Many parents are aware and prepared to deal with their child’s homesickness while away at camp, but rarely are they prepared for the “end of camp” blues once they arrive back home. After being in an action packed environment for days or even weeks, it’s no surprise why children might find it difficult to adjust back to their normal, not-so-exciting routine. They have likely forged strong bonds of friendship and developed a sense of community while at camp, and must find ways to cope with the sudden absence of those friends and community life.
Post camp blues can cause kids to be tired, moody and even quieter than their usual self. By following these tips, you may be able to help ease their transition from camp life to home life:
1. Be patient and use restraint: While you may want to bombard your child with questions about their trip, give them some time to decompress. You child will need time to process their experience and reflect on what they learned. They will come to you on their own time when they are ready to discuss their summer camp experience.
2. Encourage reconnecting with friends from home: Take some time to set up some play dates with neighborhood and/or school friends, so that your child can reconnect with the friends they haven’t seen in a while. This will re-establish their sense of community and belonging, which will make the transition much easier.
3. Provide your kid with the necessary things so they can write, email or call their camp friends: Many camp counselors highlight the importance of ongoing communication among the kids at camp, especially if they became close friends during the process. That way they can communicate with kids that are going through the same “end of camp” blues and still feel connected to them even though they aren’t at camp anymore.
4. Plan fun things to do when you child gets home from camp: In most cases, children miss the camp atmosphere because they were constantly doing something new and exciting. They were able to take risks in a safe and nurturing environment and felt a sense of independence. Instead of just welcoming your kid home by having them go straight back to their regular routine, step outside the norm and plan some fun things for you to do as a family. This will distract them from feeling lonely and sad about leaving camp and allow them to focus on a new adventure.
This article was written on behalf of Strong Rock Camp, a coed summer camp, located in the North Georgia Mountains. Strong Rock offers a safe, nurturing environment where kids can learn independence and gain a better relationship with themselves and those around them.