The camp staff has been trained on how to handle this expected hurdle. It is usually a temporary period, and the staff helps to overcome this feeling by channeling your child’s energies towards other activities. By the time you receive a “low” letter, your child is probably feeling much better!
We do not allow campers to call home during the week, as this generally only makes homesickness worse. If we have concerns about your child, we will have a staff member contact you. You are also free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns during the week. The phone number at camp is 574-387-6095. You can also reach the Camp Director by email at Amber@tannadoonah.org.
Here are some tips for preventing homesickness:
DO talk about homesickness! It is so important to talk with your child about how normal it is to feel homesick at camp. Talk about what they should do if they experience homesickness at camp. Let them know that you can be homesick AND still have a great time at camp!
DO set some camp goals with your child. In addition to making friends and having fun, camp is about trying new things and learning new skills. We encourage all of our campers to set some personal goals, whether it is learning how to water-ski or becoming a better photographer.
DON’T tell your camper that you won’t be okay without them! Of course it is okay for them to know that you will miss them, but we want to avoid them worrying about mom or dad at camp. Try saying, “I am going to miss you so much, but I know you are going to have the best time!”
DON’T make the “pick-up deal” by telling your child that you will come pick them up from camp if they don’t like it. Children typically lose any motivation to succeed at camp if they think a parent will come get them. They will hold you to this deal and it will make it much harder for us to help your camper adjust to life at camp. Part of camp is learning to work through situations that may not always be easy. Please know that the directors and counselors are taking great care of your child; we are committed to helping them throughout the week so that they can have a positive and successful camp experience.
For more tips on how to handle homesickness, check out the American Camp Association’s resources. We also recommend checking out Dr. Michael Thompson’s book, Homesick and Happy.