Another summer is drawing to a close, and the children have returned home from camp. You’ve made a significant dent in the laundry and are beginning to think about school supply shopping. The only problem is that your campers haven’t come out of their rooms since they returned. For parents who are wondering just what they’re doing in there (besides catching up on some much needed sleep), we can offer some insight from the campers themselves.
Looking at camp photos…over and over
One camper recently confessed that the first few days home from camp, she fights off “campsickness” by locking herself in her room and looking at ALL of the camp photos over and over. ‘It helps me to not be so sad about camp being over and to remember things that I’ve already forgotten—especially stuff that happened at the beginning of the summer because so much happens at the end.’
Arranging items that remind them of camp
One mother reported that her child refused to allow her to wash her camp pillowcase because it smelled like camp. A camper further supported this notion by confessing that he brings things home from camp and places them around his room so that no matter which wall he is facing, there is something that reminds him of camp. He even confessed to picking them up and smelling them from time to time so that he can remember what camp smells like.
Interacting with Their Camp Friends
Sure, they have an entire season of their favorite television show to catch up on, but they also have some important reflecting to do. Some confess to immediately beginning some planning for next summer while certain things are still fresh in their memory because ‘once school starts, sometimes it’s hard to just stop everything and think about camp.’ From Instagram to Vines, social media becomes an immediate post camp fix for making the summer just a little bit longer.
Eating…Yes, in their rooms
This may be particularly true if you’ve started to notice a considerable amount of unoccupied space in your pantry. Of course camp food is yummy, but campers assure us that there’s something about indulging in favorite foods that you can’t get at camp after not having had them for several weeks that helps alleviate campsickness.
Making a scrapbook
During a recent discussion about “those first few days” after camp ends, a camper proudly proclaimed that she makes a memory book of the summer using various items and photos that she collected over the summer. ‘I finish it and then spend a long time looking through it to make sure I didn’t forget anything. Then I get out my memory books from previous summers and look at them too.’
Recreating the Camp Environment
A camper shared that sounds of home are sometimes overwhelming those first few days. ‘Camp isn’t really quiet, but home sounds so different. In my room, I can just shut the door and think about what camp sounds like.’ Another camper disclosed that she lays the comforter from her camp bed over top of her non-camp bedding for several weeks because it reminds her of being back in the cabin or bunk.
So there you have it. Words straight from campers’ mouths that campsickness does not always translate to moping. Sometimes it’s just their own way of bringing proper closure to the summer.