Things to Know When Sleepaway Camp Ends

Sending your child off to sleepaway camp can be an exciting time. Between planning and packing, there’s so much to think about when getting ready for a great camp experience.

But do you know what to expect when your child comes home?

Many parents may not realize that coming back from camp can come with a lot of different emotions. Don’t let yourself get caught off guard.

With these 7 helpful things to know, you’ll know exactly what to expect when camp is over and your child comes home.

1. Camp Sickness

You might be surprised to learn there is such a thing as camp sickness. This is especially shocking if your young one experienced a bout of homesickness when they left.

It’s important to keep in mind that your child just successfully adjusted to a new way of living for a little while. After having the time to settle into their camp routine, they might come back to discover that they miss it.

It’s okay if your child isn’t excited to be home. So, don’t take it personally!

Chances are, there are many things your child or teen appreciates about being back home. It’s just that the thrills of camp can be strongly missed once it’s over.

2. Technology & Connection

If your child seems even more addicted to their phone or computer when they get home, there’s no need to worry.

It’s possible that your child missed their Internet time while they were gone. Maybe they want to catch up on social media posts or on a video game they’ve missed.

However, there’s also a good chance that your child will want to use the Internet to stay connected with camp friends. They may have formed close bonds while they were away.

At some camps, the children they connect with will go home to places all over the country, or all over the world. Thankfully, the Internet and cell phones allow your child to stay in touch with these friends, no matter where they are.

Encourage your child to grow those long-distance friendships. They will benefit from growing their circle of connections!

3. Resentment

It’s also possible that your child did not have a good camp experience. If so, there’s a good chance that they will blame you – even though it can seem unfair.

If your child didn’t like sleepaway camp, they may be angry or bitter when they return. This can be even more likely to occur in children who struggle with things like isolation or anxiety.

Encourage your child to talk about their experience in healthy ways. At camp, they probably felt like they were in a situation that they could not control, and didn’t like.

Give them reminders of what they are in control of at home – such as the decision of whether or not to try another camp next year.

4. Sleep Changes

Camp can be a big disruption to your child’s sleep patterns. If they are going to bed earlier or later or waking up at a different time, this can be part of the normal transition period.

There’s a good chance that your young one will come back from camp exhausted. After days or weeks of activities and excitement, they might need to catch up on sleep.

They might also have changed sleep patterns during their stay. Give them time to transition back to a normal schedule in the days following their return.

5. Stress

The end of camp can also signal the end of summer. If your child has difficulties at school, they might have more stress and anxiety surrounding that when they come back from sleepaway camp.

Try to locate their source of the stress. It could be that they’re worried about a whole range of things, from grades to making friends. They might also be missing their camp life, counselors, and the friends they made there.

If you can find the cause of the stress, you can help your child find a solution. Your child may benefit from the help of a tutor in their most difficult subject. He or she may benefit from taking up an archery class where they can keep using the skills they learned at camp, as well.

6. Introspection

The best sleepaway camp lets your child experience growth and self-discovery.

When they come home, your child might be unusually quiet or reserved as they process the new experiences they’ve had. Allow them the time and space for this processing.

If they seem to be acting differently, it’s not necessarily bad! Learning and changing after a sleepaway camp experience is actually a great thing.

Some children benefit from private ways to express what they’ve learned. You might encourage journaling or making art about the experience if those are things your child enjoys.

Avoid trying to get them to open up too soon. When your child is ready, they’ll be willing to share their growth with you.

7. Rule Breaking

The rules at camp were different than the rules at home. It’s possible that your child will come home with a different set of rules in mind.

Allow some rule breaking or bending to slide, within reason. If your child is forgetful about taking shoes off in the house or neglecting chores, give them some time to adjust back to their home routine first.

Help Your Child Make a Smooth Transition from Sleepaway Camp This Summer

Going away to camp is a great opportunity for growth, change, and learning. The more prepared you can be for your child to come back different, the better the transition will go.

Encourage their positive growth and changes, even if it may seem to make things difficult at first. Years later, your child will look back gratefully on the opportunity you gave them to have a summer camp experience.

Ready to choose the perfect sleepaway camp? With our expert tips, we can help you decide.

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