Got a Homesick Letter? Don’t Worry!

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Yesterday, we had another exciting start to the day with Morning Assembly! After enjoying a french toast and sausage breakfast, we headed to the gym for skits, songs, and announcements. Crocker and John Allen led the sports segment, updating everyone on any games or matches that happened the previous day. Harrison gave us the weather report, with the help of all the campers who yelled together, “It’s sunny!”

The skit for the day was a “game of catch” that Andy and Matt T played, throwing and catching an imaginary bee all over the gym, as CJ voiced the buzzing sound effects through the speakers. Even our camp dog Rucker was trying to catch the imaginary bee! Finally, everyone began the “woop woop woo” chant for our musicians to take the stage, beginning the songs for the morning. We sang “Otter Family” and “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive,” with the latter setting a great tone for the day.

From there, we had counselors giving announcements on all the great Cabin Adventures heading out that morning. Boys who were staying on property were excited about their daily activities, especially since they had just had the opportunity to change their schedules before Wednesday. This helped boys have the chance to try all the activities they wanted to do since arriving at camp. To finish Morning Assembly, we had “push-up club” where everyone could do the daily number of push ups, which happened to be 12. James yelled “the gym is too high! Push it down!” as we did the pushups. A couple other highlights of the day were chicken tenders and fries for lunch (always a crowd favorite!) and Counselor Hunt for Evening Program.

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All the cabins who were going on their adventures together had some great days ahead of them. During Morning Assembly counselors announced: Cabins 12 and 34 were going rock climbing, Cabin 17 was going on a fly fishing trip, and Cabins 23 and 38 were both going mountain biking in Dupont. Cabins 26 and 5 were both going hiking, with 26 going off property to admire the blue ridge mountains nearby, and 5 enjoying a cool waterfall hike to the Falling Creek Falls. Even more headed out in the afternoon to sail, ride horses, forge at blacksmithing, and more. It was a great day, both in and out of camp!

By now, you might be getting some letters home, describing these trips or detailing new friends and cabinmates. While we know that many letters will contain fun stories about new activities and cabin adventures, we also know that many will share feelings of missing home or feeling upset. We wanted to make a note of encouraging you as parents in case a few have begun to receive homesick “snail mail” letters, reflecting boys’ feelings during the first few days of settling in at camp.

Now that the boys have been here for a couple of days and camp is still new to them, this can be a time when homesickness could begin to show in some of them. Homesickness is completely normal and we’re prepared to work with each boy, as no situation is the same.

Our counselors are great at working through homesickness with campers, and some of them can speak from experience after overcoming these same feelings themselves as campers. We wrote a blog about this during the June session which you can read here

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If you do get a homesick letter in the mail over these next few days, don’t panic. These feelings are common for all campers at some point throughout the session. The challenging times for them can be when things are moving at a slower pace, such as during rest hour or at night. This is also usually when they have the most time to write home!

Parents also can experience the challenge of their son being away from them. Many of the boys have highly scheduled days at home with not much opportunity to play freely and make decisions on their own without parental input. This may explain why many parents are feeling more anxious than their sons, since they are not used to them being away.

Your boys are making their own decisions here at camp on what activities they want to take, walking themselves to the classes, signing up for trips, learning new skills, and making friends. These life lessons learned at camp can help in many situations back home where they may be the new boy in school, moving to a new neighborhood, or even later when preparing for college.

Please be assured that if your son shows any continuing signs of homesickness, we will be in touch with you. A good rule of thumb typically is that no news from us is good news, and the homesickness usually passes quickly. Getting them doing things is the quickest way to get their mind off of home and distracted by the fun trips and activities. The boys are learning to be independent and resilient, and you are giving them a great opportunity to do that by allowing them to be at camp.

We’re looking forward to another great day at camp today!