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Dealing With Summer Camp Homesickness

Are you sending your child to summer camp soon and can’t help but feel a bit worried that your child might start to get homesick while there. 

Homesickness usually arises whenever you’re introduced to a new environment that isn’t as familiar as your previous surroundings. With summer camps being a completely different environment than home, kids usually feel homesick after a while.

Here are a few tips to help deal with homesickness and what can help prevent it in the first place.  

What Is Homesickness?

camp homesickness

Homesickness feels a lot like grief, in which you grieve for the temporary loss of the surrounding environment associated with what you call home. Homesickness usually induces intense feelings of nostalgia and longing, and it can be quite fierce if it reaches a certain point.

It may be triggered by stimulants in the existing new environment reminding someone that they're far away from home. Just about anyone at any age can feel homesick.

What Causes It?

Summer camps are fun. Campers make a lot of new friends, participate in new activities, and play exciting games. So why do kids still get homesick? 

Homesickness is a pretty natural reaction to the sudden change in an environment. No matter how tough you are, whether you're an adult, child, or teen, you always feel the safest when you have people you completely trust around. Other factors that contribute to homesickness are:

  • Little to no experience being away from your family for prolonged periods.
  • History of anxiety or if you’re timid as a person.
  • Being forced to go to camp if you don’t want to.
  • Not used to coping with negative feelings.

How To Deal With Homesickness. 

Kids can quickly help mitigate homesickness by following a few tips. Here are some tips to have your child keep in mind:

  • Changing their mindset towards the summer camp experience by embracing it rather than fearing it. 
  • Staying busy and participating in fun, festive activities.
  • Remind themselves that camp won’t last for eternity. 
  • Talking to others and remembering that other kids feel the same way.
  • Talking to an adult since they're trained to help in these situations. 

How To Prevent Those Feelings

Here are some helpful tips for preventing summer camp homesickness in the first place:

  • Try separation from parents by spending a week away from home.
  • Take things of value to summer camp like a stuffed animal or favorite toy.
  • Take family pictures along. 
  • Talk to parents before leaving and expressing complete feelings. 
  • Before choosing what summer camp kids want to attend, make sure it suits their interests in the first place.  

Children shouldn’t be ashamed of feeling homesick. The feelings are purely instinctual, and there’s nothing to be worried about as long as they don’t have that much of a negative impact on the summer camp experience. The feelings disappear with a strong positive mindset.