scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Re: Homesick Scouts
Mick Cole (MicCCole@AOL.COM
Tue Jul 11 2000 - 13:28:54 CDT
In a message dated Tue, 11 Jul 2000 1:10:33 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Rick Seymour <Rick@KUDU.NET> writes <in part>:
<<Anyone have a "How to do it" approach to homesickness in ten-year-olds?
Yours in Scouting,
While I suspect there's no sure method for dealing with homesickness in all cases, there are some techniques I have found to be useful at Camp Massaweepie, just down the road from Sabattis. In no particular order.
1. Be sympathetic without being overly concerned. In my experience, a few tears toward the end of the day are not uncommon for a 10-year old first-year camper. I do get concerned when there are significant changes in behavior, such as withdrawing from camp activities or acting out.
2. Quite often asking an older scout, either a member of the troop or someone on the camp staff, to have a chat with the homesick scout can be very effective.
3. A full schedule, with as much physical activity as possible, is very effective in keeping homesickness at bay.
4. Keep the program going until lights out, especially for younger scouts. A nightly campfire can be extremely helpful. Make sure the SPL understands the necessity of keeping the first year scouts involved in all aspects of the nightly campfire. The importance of the fellowship formed around a campfire as an antidote to excessive homesickness cannot be over-stated.
5. Have a nightly SM conference (not necessarily formal) with each new scout to see how things are going.
6. Think about other resources that may be available, such as the camp chaplain.
7. One thing that is generally considered not helpful, and that should be avoided, if at all possible, is to have the scout call home. The general opinion of those I have discussed the topic with over the years is that this usually just makes the situation worse.
SM, Troop 62