In a 2006 file photo, kids at a camp walk past a tent in Edgewater.
This week my kids will be packing for summer camp with their Boy Scout troop. For my 15-year-old, it's a familiar routine. In fact, he complains he'll be bored because he's seen and done it all before.
For the 11-year-old, it's a different story. This will be the first time he has spent an entire week away from home and he's nervous. He's always been rather ambivalent about outdoor camping. He doesn't like bugs, especially spiders. Now he knows he'll have to spend a week sleeping in a tent. He's afraid he'll get homesick and won't have any friends.
I've tried to assure him that homesickness is normal and that he will make friends. I told him he'll be surprised at how much he will be able to do for himself and the week will pass quickly. Of course there will be bugs, but they won't hurt him.
His big brother will be there, which may or may not be a good thing. Yes, he'll have a familiar face, but he might not be so sympathetic if the tween starts to complain.
I'm trying to stay positive and hope for the best. While searching for some advice, I found these tips from a child and family psychologist.
Do you have any other suggestions for helping kids prepare for sleep away camp?