Tips for Dealing with Homesickness

helping your camper

At Camp Solomon Schechter, we understand that homesickness can be a challenging experience for children who are away from home for the first time. Homesickness is a natural feeling and can be common among children of all ages. However, it doesn’t have to ruin their time at camp. In fact, overcoming homesickness can be an empowering experience that builds resilience and self-confidence. As such, we have put together this guide to help parents support their children through homesickness and help them make the most of their time at summer camp.

1. Start preparing your child in advance

Before your child leaves for summer camp, start preparing them for the experience. Talk to them about the activities they will be doing, the friends they will make, and the fun they will have. Encourage them to ask questions and express any concerns they may have. Additionally, you can encourage your child to practice spending time away from home by having them sleep over at a friend or relative’s house.

2. Pack familiar items from home

Having familiar items from home can be comforting for children who are feeling homesick. Encourage your child to pack a few favorite items from home, such as a favorite stuffed animal, a family photo, or a favorite blanket. This can help your child feel more comfortable and at ease in their new surroundings.

3. Write letters to each other

Writing letters to each other can be a great way to stay connected while your child is away at camp. Encourage your child to write to you about their experiences at camp, and share updates about what’s happening at home. You can write back and share your own updates and words of encouragement.

4. Set expectations for communication

It’s important to set expectations for communication before your child leaves for camp. Let your child know how often they can expect to hear from you and how you will communicate (e.g. phone calls, letters, emails). It’s also important to set boundaries around communication to help your child adjust to their new environment.

5. Encourage your child to make new friends

Making new friends can be a great way to overcome homesickness. Encourage your child to be open to meeting new people and making new friends. Remind them that many of the other children at camp are also feeling homesick and are looking for new friends too.

6. Validate their feelings

If your child is feeling homesick, it’s important to validate their feelings. Let them know that it’s okay to feel sad or homesick and that these feelings are normal. Encourage them to talk to their counselors or other trusted adults at camp if they need support.

7. Focus on the positive

Encourage your child to focus on the positive aspects of camp. Remind them of the fun activities they will be doing and the new friends they will be making. Encourage them to try new things and have fun while they are away at camp.

Homesickness is a natural part of the camp experience, and with the right support, children can overcome it and have a great time at camp. By following these tips, parents can help their children adjust to camp life, make new friends, and create lifelong memories. As always, our team at Camp Solomon Schechter is here to support your child through their camp experience, and we look forward to making it the best summer yet!