Camp and homesickness

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
Camp and homesickness
5
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 3:21pm
What are your experiences with sending your children to camp and homesickness. What did you do?
Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 4:29pm
Well, this summer was ds's first trip a week away from home, 600 miles away...and I was with him. The day we got there (had driven in a bus all night with his Boy Scout troop), he was very weepy-eyed and wouldn't let anyone see him but me, as he hung his head and asked if he could go home; he missed his dad and pets so much! I told him no, sorry; we're stuck for the week. He asked if he could quit scouts after that week (was already on the fence; I knew camp would make or break it), and I said yes. I think that empowerment really helped a lot. The 2nd day he said that maybe he just wouldn't go for long-distance, long-duration camps; I said fine. The 3rd day he asked if I'd be a leader...I told him only if he stuck with scouts, so he said ok. Once they got in a daily routine, they were fine (he didn't really hang around me, but hung around the adults more than the kids, as he wanted to increase his comfort level with them since they have to sign off requirements, etc.; he did everything needed with the boys but in the sparse 'free time' they had, he hung around the leaders). Anyway, next summer the week camp is only 80 miles away, and he's already looking forward to it - he got to bond with kids and leaders, and has gotten to know them more since, and now is ok with it.

Me, on the other hand, I went to Girl Scout camp for a week after 4th grade (at 10.5; he was still 10 this summer) and hated it. I spent the entire week being homesick and didn't enjoy the activities at all - part of that, too, was because we had counselors who didn't want to be there (we were in almost the last group of the summer and I think they were sick of being there all summer), so we didn't either! I never went back and never did another week away from home - that had 'done it'! Sigh. Glad ds fared better, though! (But I knew that if I didn't go, he'd've quit scouts and hated the week away)

Sue

Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 08-24-2003 - 9:15pm
Welcome to our board! My 11yo ds went to overnight camp for the first time this summer. He went for 2 weeks, and did not know anyone there. Fortunately, he had fun and wants to return this year. He did not have trouble with homesickness.

If you give a little more info, maybe we can give you some suggestions. How old is your child? How long was he/she away, or are you just looking for experiences because your considering overnight camp for the future?

Sorry I couldn't respond sooner; I've been away a few days. I'm glad you found our board and jumped in with this question. I'd be happy to talk about camp selection and experiences some more. Hope to see you again soon!

Janet

co-cl

Janet


Jewish Family Life

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 7:19am
Mine is usually thrilled to get away, so homesickness is rarely a problem.She went to camp for a week last summer for the first time. She was just under 10. He only complaint was that it wasn't longer. This year she went for 3 weeks. We did go to visit her a few times. The last time, she started moaning a bit that she was "bored" and wanted to come home. I told her to buck up and stop complaining. If she is away long, she does start to miss her "stuff." She is the type that likes, some days, puttering around her room all day in PJs, making things. So that she misses when away. But then, OTOH, after 3 days of puttering around at home, she is "bored" and wants some action. Therefore camp wasn't a bad deal for her.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 10:41am
Well, we made it through the 5 days/nights but it was tough. I am not a big fan of camp myself, because I was homesick and I didn't like Bible camp as a kid. But we are seriously missing cultural and language opportunities where we live and when I found this language/culture camp, I decided to send 10 y/o dd. I couldn't ask more of a camp...it is just a wonderful place....but after she was there about 36 hours (we had just walked in the door from taking her there) we got a call that she was homesick. We asked her to stick it out and gave her some suggestions. I sent her two overnight packages (her baby blanket, some family pictures etc.). 48 hours later, we get another call, she is still homesick and is not eating. Well, she hadn't gotten the first package yet (mail was to be passed out after supper) so I encoraged her to see what was in it and to try to laugh more. Also, if she was not eating, she would feel equally terrible at home! You will only feel good if you eat. We were picking her up in 1 1/2 days anyway and it was a 10 hour drive!

I think she actually enjoyed the last 1 1/2 days...but I am not sure. She sometimes talks about going back. Next spring, we are planning on taking her for a week end and we will spend the week end in the area. I just got a post card from her counselors yesterday saying that it took a while but in the end, she helped cousnsel some of the others who were homesick and seemed to enjoy the experience. She doesn't seem to want to talk about the homesickness now...when she saw the card, she hid it in her folder.

Next summer, I might also try to get a job in the kitchen...they don't have any volunteer positions. After their experience with her this year, they might welcome my presence!

Thanks for the responses!

Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 5:52pm
I think it's hard to adjust to a totally new situation where you don't know anyone in just a week. I'm glad she enjoyed the last couple of days and will consider going back. Perhaps there's a friend from this year she can request for her bunk next year?

Janet

Janet


Jewish Family Life