Being away from home/family and adjusting to the camp experience is part of going to camp. There are many ways to help your sons prepare for camp. Please consider the suggestions listed below:
- View our Camper Q & A in the Campers section of our website to answer any questions you or your son may have about camp.
- Watch the Your Guide to Opening Day, Pre-Camp Checklist, and How to Help Homesickness videos available on our Falling Creek YouTube Page
- Read books or watch videos about going to camp. One recommendation is The Summer Camp Handbook by Dr. Chris Thurber.
- Homesickness is a very normal feeling, and working through homesickness to become more independent and confident is a great preparation for college and life in general. However, boys can’t utilize their opportunity to grow at camp if they are picked up early due to homesickness. We’re prepared to work with each boy, as no situation is the same, but please do not promise your sons that you will come retrieve them from camp if they miss home. This only sets the boys up for disappointment and failure, rather than getting them focused on doing new things and having fun. Please be assured that if your son shows any continuing signs of homesickness, we will be in touch with you.
- Talk with other parents and friends whose children have gone to camp.
- Become familiar with camp schedules & procedures.
- Prepare your son for the Opening Day connection to camp. It should be a quick process to say your goodbyes once you have met your son’s counselor(s) and visited the Infirmary with your son to drop off any medication. Your son will be directed into games and activities with the other campers while remaining boys arrive. Lingering on your part will make the integration into camp more difficult for your son.
- Prepare your son to care for himself – problem solve with your son; anticipate problems like, “What if… I lose something, or don’t feel well, etc.”
- Role play with your son about how to respond to camp situations.
- Inform the family about writing letters to your son while he’s at camp. Keep letters and emails upbeat and positive. Too many letters and emails can sometimes make campers think about home too much and cause homesickness. Keep this in mind.
- Be positive about your son’s upcoming experiences at camp - avoid statements like, “I know you will have a great time at camp, but I will miss you so much” or, “I know you are excited about going to camp, but will you miss me, or the family pet, etc.?”
- Let your son know there are many people he can speak with at camp if he has any concerns or anything to share about his experience here; his counselor, tribal leader, Yates & Marisa, or any other director. Yates & Marisa have a box accessible only to them for notes from campers and staff wanting to share information, confidentially. This box is always available by the Camp Store, should boys have any questions or concerns they want to voice in confidence.
Want to learn more about what daily life at camp is like? You can read our blog, which we update with daily highlights and stories throughout the summer. Some other helpful off-season blog posts include the Mini Falling Creek Dictionary about “camp lingo”, choosing the right session length, what summer camp teaches you (from A to Z), how camp nurtures boys’ sense of adventure, and even some camp inspired recipes.