Jim Sleezer (JHS8@OSUVM1.BITNET)
Fri, 8 Jul 1994 15:32:37 CST
Having been through the experience of homesickness myself, the most important
thing was to be doing things that I enjoyed. Free time was horrible for me.
I spent the time thinking about being homesick. When there was an activity
in progress, I was too busy to be homesick.
My son experienced homesickness at camp two years ago. He came back to camp
feeling sick and the SM had him lay down in his tent. He discovered all the
spiders and bugs and such and things just got worse. Finally, he called home.
I was "busy" at work so couldn't talk for more than a minute. I suggested he
stick it out and call me at home between 5 and 6. When he didn't call, I
thought we had made it but about 9:30 the call came. (He had been too busy
to call earlier!!) I finally went to camp and brought him home for the
night (gear left at camp). He talked about all the bugs and stuff and my wife
showed him how many there were in our home--he was amazed. That killed that
problem. First thing next morning we took him back to camp where he stayed
for the rest of the week. It turned out that he didn't know where to go for
a class and when he got there the staff member chewed him out for being late.
He got upset, missed his next activity, etc. He was no longer able to
control what was happening. When we returned him to camp, we discussed his
schedule with the adult leaders and they made sure he knew what was up so
he could be in control. Every evening they reviewed the next day's events so
he (and other scouts) had something to look forward to. Those who hadn't been
to camp before didn't know what to expect and were often worried about what
was coming up.
I firmly believe that a well planned and executed summer camp schedule will
reduce homesickness problems--same goes for a weekend campout. If scouts have
good things to look forward to they will have fewer problems. If they don't
know what is coming up, imagination can be very destructive.
Roundtable Commissioner, Pawnee Bill District, Will Rogers Council
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 18
JHS8 at OSUVM1.BITNET JHS8 at VM1.UCC.OKSTATE.EDU (Internet)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City