Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How to Deal with Homesickness at Scout Camp

Summer camp season is here, and that means homesickness! Many Scouts get homesick at camp. That's understandable and normal, but how we deal with it is important.

Leaders:
  • Evening and bedtime is the homesickness hot spot.
  • Watch for signs of homesickness, such as spending time alone, low interest in activities, loss of appetite, etc.
  • Give some extra attention with young men that are missing home. Make sure they are included in group activities.
  • Don't talk about home, focus on the activities and fun happening at camp.
  • Group scripture study just before bedtime will bring the spirit and help young men to feel comfortable.
  • Offer to pray with a young man who is really struggling.
  • Use stalling tactics, "wait and see how you feel tomorrow".
  • Your last resort is to allow a phone call home.

Parents:
  • If you get the phone call from camp, your job is to distract and stall - don't provide any hint that coming home early is an option!
  • Reassure your young man that he is loved and missed, but that you're also excited about his camp experience.
  • Get him talking about the activities he's been enjoying, and also what he's looking forward to.
  • Reassure him that it's just a few days, and that you don't want him to miss the camp experience.
  • Use stalling tactics, "wait and see how you feel tomorrow".
  • Your goal is to delay him until the week is almost over, at that point is's not worth coming home early!
Remember, that spending a week away from mom and dad is a key part of a young man's development. Just like a mission, coming home early is not an option!

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