Prepare Your Child for Sleep Away Camp

Ideas for building independence and confidence.


Going to overnight camp for the first time is an exciting time. But some kids (and their parents!) experience a bit of anxiety. These tips can help you set expectations and minimize concerns.


Avoid the “h” word


Don’t make the youngster feel that you can’t get along without them or suggest or ask them about homesickness. Do not discuss this before they go to camp as it tends to make them more homesick.


Temporary homesickness is a normal reaction, particularly to new campers. With proper handling by the staff, campers, and parents it can be overcome and the camper can make a big stride in maturing. We welcome this opportunity to help campers grow in this area and we train our staff to handle homesickness in constructive and loving ways.


Talk about what to expect


Explain that your child will have certain activities every day (like pool time and meals), plus a choice of other activities. Review the What to Expect During Camp page together and discuss it as a family.


Stay in touch


Campers look forward to hearing from their parents, other relatives, and friends. Please write to them so they receive a letter the first or second day of camp. (You can leave them at the Trading Post on check-in day and we’ll deliver them with the regular mail.) It is suggested that letters be cheery and newsy in such a way that they will not make the camper homesick.


You can also contact your camper by email. We will print out the email and deliver it to your camper at a cost of 50 cents per page (charged to your child’s Trading Post account). Campers will not be able to email outgoing messages. Please limit emails to text only; no electronic greeting cards or attachments.


The fastest and easiest way to email is to use the Email Your Camper form on our website. If you prefer, you may also send a message to; please put your child’s name and cabin name in the subject line.