Campression: Every kid gets it.
After a few weeks away, your child is finally home from overnight camp! While your child is excited to see you again, returning to life at home can be difficult. After all, they were accustomed to the bubble of camp, a strong community where each minute is spent with close friends and counselors. Here are a few tips to help your child cope with “campression” and transition back into life at home.
Don’t over plan.
With a few weeks left in summer, many parents overbook this time with activities for their child. Allow your child some time just to relax. Camp is busy with activities from early morning into the evening hours. Your child may just want to veg out for a bit. Give her that time.
Talk about camp on your child’s terms
Obviously you want to know EVERY detail about camp, but try not to fire off a million questions about the experience. Camp is your child’s special place. Let your child share the details that she wants to.
Allow your child to practice independence at home
Believe it or not, your child survived at camp without you reminding her to shower, brush her teeth, and clean up after herself. One of the greatest parts of camp is the independence children gain. Let your child practice some of her new found independence at home—you’ll be amazed at all she can do without your help!
Plan a camp friend get-together
There is no doubt your child will be missing her camp friends once she’s home. Put a date on the calendar with her friends and remember to include EVERYONE from the bunk. Leaving a child or two out can be very hurtful, and that child is bound to find out about the get-together. Always be mindful of the post-camp cabin dynamics.
Ease back into technology use
Camp is truly one of the last technology free environments. Your child survived, and thrived, without constant texting, social media, and Fortnite for weeks at a time. Surely, your child will be excited to have her iPhone back, but remind her how nice it was at camp just to read a book and get lost in thoughts.
Spend quality time together
With your child home and school beginning soon, make sure to plan some family time. Even though your kid is sad that camp is over, she also missed being with you, so enjoy some time together as summer winds down.
Jess Michaels is the Director of Communications for the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of the summer camp experience. Jess has two daughters, both who go to day camp, and is already scouting out overnight camp for them three years before they are old enough to attend. Follow on Twitter @summercamp411 and Facebook @acanynj.