For many kids, summer sleepaway camp is the highlight of their school vacation. Their days are filled with activities like crafts and sports, and their social circle expands to include kids from all over the country. The team at Camp Walt Whitman, New England’s own top coed camp, knows that these experiences can make adjusting to life back home a little tricky, so they offer these tips to help parents facilitate the process.
5 Tips for an Easy Transition Back Home After Camp
1. Let Kids Rest
Having fun for weeks on end can be exhausting. Let your child sleep in for a few days after returning home—their bodies have gotten used to a much different schedule that involved more activities and less sleep than usual. They need time to relax and ease back into their regular routines.
2. Don’t Bombard Them With Questions
Be an active listener when your child tells summer camp stories, and read their body language carefully. If they don’t seem talkative on the drive home, avoid asking a lot of questions that might seem overwhelming. Instead, let them share at their own pace. It’s natural for kids to feel sad after saying goodbye to their friends, so they might need time to process these feelings.
3. Embrace the Dirt
In all likelihood, the clean clothes you packed at the beginning of the summer will come home muddy, stained, or full of holes. Your child’s white shoes will no longer be white, and they may have left a few items behind, but this all comes with the territory. Try not to scold them for lost possessions and dirty clothing. Think of them as a reflection of a summer spent having fun.
4. Ease Back Into Household Rules
When your kids return home after spending weeks learning to be independent at sleepaway summer camp, they might need time adjusting to your rules instead of the counselor’s. Keep this in mind during their first few days at home to avoid any outbursts. Cut them a little more slack than usual, so they have a chance to acclimate to the family’s expectations.
5. Be Patient
Whether your child had a positive or negative summer camp experience, they may feel disgruntled after returning home. If your child felt lonely or homesick at camp, then they might feel angry at being sent away, causing them to lash out once back home. Conversely, if they had the time of their life at sleepaway summer camp, they might be unhappy about being separated from their new friends. Whichever reaction your child may have, they will need you to be patient and compassionate during this time.
Give your child the gift of an unforgettable experience, while also giving yourself some much-needed time off. If you are looking for a New England summer camp for your child to attend this summer, then call Camp Walt Whitman at (800) 657-8282 to learn about their programs. Visit them online to find helpful hints for first-time campers.