Helping Your Camper Feel Ready

Homesickness Preparation

Feelings of missing home are common in youth attending summer camp, especially if it is their first time away from home.

Anticipating and discussing the feelings of sadness, loneliness and anxiety can be helpful in mitigating these difficulties. We encourage all parents to discuss these issues with their campers before arrival.

Our goal is that every Wildwood camper has a successful experience, but it is important to make sure each child is emotionally and physically ready and wants to come. Additionally, it is important to understand whether your child is hesitant and nervous about the overnight experience, or they simply do not want to attend camp. Please note, leaving camp early due to homesickness is not a condition for a refund.

Essential Functions of a Camper

How do I know if my child is ready for camp? While camp can be a tremendous opportunity to foster independence and personal development, it is important to know whether a camper is ready for overnight camp to achieve the benefits of the experience. Please read through the essential functions of a camper below.

Physical Requirements

Campers should be able to:

  • Traverse considerable distances across uneven terrain multiple times per day
  • Maintain personal hygiene without assistance
  • Eat meals in noisy environment – campers will have a cold food option at each meal (salad
  • bar/sunbutter & jelly sandwich) if they do not like the main option
  • Sleep in a bunk bed in a cabin with up to 17 other campers/staff

Emotional/Behavioral Requirements

Campers should be able to:

  • Participate in structured, scheduled activities and transition between spaces with a group of peers
  • Follow instructions given by camp counselor on a regular basis
  • Control impulses, especially around higher risk activities such as canoeing and archery
  • Self-calm following an incident that causes sadness, anger or frustration
  • Work through disagreements and interpersonal conflict with peers
  • Communicate effectively with peers and staff (especially regarding their personal needs)
  • Adapt to an environment where one staff member is present to assist multiple campers. If your child needs more intensive support than we can provide, camp may be a difficult experience.

If your child cannot perform these essential functions or needs more intensive support than we can provide, we may contact you to arrange a shortened stay for the safety and well-being of your camper.