Before going to camp and on check-in day:
1. Encourage them to give everything a try.
2. Talk about all the fun opportunities they will have.
3. Never tell them they can come home whenever they want. This will prevent them from truly trying to have fun.
4. Let them know you are looking forward to a letter home full of all the fun things that they will be doing.
5. You might want to send a letter on Friday so that they will get it on Monday and know that you are excited for them.
6. Talk to their counselor and let them know your concerns. The counselors have been trained to handle homesickness and will have some good tips for you.
When writing to them:
1. Focus on the positive. Make comments and ask questions that prompt them to describe the activities and people they like.
2. Tell them that you miss them, but leave it at that. Going into detail about how much different home is without them can make the sturdiest camper feel homesick.
3. Tell them how excited you are for them. Let them know you want them to have a good time.
If you get a homesick letter:
1. Take a deep breath and remember that your child is still safe and taken care of.
2. Look at the date of the letter. If you receive it Wednesday of the first week, then it was probably written on Sunday evening long before any of the real fun has happened.
3. Write a letter back talking about the positive things.
4. Wait to hear back from the camper. If they are really homesick you will know when the next letter comes home.
5. Call the camp and ask about your child. If it was more than first day homesickness then their counselor or the head counselor can fill you in.
Remember that homesickness happens to almost every camper at one time or another. It is natural to miss the people you love most. It is important to remember that your child is in a safe and loving environment that is trained to handle homesickness. Giving in to homesickness and leaving camp early can give the message that they can't handle leaving home and that is a message that might stick with them for a long time.