A summer at Riverview should be one of the best experiences in your daughter’s life. So, the less time a child deals with homesickness, the more peace of mind we all have! It is natural for children to experience some degree of homesickness during the first day or two at camp. The majority of them adjust quickly to camp life, begin to make new friends, and in general get into the swing of camp activities.
Some children require a little longer adjustment period and you may receive one or two homesick letters. If your child write that she is homesick or communicates that something has upset her, don’t worry, it usually is a passing incident. REMEMBER THAT BY THE TIME YOU RECEIVE THE LETTER THE HOMESICKNESS HAS PROBABLY ALREADY PASSED!
Your support on our behalf is imperative for your child’s adjustment and results in her self-confidence. She will be able to say, “I made it!” And she’ll want you to be proud of her too! Often, it is our homesick campers who become committed campers for years to come!
Our goal is to work with parents and guardians to provide a feeling of security, even in the midst of homesickness.
It is normal
Let your daughter know that homesickness is a normal feeling and that the best cure is to get busy and enjoy the activities at camp. Let her know that it is a “passing feeling,” that even the counselors feel that way sometimes too, but that we can all get over it quickly if we choose to!
Keep it short and sweet
Don’t linger and say long and sad good-byes. As parents, we want to take our time leaving. But remember, we want our children to be successful! When you leave, tell them you want their first letter home to list their 5 favorite things about camp.
Write to your child
We have included on our website camp gift pack ideas from reputable companies in the camping community. You many also email your child from our website. There is nothing worse than being the only camper who did not get mail all week.
Let’s not make a deal
Please don’t tell your daughter that you’ll pick her up if she doesn’t like camp. If you do so, we are defeated before we ever start! Tell her that she should share her feelings with her counselors or camp directors and that they will help her! Assure her that she will overcome being homesick!
Don’t make her feel guilty
If you have a child that you are sure is not going to be homesick, do not make her feel guilty that she is not homesick. Often they do feel guilty if they are not homesick. What we really want them to realize is that we are proud of the way they are handling “being away from home”,
I (the parent) am homesick
Parents should also be aware that YOU will also feel “homesick” for your children and this is also normal. In fact, we actually find more HOMESICK PARENTS than children each summer! Do not pull your child into your feelings! You are a great parent. Don’t forget that! Allowing your child freedom is one of the reasons you are so great!
We have put together a list of resources to help you learn more about homesickness and to help you learn how to handle a “homesick” letter that you might receive. These resources are not meant for you to share with your child.