Try not to worry. Counselors and camp directors are trained to deal with the reactions of campers, particularly those first time campers.
Write to your child often. They will enjoy hearing their name called out when the mail arrives. Check on the camp policy regarding sending spending money and care packages. If permitted, these can be a real treat.
Don’t send so much detail about life at home that it could make your child feel they’re missing out on something. Avoid telling them how much you, their siblings or pets miss them.
Don’t overreact to first reports of homesickness. Almost all campers experience it at some point but it almost always passes in one to two days. By the time a heart wrenching letter arrives in the mail, chances are your son or daughter is a happy camper enjoying time with his or her new found friends.
If you receive an unhappy letter from your child or a letter that makes you uncomfortable about some aspect of camp, call the camp director to discuss it.
Do NOT offer to pick up your child if he or she is not having a good time. Avoid statements such as “If you don’t like camp, you can come home”. The goal should be to minimize feelings of homesickness so they don’t interfere with enjoyment of camp.
Enjoy your time while your child is at summer camp. Give yourself a treat. It may give you time alone with one of your other children, time you don’t usually have to devote solely to them. If you’re left at home with no children, enjoy time to yourself and with your spouse, significant other and/or friends. Make this time a special experience for you in addition to the one you’re giving your child. Happy camping!