Tips To Help Your Child Prevent Being Homesick At Summer Camp

by Amy Garrett

Heading off to summer camp is an exciting time for any youngster, as he or she will soon have the ability to make new friends, enjoy time in the outdoors and be exposed to a variety of things not found in everyday life. While your child might be eagerly anticipating the upcoming summer camp experience, there's also a chance that he or she could develop a bout of homesickness -- especially if the child hasn't spent much time away from home. Although a good time at camp can quickly erase these feelings, you want to be sure that your child won't get too homesick and need to be picked up. Here are some ways to help your child prepare for getting homesick in advance.

Travel With Something From Home

A child's homesickness can often melt away when he or she has a cherished item from home at summer camp. For younger children, this could be a stuffed animal to cuddle with. For older kids, a diary or a small photo album of pictures with friends and family can bring a smile and help the child not feel so homesick.

Don't Hesitate To Seek Out A Counselor

Every child who attends camp should know that if he or she is feeling homesick, a counselor is the right person to talk to. Camp counselors will not only do their best to ensure that your child feels welcome at camp, but can also seek to involve your child in activities more or introduce him or her to other kids who might also be having trouble fitting in.

Know That They're Not Alone

Children can feel homesick while away from home without necessarily realizing that many of their camp peers are also going through the same thing. Make sure that your child knows that homesickness is a common experience for many people, but that it can be defeated by seeking to create new friendships. Remind your child that if homesick feelings are starting to appear, try to join other kids in a fun activity -- the thought of home will soon be forgotten.

Write A Letter

Telling your child that he or she can sit down in the evening and write a letter to you can be an effective way to eliminate feeling homesick. If the child focuses on all the exciting things he or she is experiencing at camp, it's easy for the child to quickly realize that the camping experience is fulfilling -- and maybe even more fun than daily life at home -- and this can help to reduce the feeling of being homesick.