Guest Blog | American Camp Association(ACA)
Camp is an action-packed adventure. Each day brings new and exciting opportunities for growth and accomplishment. At the same time, strong bonds of friendship and community are developing. It truly is a life-changing experience. And when the embers of the last campfire have cooled, and campers make their way home, often children experience a mild case of the “end of camp blues.”
The blues are not uncommon — causing some children to be tired, moody, quieter than usual, or even irritable or grumpy. The American Camp Association® (ACA) recommends the following tips for families to help ease the transition from camp to home:
- Help them relax and adjust to the slower pace of non-camp life. Suggest they take a warm shower and get plenty of rest. Plan to have an “old favorite” for dinner.
- Encourage reconnecting with friends from home. Volunteer to set up play dates and get-togethers to help re-establish a sense of belonging with friends they haven’t seen in a long time.
- Allow your child to write, email, or call camp friends. Many camps encourage campers to exchange e-mail and IM addresses with one another. Parents should make sure to oversee their child’s online activities, and make sure that all camp policies are being followed.
- Be open and available to talk about camp. Allow your children to reflect on their friends, their favorite moment at camp, and what they miss most about camp. Sharing experiences and feelings will help them feel connected to you, and will make the transition easier.
- Organize a small “reunion.” Getting together with local camp friends can help reassure your child that though his or her friends are out of sight, they are not out of mind!
If your child gets the blues, remember that they miss camp because they had fun — and they enjoyed taking healthy risks in a safe and nurturing environment. And, it is normal for them to miss their camp family the same way they missed their home family at camp. By being supportive and understanding, families can ease the sadness and help campers adjust to life at home. And, families can help campers remember that next summer is not that far away.
Contact Public Relations at 765.346.3391 or pr@ACAcamps.org to interview an ACA spokesperson or for more information about coping with camp sickness. For customizable public service announcements or article reprints, visit our Media Center at www.ACAcamps.org/press-room.
The American Camp Association® (ACA) is a national organization with more than 10,000 individual members and nearly 3,000 member camps. ACA is committed to collaborating with those who believe in quality camp and outdoor experiences for children, youth, and adults. ACA provides advocacy and evidence-based education and professional development, and is the only national accrediting body for the organized camp experience. ACA accredits approximately 2,400 diverse camps nationally. ACA-Accredited® Camps meet up to 300 health and safety standards. Accreditation provides public evidence of a camp’s commitment to the health, safety, and overall well-being of both campers and staff. For more information, visit www.ACAcamps.org.
Reprinted by permission of the American Camp Association. ©2017, American Camping Association, Inc.