CAMPSICK, The opposite of Homesick. Is your child “camp sick”, missing camp so much that all they want to do is return to camp, only speak, email, text camp friends? Are they moping, depressed, sleeping, sad following their days after returning from camp? If so, this is very normal, especially for pre teens and teens. Their weeks at camp Newman were filled with unconditional love and acceptance, laughter, joy, celebration, surprise, awe, thrill, rest, warmth and Jewish ruach (spirit).
A few suggestions for treating “Camp Sickness”…
1. Give them space to process, be sad and transition.
2. Praise them for their growth and the experience they had away from home.
3. Encourage them to write about their love of camp to friends and/or camp
4. Remind them that camp is with them all year long – through their friendships, memories, values learned
5. Remind them that they can return for Fall Camp (3rd-8th grade) in November and Teen Winter Camp (9-12th grade) in January.
6. Ask them what they loved the most about camp and how their experience can help them create a better world.
7. Make plans early for summer 2014 – registration opens in early November (dates will most likely be the same).
8. Try to recreate some camp food. Maybe the eggplant and tofu in marinara sauce (aka “the vegetarian) from shabbat, or tater tots and scrambled eggs from breakfast. (From Anna Leeman)
9. Look on the bright side and be grateful that they have a place that they love so deeply. Listen as much as possible. One problem kids have is that they think that no one else could possibly understand what their camp experience was like. Their school friends may not “get it” (From Amy Trost Asin)
10. Instead of going straight home, make a trip out of picking up your camper from camp to give them something to be distracted with. (From Nancy Reitzes Levy)
Do you have any other suggestions?