By Debbie Locketz, LICSW, Camper Care Director
We have been busy talking to camp families over the past few months. It has been nice to reconnect with past camper families and welcome new camper families into our community. As the weather starts to get warmer, the anticipation for camp begins to grow both for our campers and also our camper parents. For parents, the idea of sending your children off to camp for 2, 3, 4 or even 7 weeks can come with a lot of excitement but also some worries. In Michael Thompson’s book Homesick and Happy, he outlines several suggestions to keep parents from suffering too much from “childsickness” or intruding too much on your child’s experience.
- Give your child the gift of letting them let go.
- Prepare your child for homesickness.
- Do not try to manage homesickness from a distance.
- Do not make the “We’ll take you home if you are unhappy deal.”
- Help your children practice the skills they need before they leave for camp.
- Use letters and postcards and other slower forms of communication.
- Take a vacation from parenting, have some fun and don’t feel guilty about it!
Often it is important to remind ourselves of a few reasons why we do send our kids to camp:
- Being in an environment that weaves Judaism into every part of the day is an amazing experience in itself.
- Having our campers return to a simpler time by being screen free and away from our face-paced digital world allows them to focus on themselves and those around them.
- Camp teaches lessons of community, self-responsibility and independence.
- And finally, camp helps build self-esteem and fosters lifelong friendships.
The entire staff is excited to welcome each of your campers to OSRUI and help create a summer full of wonderful memories.
Debbie Locketz, LICSW, works in conjunction with the OSRUI professional staff year-round. During the non-summer months, she reaches out to parents and gathers information designed to help campers have a fun, successful summer experience at OSRUI. In the summer she leads the Camper Care Team of professionals, who help problem solve camper concerns as they arise by working with campers, staff, and parents.