What to Do When You're Homesick at Sleepaway Camp
Sleepaway camp is filled with magical memories, but it can be a real bummer if you're feeling homesick.
If it's your first (or second, or third) summer away from home, and you find yourself longing for the comforts of your room or a hug for mom and dad, we've got some tips on how to help you through the rough patch.
Scroll down and check 'em out!
Focus on Learning a New Skill
The best way to deal with homesickness is to take your mind off the fact that you're feeling blue. A good way to do that is by enrolling in a new activity or working to learn a new skill. Not only will this distract you from your sadness, but it will give you something to impress your friends and family with once you're home.
If the new activity hasn't cured your homesickness entirely, focus on using it to make something for someone you miss. Taking jewelry? Make a new bracelet for mom. Picked up silkscreen? Design a new shirt for your S.O. That way, you're focused on creating something new, but you also have stuff to show your loved ones when you see them on visiting day.
Confide in Your Bunkmates
Though there might be times when it feels like you're the only homesick one in your bunk, rest assured you're certainly not alone. Just about everyone feels homesick at one point or another, and it's totally normal to be a bit teary-eyed. If you find yourself missing home, go ahead and clue in some of your bunkmates and camp friends. Chances are they have their own coping mechanisms to share, and if they're good pals they'll do what they can to lift your spirits until the homesickness subsides.
Write a Letter to Your Friends Back Home
When you feel a pang of homesickness coming on, try writing a letter to your pals back home. Since you aren't likely to craft a letter focusing on how lousy you feel (though it's certainly fine to include that you're a tad homesick), this will force you to remember all of the fun and exciting things you've done at camp that might currently be overshadowed by your homesickness. Chances are, once you're done with the letter, you'll realize that even if you don't feel great currently, camp has been packed with some awesome experiences and unforgettable memories.
Lean on a Counselor for Advice
If you're really in a homesickness funk and can't seem to get out of it, look to a counselor for advice. Chances are they were campers themselves in the not-so-distant past, and know a thing or two about how to deal with a camper who isn't feeling their. What's more? Most counselors receive training in how to deal with homesick campers, so they really are the experts here. Plus, if your counselor is aware that you're going through a bit of a tough time, they'll likely give you that extra boost of TLC you need to lift your spirits.
Give Your Parents a Call
If nothing else is alleviating your homesickness, go ahead and give your parents a call. Most camps let kids phone home after a week or two, and, strange as it may sound, a call home could be the trick to curing your homesickness. Look at it this way: No one knows how to comfort you like mom and dad, so speaking to them might just do the trick.
Plus, your homesickness might be triggered by worries that you're missing a ton of fun at home, but the truth of the matter is that the opposite is often true—home is boring and camp is where you can find all the fun! If you're allowed to call home, try going with a friend or counselor who can be there for emotional support. While talking to mom and dad can provide comfort, it might also make you a little sad. Having a pal there will help you deal with your emotions.
For more camp advice, click HERE for tips on how to stay in touch with your camp crush once summer ends.