Overnight Camp Resources
Adjusting to camp and Homesickness
All of us were first-timers at Kennolyn once! We also know how it feels to be away from home for the very first time. This can be a big transition and some campers (and parents alike!) may experience a little anxiety in the first few days, so we pay extra attention to making our campers feel completely at home and at ease.
A Note About Homesickness
Kennolyn is proud to offer a safe haven where children can learn to assert their independence and embrace new challenges. If you do receive a homesick letter from your first time camper, however, please don’t be alarmed. This is not uncommon! More often than not, these are the very same campers who grow in the biggest leaps and bounds by the ends of their sessions… and are sometimes among the first to sign up for the following summer!
When responding to homesick letters, we encourage you to do so with a reassuring, upbeat focus on the positive. Ask about fun camp experiences so far, with thought-provoking questions about favorite activities, discoveries on outpost and beach day, new friends etc. to promote a healthier dialog. This will help your camper adjust, while a focus on the negative (“I’m so sad without you here” or “the dog misses you terribly”) can have the opposite effect. Please do NOT promise your camper “you can come home if you don’t like camp.” Although this may feel like a safety blanket, you are creating a no-win situation if he or she decides to take you up on it!
Please reach out to us with any concerns, but rest assured that if your camper is truly having a hard time, we are already on top of it! Pat Veatch (Parent-Camper Relations) has been an integral part of camp for more than 50 years and will be happy to discuss your camper’s progress. Andrew Townsend (Director) also welcomes calls and questions.
For additional insight, the American Camp Association offers an excellent article on Coping with First-Time Camp Experiences.