The camp and summer program cancellations are coming in fast these days, and we know there are many disappointed and grieving kids and families. Whether it was to be a child’s first summer away or they are a seasoned camper, it’s hard to let go of summer plans amid so many other changes in our lives. Here’s some advice we’ve gathered:
- Expect that you and your children will go through a range of emotions in the days and weeks ahead. Tell your kids (and remind yourself) that grief comes and goes, and you might all have sad days throughout the summer and beyond. You can also let them know that you’ll all also have happy days and fun moments even while feeling sad about camp.
- Recognize the stress that you may feel as a result of your child’s lack of summer plans. Take as many breaths as you need until you can find a way to move forward. There are still some options for kids. We can help you explore if any of the available programs are a good fit.
- Encourage your child to express their feelings and memories about camp. Talking, journaling, Zooming, singing and dancing, doing camp arts and crafts, building a campfire, or whatever feels right, are all ways for kids to access their emotions. Kids of all ages can benefit from having their feelings named, so parents can help their kids by identifying what they may be experiencing.
- It may be reassuring to talk about how staying home is helping all their dear camp friends and counselors remain safe.
- Start making plans for summer 2021! Camp and program directors are already hard at work on next summer, and they are counting the minutes until they are back with your children.
We are right there with your family grieving the loss of all those future memories, experiences, and friendships. We are here to support you – please let us know if we can help.