Re: Homesick scouts
James R. Holman (jrholman@MAGNUS.ACS.OHIO-STATE.EDU)
Wed, 6 Jul 1994 11:12:18 -0400
On Tue, 05 Jul 1994 20:04:23 -0600 (CST),
Robert V. Schornstein <schor003@MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU> wrote:
>I'd like to ask a question, not strictly scouting in nature.
>Home sickness. What the best or a good way to handle it. In
>some cases it can surface before the actual camping trip.
>Parents of one boy in our troop boy in the troop (about 12.5yrs
>old), have reported he will not want to sign up for trips because
>he knows he will be unhappy later. They are asking for help. I
>don't know how to advise. Should they make/force his to go until
>he gets over it, or just let it continue until it goes away by
>Any suggestions would be helpful.
I've had a kid (also 12.5) who suffers from EXTREME homesickness EVERYNIGHT
after going to bed. We're talking SCREAMING, throwing tantrums, etc to try
to get someone to take him home. After many discussions, he realizes he
has a problem which he is trying to work through with our help. He keeps
coming back to campouts and even week-long camp, but he's still having a
problem. In his case, I think it is a fear of being alone more than
missing mommy (his words). He's getting better and, thankfully, the other
kids don't tease him about it, although they joke plenty in his absence.
If you feel like being a social worker (why else are you a scoutmaster??),
it's a worthwhile activity to try to help him even if it does mean you are
up until 3:00am a lot. It helps to keep them busy and make them as tired
as possible so they drop off to sleep soon. It seems to help if we adults
stay up a bit later so he can hear us moving around, etc & he has evidence
he's not alone. At times in the middle of the night, he'll visit an adult
tent and tap on the flap to tell us he doesn't feel well. We'll just reply
(withOUT opening the fly), "You'll be fine just go back to bed" & that
little reassurance is sometimes all it takes. He'll say "OK" and go away.
Of course, there is the occasional TERRIBLE night, but they're getting
fewer. Good luck.
... I used to be a bear
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City