Learn More Apply to Camp Apply to Academy Apply to Gap Year
(828) 456-3435
Learn More Apply to Camp Apply to Academy Apply to Gap Year

Being Homesick at Camp

Feeling Homesick is a Normal Part of Camp

It’s completely normal to miss home. Even as adults, we experience homesickness when we are away from our families. For some campers, feelings of homesickness can amplify anxiety and begin to interfere with the growth opportunities camp offers. When addressed properly, homesickness becomes an empowering emotion! It is an emotion that we all must learn to acknowledge and work through, and camp is a safe place to do that.

When It Happens & How We Address It

All of SOAR’s programs are very structured. Campers are moving from activity to activity with very little down time or unstructured free time. Campers tend to experience homesickness the most at the end of the day when the team is winding down and preparing for lights out. When we see campers who are unusually quiet during this time or seem to be isolating themselves, we will go to them. Sometimes campers just come to us and express how they’re feeling! Either way, we acknowledge that their feelings are valid and that we understand what it feels like to be homesick, too. During these conversations, we try to keep campers focused on the exciting things to come (i.e. What activity are you looking forward to the most tomorrow?). Many times campers are anxious or worried about their parents or family back at home. We assure campers that their family is okay and encourage them to write letters home telling their family the things they are enjoying at camp.

Benefits of Being Homesick

While it can be tough in the moment, homesickness is an excellent opportunity for campers to grow! Being in a new environment, away from their parents and many of the comforts of home empowers campers to be more independent and self-reliant. They begin to realize that they are capable of overcoming obstacles. We recommend that parents read Michael Thompson’s Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow to learn more about how feeling homesick can actually help your child grow!