Re: home sickness remedies????
Jim Sleezer (JHS8@OSUVM1.BITNET)
Thu, 8 Jul 1993 21:36:34 CST
Whenever I hear of homesickness problems I remember the song "Camp Granada"
which was popular around 1964 or a little earlier. Anyway, 1964 was the
first time I used it for staff training. The gist of the song is how
miserable the kid is until it stops raining and he sees everyone else
having fun and joins in. My best remedy is to find something exciting
for the Scout to do while arrangements are made for him to call home, etc.
I usually ask the Scout to check with me in a couple of hours when I have
had a chance to check the phone schedule. Many times they don't even
check back because that would interrupt their fun, but if they do, I set up
a future time and get them off on something else that will last at least
until that future time. If they still want to call, I'll help them.
For my son, not knowing what to expect was a major problem. Sunday night
(checkin day) was fine but Monday morning he wasn't sure where to go for
his first class. When he finally found out, he was late and got chewed out
by the instructor. Then he got sent back to campsite having done nothing.
It wasn't any fun and he started feeling bad. At his site, the SM did not
recognize the problem and allowed him to rest in his tent for a while. Then
he learned how many bugs and things there can be in a tent. Since he didn't
feel good, he didn't eat much lunch. The afternoon wasn't much better and
he soon decided to call home--phone easily accessible on dining hall porch.
I asked about his afternoon schedule and found that he was scheduled for
swimming merit badge so sent him off with instructions to call after that
if he still wasn't feeling well. The call didn't come until about 9 p.m.
Seems the afternoon had gone better and he made a friend at swimming MB.
But, nothing much happened in the evening and he wasn't feeling well again.
After much discussion including a brief conference with my wife, I agreed
to visit camp. Upon arrival I learned that the health lodge staff had given
him a TUMS to settle his stomach--oh, well!! The end result was that I
brought him home but left his gear in camp. At home, my wife talked with
him about his activities for the next day and got him to bed by midnight.
Bright and early the next morning she took him back to camp. She talked
with several staff about the problem and agreed that we would stop by on
our way to a meeting near camp that evening. We did check in a bit before
supper, left for our meeting and returned about 8:30 to find everyone just
sitting around camp--and the leaders off to one side enjoying themselves.
Well, I pulled out one of my books of campfire stories and gathered several
Scouts to listen to a few tales. An older Scout brought out a humor book
that he shared. We talked about schedules for the next day including some
specifics about where things were happening and when there would be especially
fun activities like swimming. Off to bed, no problem. Next night I had a
district committee meeting in camp and planned to slip in and out but was
seen by some of the troop. Son showed up immediately!! I talked to him for
a minute and let him take my story book back to the campsite to share. I
would pick it up after my meeting. Around 9:30 I stopped in for the book,
took a few minutes to discuss schedule, and headed home. I noticed that the
leaders were still maintaining their own corner of the campsite. I couldn't
visit the next night but Friday was visitor's campfire--everything was fine!
BTW, when son came home, my wife showed him how many bugs there were in a
house--far more than in his tent!! And she hates bugs ;-)
For me, the story goes back many years. My first week in camp wasn't all
that great--I was in a provisional troop (camp staff served as leaders) and
several troops were merged into one. I didn't eat anything Sunday night or
Monday morning or Monday noon. The camp director (a family friend) said hi
at lunch and about 2 p.m. I noticed my family car in the parking lot. Mom
was sitting there painting a picture. I crawled in the back seat and begged
to be taken home. She said to go tell Wayne (camp director) that I was
quitting. I wouldn't but made myself sick and threw up beside the car. She
said she had to go, I wouldn't go tell Wayne I was quitting, so she drove off
with me standing in the parking lot. I didn't eat that night or Tuesday morn
but Tuesday noon was ham and beans, a favorite meal so I ate a little. Tue
night I ate a little too. Wed was visitors night so I was feeling better.
By the time the family arrived, I had no intention of going home. It was
so good that I ended up going to camp for a second week, this time with a
friend's troop. That was a lot better but I still felt a bit homesick the
first night. Well, I still get a touch of homesickness but I know how to
handle it. About 15 years later I was discussing homesickness with the camp
staff (I was Program Director) and I suddenly realized what had happened. In
the middle of the session I excused myself and went to a phone where I called
Mom to get the story. When she answered, I blurted out "you tricked me!"
She admitted that Wayne was concerned and wanted to be sure I was alright so
she had come out to check. She knew I wouldn't quit if I had to go tell
Wayne. Guess you just have to know what to do for each individual to make it
Roundtable Commissioner, Pawnee Bill District, Will Rogers Council
JHS8 at OSUVM1.BITNET JHS8 at VM1.UCC.OKSTATE.EDU (Internet)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City