal
Brainstorm together ways to deal with homesickness, for example,  record what camp is like with a journal, drawings or photographs;  stay busy;  talk to someone;  focus on the fun
Send a note beforehand so your child gets it soon after arriving to camp
Avoid the pick up deal- “if you feel homesick, I will come get you”
Show younger campers a calendar so they can see how long they will be gone

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