How do you ease your child back into home life after they’ve been basking in the heavenly independence of camp for so long over the summer? Sleepaway camp is an integral part of so many childrens’ lives, so Jess Michaels at the American Camp Association is here to give us five tips to help the transition from camp to home. 

As the end of sleepaway camp nears, don’t be surprised if your child has no interest in coming home.  Don’t take it personally.  Summer camp is your child’s home away from home –a place where strong friendships have been built and camp rituals are enjoyed daily.   Here are just a few tips to help your child transition back to home after an awesome summer at sleepaway camp.

  1. Give your child some space – Remember, your child has been away from you for a few weeks now.He has gained independence and has been making decisions without your input.  Let your child practice this new found independence and allow for some more choice at home.
  2. Down time – Your child may come home from camp and just want to relax. After all, your child has been busy with amazing camp activities from 8 am – 9:30 PM every day for weeks! Try not to schedule too much for your child the first few days he or she is home.  Let your child adjust to home life and just chill out for a bit before getting back into other activities.
  3. Talk about camp – Your child is used to living and breathing camp 24/7. Let your child continue to talk about camp at home.  Ask questions about the experience and get a bit more information other than the four line letter home you received!
  4. Put a date on the calendar – Schedule a get together with your child’s bunk for early fall. Your son or daughter will be missing his or her camp friends so having something on the calendar to look forward to will help. Remember to invite everyone—leaving a few children out creates hurt feelings and tension among the group.
  5. Spend time together – With just a few weeks left until school begins, plan some fun outings as a family. After all, your child has been away for a number of weeks and you missed him!  Spend time doing things you enjoy together.

Jess Michaels is the Director of Communications for the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of the summer camp experience.  American Camp Association Accreditation is a parents’ best evidence of a camp’s commitment to a safe and nurturing environment for their child.