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Preparing Your Daughter

for Summer Camp

Homesickness

Homesickness is very common especially for girls coming to camp for the first time. Most girls get over their homesickness within the first day or two of being at camp but for some girls it takes a little longer. Our staff are all trained in ways of handling homesickness, but there are certainly ways that you can help as well. In the case that you get a sad letter from your daughter explaining how homesick she is, here is an example of a great way to respond:

Hey Rosie,

I was so excited to get your letter today! I read it over and over again just to make sure I understood exactly where you are coming from and what you were telling me. Of course, I never like it when you are sad or feeling down, and I know you are a strong girl who will keep trying new ways to help yourself overcome missing home. Just like we talked about before camp, I will not be able to come pick you up until closing day of camp, and I trust Page and your counselors to take great care of you.

Life at home is same as always, Dad goes to work every day, Austin is at football camp, and I spend my days cleaning up this house! You are not missing a thing but chores back here in Atlanta!

What is your favorite activity at camp? Have you had the fried chicken yet? I am so jealous you get to play outside and eat delicious homemade fried chicken, lucky duck! What do you like best about your counselors?

You are a positive, kind, young lady. I know you are more than capable of pushing through the feeling of being sad in order to see all the amazing parts of camp. I want you to have so much fun these next two weeks, make new friends, and learn something new! Keep up the hard work of trying new ways of keeping the homesickness away (play with friends, swing on the swing set, laugh a lot!) and go make this the best day ever!

Loving you always,
Mom

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Nervousness

If you daughter is feeling nervous or anxious before camp, it is important that you let her know that those feelings are completely normal. Most campers coming to camp for the first time get nervous and even our returning campers feel some anxiety entering the camp on opening day. Let her know she is not the only one feeling that way.

  • Try not to tell your daughter over and over that you are going to miss her because this can bring on some anxiety before and during camp. The best is to continually reassure her how much the family supports her and how everyone wants her to have a great time at camp.
  • Do not make deals about early pickups! Offering up the option of coming to camp to pick up you daughter if she is feeling too homesick is not a good idea. It allows your daughter to have a way out and in most cases they dwell on it instead of learning the ability to cope. If your daughter asks if you will come get her if she gets homesick try to respond with something along the lines of “It sounds like you are a little nervous about camp. Feeling this way is very normal and I support you and know that you are going to have a great time at camp and meet lots of new friends.”

References