The Blog of the West Wind

The Blog of the West Wind

What Happens When Homesickness Strikes

Monday, May 7, 2018/by Kabeyun/Go Back

What Happens When Homesickness Strikes

Many first-time camp parents ask camp directors and counselors the question, “What happens if my child gets homesick while at a summer camp for boys?” The good thing is, homesickness isn’t as common as many parents think. Many first-time campers never experience homesickness as they are having too much fun at camp to think about home and miss it.

While homesickness is not that common, it is common for some to experience a few tears the first day as they are settling in and meeting their cabin mates. Children are more adaptable than we give them credit for, so there’s no need to spend time preparing your child for something that will probably not happen.

It is recommended that unless your child brings up the issue, you avoid mentioning it at all. Most parents mean well and try to prepare their child for what to expect at camp and think that includes talking to them about the possibility of homesickness. In most cases, this only creates a problem where one doesn’t exist. A child who has been prompted to think about homesickness, may believe that they are in fact homesick when faced with something unfamiliar.

If your child does talk about the possibility of homesickness, reassure them that it is a normal feeling to miss home for a brief period, but you are confident that they will be fine and that they will have fun. It is important to remind them that they will not be alone—there will be other campers there and camp counselors who have been trained to help deal with children who experience homesickness.

When first arriving at camp, counselors take campers on a tour of camp and help them to become familiar with their surroundings. Campers will learn where their cabin is, where to find the dining hall, and where their counselor sleeps. They will have time to unpack and get settled into their cabin before all the fun activities begin. Counselors will also explain the routine of camp, general safety rules and introduce campers to each other.

The best way to mitigate homesickness is to keep campers busy. Encourage them to interact with their cabin mates, try new activities and cope one day at a time. When a camper does experience homesickness, their counselor can help keep their mind off of home and get them involved in the whole camp experience. Oftentimes, counselors will have a special activity that the whole cabin can participate in that can help the camper to not miss home as much.

At Camp Kabeyun, we know that going away for camp for the first time can be scary and daunting for many first-time campers, which is why we work hard to make every camper feel welcome and at home. All our counselors are trained on how to handle homesickness, which means that if your child does feel homesick, our counselors are equipped to help them through it and continue enjoying camp. Camp Kabeyun, summer camp for boys, provides boys with a healthy environment where they are able to learn, grown, try new activities and learn about themselves in the process—even if that includes experiencing a little homesickness.

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