From the Blog

“Missing Home-Ness”

We may be a touch biased, but we believe camp is a wonderful experience that every child deserves to have. Our number one goal for our campers is that they are emotionally and physically safe during their entire stay at camp, for however long they are here.

YMCA CAMP BERNIE

Phone: (908) 832-5315
Fax: (908) 832-9078
Email: Click Here

After many years of running camps, our Directors know that one factor that can contribute to a camper’s emotional well-being is overcoming the hurdle of missing home and family. Here are a few helpful tips and strategies we employ so that missing home doesn’t negatively impact the summer camp experience for our kids in 2013.

  1. Missing home is not a disease: We have adopted the term “missing home-ness” at YMCA Camp Bernie, because the word “homesickness” implies there is something wrong with the camper. Actually, missing home is perfectly normal and many of our counselors experience this when they are here as well. Your child misses home because he loves his family - and that is a good thing! The point is that missing home does not have to mean a child wants to leave camp. 
  2. Don’t play “Let’s Make a Deal”: Parents should make sure that they avoid bargaining with their child prior to camp. For example, telling your child ahead of time that you will pick her up on day two if she is missing home is just allowing her an easy way out. Our suggestion is that parents spend the time leading up to camp talking about how much fun camp will be and involving their child in getting ready through packing bags etc. This will send a positive message from the outset.
  3. Help us with the Peaks and Valleys: Kids miss home the most during certain periods of the day, particularly at night time. If our counselors can help to re-create some of the comforts of home at night, your child will acclimate to camp quickly. If there is a special stuffed animal, bedside photo, blanket or anything else that will be a comfort to your child at night, consider sending it along. 
  4. Two weeks feels like an eternity: ...to your child, but we all know that it isn’t. Helping children “count down” days from their camp session will help them realize that they will make it through to the end. Parents can make a homemade calendar with their child in advance of camp so that he or she can mark the days off as the session progresses. Soon, your child will see that the days are flying by! 



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