NH summer camp FAQ

Dealing with Homesickness at a NH Summer Camp

Camp Cody Team 02/14/2023

Camp is a wonderful time for children to try something new. They have an opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills, and go somewhere they’ve never been before. There’s so much potential in what they could learn and the skills they could develop. However, not every camper is enthusiastic about stepping out of their comfort zone and into the unknown. Many deal with anxiety before they go and experience homesickness once they arrive. 

We see this occasionally at Camp Cody, a NH summer camp in New England. But with a little help and preparation, your child will not only look forward to camp, but enjoy their full experience

1. Let Them Decide to Go to Camp in New Hampshire

As much as you may want your kids to go to camp, forcing them to go will only cause more problems. Camp is a place where kids can practice their independence and take responsibility for themselves, but only if they choose it willingly. Listen to them and acknowledge their feelings. You can try to persuade and push them gently, but ultimately, they have to decide to go on their own.

2. Be Enthusiastic

Talk with your child about the many benefits of a New Hampshire summer camp. Show them pictures of the camp, the cool activities they can do, and the new friends they will meet. Tell them how excited you are for them to go to camp. If you loved camp as a child, tell them some stories about how positive your own experience was. Just be sure to not harp too much on how much you’ll miss them. Yes, you’ll be sad that they’re gone, but if your child feels guilty about going and leaving you behind, they’ll be much more likely to get homesick. Instead, focus on how excited you’ll be to hear all their stories when they return.

3. Encourage Them To Be Confident and Stay Busy

The best cure for homesickness is a distraction, and there are plenty of things for a child to do at a summer camp in NH. Sports, activities, crafts, talking to new friends…the list is endless. Your child may want to isolate themselves at camp if they feel homesick. Instead, encourage them to reach out to their counselors, cabinmates, or other staff members if they feel that way. Suggest that they try something they haven’t done before. Or maybe look for others who are feeling homesick. Nothing makes you feel better than helping someone else.

4. Pack Personal Items and Send Mail

If your child is going to a sleep-away camp like Cody, send them something that will remind them of home. Maybe it’s a favorite blanket or stuffed animal. If they don’t have something like that to send, most camps let you send a letter or email. Just remember to be encouraging, and say how proud you are of them. Avoid sending pictures of family and pets or saying how much you miss them. That can cause homesickness. 

5. Don’t Make Promises or Bribes

As tempting as it may be to offer your child a “way out” if they feel too homesick, don’t do it. Don’t promise to pick them up if they don’t like camp or say you’ll call or write to them every day. And don’t offer them a bribe for going either, like getting a new video game or toy. Your camper will spend the entire time waiting for you to make good on your promise. And if they go to camp only to get something from you out of it, they won’t focus on the experience and will likely just be miserable waiting for it to be over. 

Experience Camp Cody, a NH Summer Camp

At Camp Cody, we work hard to make every camper feel like part of the Cody family. Whether they are nervous about going to camp for the first time or feeling homesick despite being a veteran camper, we do our best to make sure every child loves their time with us. We have even traveled around the country (and the world!) to meet some of our first-time campers to give them the best possible summer camp experience. Register for Cody so your child can enjoy all the benefits of a summer camp in NH this year!

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