As a first time staff member at HFM’s Camp Bold Eagle this year, I can personally say that your child does not have time to get homesick because they are having So much fun! Yet, at night as the activities are winding down, homesickness can strike. here are a few tips to help your child overcome feeling homesick:
• Before sending your child to camp, make sure you have a conversation with them about how homesickness is a completely normal feeling. homesick- ness means you have a loving family at home and it is normal to miss them.
• Even if you are having strong feelings of anxiety, do not project those feelings onto your child. always approach camp with a positive attitude and consistently remind your children about how much fun they will have. Do not say, “If you get homesick I will come get you.” This will plant the idea of leaving camp early in your child’s mind and cause them to have a negative view of camp before even arriving.
• Encourage your child to have an overnight experience, away from the family, before arriving at camp. This can help your child gain independence and confidence.
A great way to support your child while they are at camp is to send encouraging mail, highlighting how proud you are of them for going to camp. mail call is a fun way for kids to know that you are thinking of them and to feel connected to home while they are at camp. I truly look forward to next summer at HFM’s Camp Bold Eagle and can’t wait to work with your wonderful children!
Annie Phillips, MSW, LLMSW, Pediatric Hemophilia Social Worker