We have a homesick camper this week.
This is an every-week event, of course, but it’s helpful when campers are set up to succeed. We don’t let the kids call home. This is typical of most camps. Not because we are monsters, but because we want them to focus on the community they are part of. When a parent tells the child they will be able to call home whenever they want, it creates a struggle.
Kids need to come to camp hearing “I’ll see you on pick-up day,” which is a subtle message the child can succeed. Letters work.
This guy decided before arriving that he didn’t want to come to camp, which is another clue.
This is kind of a worst case scenario for homesickness. But whatever the cause, there’s often a solution if one can take the time to dig into it. Mom would really like the child to experience camp, so the order of business is to keep him here. Will he stay? I don’t know.
What worked for night one? Kicking the can. “We can discuss it tomorrow.” Of course, the question was raised if that meant home – which it may. When a kid is homesick, empathy is key. However, after speaking with the child it was apparent that camp had not been given a fair shake. Homework was key – when we speak today (with our Program Director or other), he needs to describe some fun activities he’s had.
It’s very possible to have fun at camp, especially when trying.
This is called kicking the can. He has two activities. He needs to find something fun in both to describe, as well as describing (hopefully naming) the other boys in the cabin. I don’t know if it will work in this particular instance. But, often, deals of promised 1:1 time work well.