Camp is fun and is enjoyed by hundreds of kids at Farm & Wilderness and thousands of kids nationwide. Occasionally children (especially those younger and newer to the camp experience) will have some homesickness. Here are some tips to help prevent it or, at least, reduce its power.

At home:

  • If your child has very little experience sleeping away from home, schedule some sleepovers or weekends away as soon as possible. These successes will lessen their anxiety, which is often at the root of homesickness.
  • Talk with your child about camp and what the first few days might be like and how they might feel. Acknowledge that it will be challenging to be in a new place but remind them that they will not be the only new camper in camp.
  • Some kids think that having fun at camp makes them “disloyal” to their family. Let them know how happy you are that they’re going to have this great experience. Focus on this more than how much you might miss them.
  • Please make no promises about picking them up after a week if they don’t like camp. Often this results in their focusing on an early ‘escape’ and keeps them from jumping into the camp experience.
  • Send them a letter a few days before camp begins. Then they’ll get a reassuring message from home on their first full day in camp.

At camp:

  • If you’re dropping off your child, avoid a long, extended goodbye. We want to get them engaging with new friends and busy with activities as soon as possible.
  • Write regularly, but not too often. News from home is always appreciated, just avoid conveying sadness at their absence.
  • If you receive a sad, homesick letter, take heart, they may already be over it! Write a supportive letter back and ask them what they are enjoying about camp. Of course, if you have concerns you can always give us a call and speak to your child’s director or counselor. We can’t promise an immediate response, but we will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • We try to avoid the camper-parent phone call because it tends to encourage homesickness. However, if you feel strongly that you want to speak to your child, of course, we will arrange it.

If you have any questions or concerns about your camper, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 802-422-3761.

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