Easing Your Child Back into Home Life After Camp

Easing Your Child Back into Home Life After Camp
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Easing Your Child Back into Home Life After Camp

Often times, when we send our kids to overnight camp, we worry that they will be homesick and want to come home. But not many think about our kids being campsick when they get home—that feeling of missing camp terribly and just wanting to go back!

Try not to take this personally.  Your child has been living amongst friends and counselors who have become like family and their every minute has been filled with singing, sports, campfires, ropes course, color war and more!  Easing back into home life is an adjustment. 

Here are a few tips to help you plan for your child’s return home and how you can help them reassimilate into home life after an amazing time at summer camp. 

Don’t overbook

Too much downtime can be scary for many parents but make sure to build in some relaxation time before you sign your child up for an activity or go away on vacation. Camp is super busy and having time to just chill at home will help them adjust to home life. 

Talk about camp but don’t drill them

Of course you want to know EVERYTHING about camp but give your child some time to decompress.  Summer camp is awesome but tiring. Let your child unwind a bit and talk about summer camp in their own time. Ask questions but let them guide the conversation.

Camp friend plans

Once school begins, the craziness of the school year takes over. If possible, try to look at the calendar and help your child find some time to get together with camp friends if they live locally. Having a date on the calendar to see camp friends will help ease the sadness about not being with them every day. 

Reinforce camp independence

One of the greatest parts of camp is the independence your child has gained and the responsibility your child took in taking care of themselves.

This includes making their bed each day, straightening up their living area, remembering what they need for each camp activity and making food choices at each meal. Do your best to keep this independence going at home—it will remind them of camp and also make your life easier!   

Technology reset

Your child survived summer camp without their phone or iPad! Perhaps now is a good time to consider a technology reset with rules and parameters if you feel that there was too much time spent on technology pre-camp. 

Spend time together

Plan some special time for you and your child now that camp is over.  Although you gave them the gift of camp this summer, now it’s time to make the most of family time before they head back to school.

Jess Michaels is the Director of Communications for the American Camp Association, NY and NJ.

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