Summercamp Home Sickness
Barry C Runnels (Barry_C_Runnels@MMACMAIL.JCCBI.GOV)
Wed, 18 Jun 1997 11:13:29 CST
I really like summer camps. I really do. Mostly because it gives me a time
to get close to the boys. I was told once that real one on one bonding
starts at about three days. I believe it because I come with a different
relationship with the Scouts than on our regular monthly campouts.
I usually go on two summer camps a year. One with the Troop and one with
the Webelos and home sickness is the same. On the third and forth day of
camp, the boys are tired, miss mom and dad and the excitement of camp is
did not wake up with them. Usually, on Tuesday night I remind the leaders
and parents to be prepared for some grumpy, gripy and whinny Scouts who
miss home. I Explain that we MUST be cheerful, happy and understanding to
get the boys through the day.
On these days, I try to make an effort to wake up the Scouts myself. I pick
an upbeat song and sing it in an annoying way that makes them laugh and at
the same time give them a chance to give me a hard time (I really don't try
to be annoying when I sing, it comes natural). We adults try to continue
the smiles all day. We go out of the way to tell jokes and get the Scouts
excited about their next activity. I find myself buying a lot of ice-cream
bars from the snack stand. Some of these guys just need a little more
attention to get through the day.
Adults can get a little cranky about this time also, so we hope that a few
smiles, some bad jokes and an upbeat attitude will catch on. All this will
generally get everyone through the middle of the week and back into the fun
by the end of the week.
If the leaders go to summer camp knowing this will happen, then they can
prepare for it and try to help the situation. Usually on Webelos Summer
Camp, I hand out kazoos, I haven't tried them on the Boy Scouts yet. I am
sure other leaders have ideas and we would love to hear them.
We solve the going home early problem with a special fun activity after
camp. Last year we went White Water Rafting, this year we are going to
Silver Dollar City. We got this idea three years ago here on Scouts_L.
I learn something new every year however. Last year we had a Scout get very
homesick the first night at Camp Alexander, 8000 feet high in Colorado. He
was very depressed to the point of making himself sick. Nothing worked. It
was a bad week for this Scout until the last day when on the way home we
went White Water Rafting. As we drove through 5000 feet, this Scout was a
completely different person. He was excited, ready for more excitement and
was NOT ready to end the fun he was having. We were amazed. This guy
required constant adult attention the whole week until now. One of the
adults finally realized, he wasn't homesick, he had altitude sickness. I
wonder if a kazoo will help that?
Have a Great Scouting Summer
"Mighty" Pack 339
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City