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Dear Dish-it: Scared of Sleepaway Camp

Dear Dish-it,

My mom signed me up for sleepaway camp this year. I've never been before, and I'm scared of feeling homesick! I worry that I just won't be able to make it. How can I deal with this?

camp calamity

Dear cc,

Sleepaway camp is a chance to get away from home and have some adventures, but if you get homesick easily, I understand that it might not seem like it's gonna be any fun. But keep this in mind: there will be times all through your life when you will have to be away from home and you might feel uncomfortable. Trips like sleepaway camp are part of the growing-up process, and the more you go, the easier it gets. Try to enjoy all the activities and meet lots of new people. Maybe if you stay busy, you won't have time to think about missing home. When it's over, you can take those memories with you and you grow a little more.

Talk to Mom

Something else you can do is talk to your mom about how you feel. Ask her why she feels so strongly that you go to camp, and make sure she understands how scared you feel. Talk about what in particular may make you homesick, and how you might be able to do things to make yourself feel better if it happens. For example, you can create care packages together ahead of time and agree to regular phone calls, e-mails, etc. If you really feel that you’re not ready, perhaps you can start with day camp and then move up to sleepaway camp next summer? But I hope you do give it another try, because sleepaway camp can be so much fun! It is a home away from home where you make an extended family and friendships that last a lifetime! I bet when it's time to leave, you'll be sad to be going home!

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