Homesick No More!
As sure as the sun rises and sets over the mountains that encircle Camp Ton-A-Wandah, homesickness and camp go hand in hand. For many of our girls, camp represents an important life step - an adventure in independence and a sign of maturity. It's important for you and your camper to accept - well before opening day - that homesickness happens and, more importantly, that it goes away!
Homesickness is a natural, normal and inevitable part of camp life. As such, it's also one of our fields of expertise! Over the years, we have learned how to best address the problem and help each girl make the transition to being the proverbial happy camper! With the passing of each day and making new friends, the fun of camp activities and heavy doses of TLC, Ton-A-Wandah campers work through the homesickness to fully participate in their camp experience.
Encourage your camper to move beyond the homesickness. And keep a stiff upper lip yourselves! Bear in mind the reasons why you decided to pursue a camp experience - and TAW in particular - for your camper. Rely on us to do the very best job to make each and every camper fell safe, significant and loved.
Remember - forewarned is forearmed! Talk openly with your camper about homesickness BEFORE she leaves for camp. Put your hands together and brainstorm ways to beat any blues she may (or may not) experience. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
BEFORE LEAVING FOR CAMP, CAMPERS CAN:
- Practice walking around your backyard at night with only a flashlight. Wear the shoes or sandals you are planning to bring to camp.
- Pack special reminders of home. They'll make you feel connected to your family and friends.
- Bring plenty of stationary and prepare for writer's cramp! The more letters you write, the more you will receive! It's a time tested practice and it works! Bring pre-addressed cards and plenty of postage.
- Shop for camp with your parents and make it a family affair.
- Take a mental walk through of opening day. What time do you arrive at camp? What will you be wearing? What cabin are you hoping to get? Who will your counselor be? Top bunk or bottom? Cherokee, Mohawk, or Navajo? It's all about to happen - so get ready!
DURING CAMP, HERE'S HOW TO TACKLE HOMESICKNESS HEAD ON:
- Have fun! Too simple to be true? Nope. If you feel the homesick monster lingering about - get busy. Even if it's rest time, you can write a letter, draw a picture or play a game. Don't ever skip activities because you are missing home. Camp fun is the best medicine!
- Think good thoughts. Remind yourself of all the things camp offers that home can't - unless you happen to have a blob or ropes course in your backyard!
- Talk to a friend. Ton-A-Wandah is full of people - kids and adults - who understand what you are going through and know how to help! A good start is to talk with a cabin friend or a counselor.
- See the silver lining. After all, being homesick just means you love your parents and that home is a nice place. That's a good thing!
- It'll all be over before you know it. That won't seem like good news on closing day as you say good-bye to special friends, but the fact is - camp is short! One, two or three weeks - the time will fly! Before you know it, you will be back to the same old routine at home. And guess what? You'll probably be camp-sick then!