It’s August and the end of overnight camp is just a few days away. For all those times over the summer you thought your camper would be homesick, the reality is, your child will be coming home absolutely camp-sick, the feeling of missing camp so much that it hurts! Your child will miss camp so much that they may even experience extreme campression!
Try not to take it personally — summer camp is your child’s summer home where she gained independence, made lifelong friends and became part of a community of her own. Consoling her will be one of your greatest parenting challenges. Here are a few tips to help your child ease back into home life after an amazing summer at camp.
Give Your Child More Independence
Your child has been away for a few weeks and has been making decisions on her own. When possible, give your child the opportunity to make some more choices at home. Allow your child to practice that new found independence gained at camp.
Don’t Overbook Activities
From swimming to soccer to archery to hiking, along with special event days and evening activities, your child has been very busy having fun! But having so much fun can be exhausting. Give your child a few days to just relax. Don’t make big plans or sign your child up for another summer program once home. Your child needs to unwind and just be on her own schedule.
Talk About Camp with Your Child
Your child has been immersed in her camp world and it’s all she has thought of for weeks. Make sure to talk about camp at home and ask questions but while you are dying to know every detail about camp, but don’t push. Allow your child to talk about camp on her own time. Let her tell you what she wants to share.
Make Plans with Camp Friends
Your child has lived with her best friends for weeks and now she is home, miles or states away. Arrange a get together for the fall or winter so your child has something on the calendar to look forward to. Remember to invite everyone in the bunk—leaving a few children out creates hurt feelings and can cause tension for next summer!
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Jess Michaels is the Director of Communications for the American Camp Association, NY and NJ. She has two daughters. Parents looking for free, one-on-one advice in finding a camp can call the American Camp Association, NY & NJ at 212.391.5208.
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