The Ubiquity and Normalcy of Good Ol’ Fashioned Homesickness In Covid Times
Amidst all the excitement and enthusiasm for Summer 2021 (oh wow – there is a lot of it in our household), we wanted to share some tips to ensure that you and your camper are mentally prepared for camp this summer. As all of us parents know, this has been an incredibly challenging year for our children (understatement) – full of restrictions, loss and anxiety. As you prepare for camp, we hope that helping your camper prepare mentally for camp is on your checklist. Your camper may face homesickness and anxiety being away from home. They may have COVID-related fears. They may face other challenges living in a community with peers. The good news is that children are resilient. While they may have some bumps adjusting to life at camp, most often they adjust.
I want to share some thoughts about homesickness and preparing for camp in Covid-impacted times.
First, do not project any anxiety or nervousness you may be feeling onto your campers. Be confident. Be excited. Your camper will absorb the energy you share about camp. Share the good stuff with your camper. Keep the nervousness for your partner or friends.
Second, talk about homesickness. Homesickness is entirely normal. So, please talk with your camper about being away from home, about feelings of homesickness and about what they plan to do to cope. Normalize homesickness. Help them solidify their go-to coping strategies. But please, listen to me, do not make promises or plans to save your camper should they feel a bit uncomfortable at first being away from home. They may be uncomfortable for a short time but they are safe. And almost always, they adjust. Do not make promises to pick-up your camper. I assure you, this does not set your camper up for success. Instead, focus on helping your child develop coping strategies and know that they are growing and learning even if they feel a bit homesick at the same time.
Third, I wanted to share some resources to help your camper think about how they best cope and recharge. Some ideas include:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Meditation (practice before camp)
- Yoga or stretching
- Taking a walk
- Making Bracelets
- Playing with silly putty/thera-putty
- Using stress balls or fidgets
Some helpful links to peruse:
As you continue to prepare for camp, please make sure you help to prepare your camper for adjusting to life away from home – away from family and away from their screens. Please know that the entire Windsor Mountain staff we will be ready to offer love and support to your camper this summer.