#homesickatcamp #campsincanada #campersparents
My 10-year-old child has expressed that he wants to attend camp next summer. I am quite excited about it; I know first hand the benefits of camp in a child’s life. Nevertheless, I am a bit worried about him being homesick. Tomás is very attached to us. I wonder how he would feel being away from home for the first time. With this in mind, I contacted camps in Canada for advice.
The staff was eager to ease my concerns. I learned that homesickness is a very common feeling among campers. Most children experience it. It is up to us, parents and camp staff alike, that it doesn’t become a problem. It should not prevent children from having fun. I was told that coping with homesickness starts at home. First of all, it is important to choose the right camp for the child, one that matches his interests and abilities and thus will keep him busy. Also, children must be told that being homesick is a natural feeling. It is, therefore, advisable to talk with the child about what camp will be like before he leaves. It might also be beneficial for the child to spend some time, say a long weekend, away from home, e.g. in a friend’s house. Finally, I was told to pack pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelopes so Tomás can write home.
I was also reassured that camp counselors are highly trained to recognize and deal with homesickness. The child should be aware that he can talk to the staff on the matter. They will make sure to follow a proven protocol to cope with it. Finally the staff at campscanada.co convinced me that homesickness at camp might be beneficial. Overcoming it is a confidence booster; it nurtures children’s self-esteem. They realize they can control their feelings and it gives them a first taste of independence. Coping with it plays a major role in their development.
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