Advice Column, Child, Parenting, Tween & Teen

Life After Camp: 3 tips for a smoother re-entry home

There are a gazillion articles with tricks and tips on sending your child to camp; how to pack for your child like a pro, how to choose the correct camp for your child, the benefits of camp and so forth. But what happens when they come home from camp? What can you expect? All children are different and the re-entry home from camp can range from never wanting to go back  to instant talks about plans for the next trip. 

Here are 3 tips for a smoother re-entry back home from camp.

Listen 

You may need to prepare yourself for an eventful ride home. They’ll sing every camp song, tell you all about the new friends they made and mimic their favourite counselors. This is their way of processing and reliving their camp experience, and share their adventures with you. On the other side of the coin, you may get one-word answers and periods of silence. When this happens, don’t push for more information; sometimes kids just need to settle down in order to get comfortable to tell you about their adventures. Whatever the circumstance, the key is to listen. 

Let them sleep 

You may be graciously well-rested from flying solo or with less kids while your children were at camp, but your campers may be a different story. With physical exhaustion from all the activities coupled with the emotional exhaustion of dealing with less personal space, excitement and constant human interaction; expect them to be walking zombies. Whether they have been away for one week or four, your little camper will need all the rest they can get. 

Don’t be too grossed out

Oh they will be dirty, things will be missing and clothes will be muddy. Believe it or not, these are signs of a good holiday camp. Don’t give them a hard time for coming home with brown socks that were formerly white, or 2 sweaters when you packed 3. Don’t expect that your perfectly packed bag will return home as you had packed it or they used soap every time when they took a shower while at camp. Let it go. Recover what you can and move on.

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