Phone calls, homesickness, oh my!
Dear Arcadia Parent:
As the number of days until your daughter leaves for Camp Arcadia grows fewer, we are sure the excitement is increasing in your home! We have a full calendar for the Camp season, and we know your daughter will be eager to participate in many of the events we have planned.
Pinebox and Blanket Rental
Holly sent an email about pinbox and blanket rental last week. If you did not receive it, let us know.
Girls who have finished 1st – 5th grade will receive a pinebox to store their personal items in while at Camp. Please leave their luggage at Arcadia as we will have the girls pack and ready for pick up. Their trunks and duffle bags will be stored underneath their cabin.
Girls who have finished 6th – 11th grade need to bring a trunk to Camp for their personal items. Should your daughter be traveling a long distance, we have some pineboxes. Please click here if she will need a pineboxe. We have only a few to lend.
Like pineboxes, we do have some blankets to rent. Preference is for girls who come from far away.
Telephone Call Policy
We have found it best for your daughter if you do not speak to her during the first 10 days that she is away. If she is experiencing any homesickness, hearing your voice will make it more difficult for her. Before she arrives please talk with your daughter about adjusting to Camp and why you will not be calling her. We will be making calls to New parents during the first few days of Camp. After a week, occasional phone calls on a birthday or special occasion are acceptable
Parents of New Campers This month we thought focusing on some aspects of Camp life your daughter may experience, especially homesickness, might be helpful. We urge you to talk with your daughter about homesickness before she comes to Camp so that she is aware of what feelings she may encounter initially when she is away from you.
Homesickness is a natural emotional reaction to being away from parents and familiar surroundings. This is exhibited in many ways:
not feeling well
an empty feeling
some tears (especially when going to bed at night or when inactive).
This passes within a few to ten days as a new camper becomes familiar with her new surroundings, makes friends, gets to know her counselors, starts to participate in the activities of her choice and stays active. Campers can both miss home and enjoy being at Camp.
As parents at home you may receive some sad and upsetting letters at first where “Nothing is quite right”, “I don’t have any friends,” “The food is terrible,” “I am not having any fun.” These are all normal phrases from a homesick child. Your daughter is going through one of the most important experiences of her life – learning to live happily and successfully on her own. We need your help as we help your daughter with this adjustment. We have worked with many girls over the last years and our staff will work with your daughter to help her get over any homesickness she experiences.
A few ways to help your daughter if she is homesick:
Write her a letter acknowledging her feelings, understanding her point of view, supporting her and your commitment to her time at Camp.
Do NOT tell her she can come home or how much you miss her or about what fun she is missing at home.
Your support, our partnership with you and our support of her at Camp, will help make this process easier.
We are available to help your daughter with any adjustments now and throughout the summer. Should you want to discuss how she is doing when at Camp, please call me at 207.627.4605.
Parents of Returning Campers Parents whose daughters have been at Arcadia before might also look for signs of homesickness that sometimes occur again. If your daughter had a “fab” and/or “perfect” summer last year, you might want to speak with her about how this summer is going to be different and how she is different this year. Talking with her will help her to be realistic as she anticipates the summer. Many old campers may experience a letdown and homesickness because they imagine Camp will be exactly the same as last year.
Should you or your daughter be particularly concerned about homesickness please take time to visit Chris Thurber’s website, www.campspirit.com. There are wonderful hints and suggestion on how to help children get over homesickness. You might also be interested in his new program Prep4Camp. Chris Thurber, Ph.D is a counselor at Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire and visits Arcadia each summer during Orientation to train our staff on how to help campers with homesickness.
Should you have any questions about the above, please do not hesitate to call us.
By sending your daughter to Camp this summer you are giving her a gift, a gift for her lifetime. We look forward to sharing a camping experience with your daughter this summer.
With warm regards,
Anne Henderson Fritts and Louise Fritts Johnson
PS – If you know of a girl who is completing 1st – 5th grade who might be interested in Arcadia, please let me know. We have a few spots open. You are our best recommendation.