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By Keren PerlesWhether your child has been begging to go to sleepover camp, or you’ve been trying to convince her to go, she may feel a longing for home once she’s there. But have no fear! “It is important to note that getting over homesickness is empowering for kids,” says Gregg Parker, owner and director of Camp Waziyatah in Waterford, Maine. “Some of our happiest campers started out homesick.” In fact, homesickness usually goes away within two or three days of arriving at camp, he says. While there’s no surefire solution for a kid who misses her mama, these seven tips may help you prevent homesickness altogether.
Pump your child up by looking through the camp’s brochures and seeing what fun activities await her. Give her books that paint sleepaway camp in a positive light, such as The Summer Camp Mystery (about the Boxcar Children) or Cam Jansen: The Summer Camp Mysteries. Nonfiction options include Lights Out!: Kids Talk About Summer Camp and Sleepaway: The Girls of Summer and the Camps They Love.
Get the scoop.
Recruit a friend.
Commit to it.
It’s completely natural for a first-time camper to have butterflies in her stomach leading up to camp—and as a parent, it can be hard to watch your child feel anxious. By avoiding temptation to scrap summer camp plans and focusing on getting your kid excited about the hands-on fun she’ll have, you’ll set her up for an adventure where she’ll make friends, learn new skills and build independence.