Whether your child—or children—spent one week or two—or more—at Canyon Creek, you can be certain they never uttered the words “I’m bored.” We pack their days with so many fun, exciting, and even crazy activities, it’s sometimes hard to tell if they are smiling so big because of what they are doing, what they have experienced, or what they are about to endeavor.
Of course, we do occasionally have kids who experience homesickness. We know how to handle that. Now we want to make sure parents know how to handle “campsickness.” It’s a common phenomenon amongst campers who miss their camp friends and all the amazing activities.
Just because your child is not “at camp,” it doesn’t mean they can’t continue to experience some of the joys of camp.
Campfire is the biggest tradition at Canyon Creek. It’s so much fun—we do one every night.
While campfire at home won’t recreate all the friends and fun experienced at camp, you can make it meaningful. All you need is people willing to have fun, a place for a fire, and S’mores. And don’t forget the camp songs.
Make it even better by adding a skit or some lip-sync. Ask your child for ideas. Be open to getting silly.
You could also encourage your child to invite friends.
Have your child teach you their favorite camp songs. We suggest you ask about the “repeat after me” song. Some other popular camp hits include, “You Can’t Ride in My Little Red Wagon,” “Baby Shark,” and “Moose Alpaca.” End it all with “Go Bananas,” and you can be sure everyone will enjoy a true camp experience.
Tackle Some Adventures
Get the adrenaline flowing again. With the countless activities available at camp, it should be possible to enjoy at least a few of them with your child. Make a bet about who can drive faster at a local go-kart track or climb a rock wall fastest. Challenge them in a game, such as basketball, laser tag, or ping-pong. Or even invent a tournament of your own.
What adventures did your child enjoy most? Skate Park? Rock Climbing? SCUBA? Swimming? Find a place near home that offers those opportunities or classes.
Set up a DIY slip-and-slide in your yard. All you need is a tarp and a water hose. Make it extra slippery with baby shampoo.
Other ideas for camp fun at home:
- Grab some pizza and find a lake
- If you have winter snow, try snow skiing or snow tubing to mimic lake activities
- Go for an impromptu Slurpee at a nearby 7/11
- Learn how to make a killer Philly cheesesteak.
- Scream your way through a haunted house
- Enjoy a water fight
- Build a fort
- Stargaze while in a sleeping bag
- Go for a hike
- Learn some bunk skits
Indulge in Camp Crafts
Most campers agree, there is something special about ceramics. It gets creative juices flowing while relaxing the mind and body. It also offers the opportunity for amazing conversations. Find a ceramics place near you and pick up some paints, paintbrushes, and clay. Sit down with your camper and enjoy this activity while asking endless questions about camp. Use this time to learn what other camplike activities you can recreate.
Go to the craft store and get some dye and get busy tie-dying. You’d be amazed at how much fun this can be and how many things can be improved with crazy colors. It’s not just for t-shirts. Pillowcases. Socks. Dresses. Pants. Sheets. Let your imagination go wild.
While at the craft store, also pick up some friendship bracelet string. Creating friendship bracelets is another popular camp activity.
Invest in some scrapbooking items and help your camper put together a book of camp memories that will be appreciated for life.
Help Your Camper Maintain Friendships
Encourage your child to keep in touch with their camp friends.
If they live within a reasonable distance, set up play dates and activities they can enjoy together while catching up and rekindling inside jokes.
While camp doesn’t allow electronics, most kids these days have phones, gaming systems, and social media accounts. They can maintain friendships through posts, messages, shared pictures, and even playing games over the internet.
Of course, snail-mail is also a great idea. Keep the memories of receiving and writing letters from camp alive by purchasing some stationery and stamps. What could be better than coming home from school to find a letter from a camp bestie?
And don’t forget the counselors. They love to hear from and correspond with campers. You never know—receiving love and encouragement from the one who gives it best at camp may be just what your child needs.
Keep Camp Fun Alive
It is possible to find remedies for campsickness. Talk with your child about what and who they miss most and get creative.
As long as you remain open to fun and craziness, you can bring camp alive at home.
Of course, it also helps when you let them know you registered them for next summer. After all, the best cure for campsickness is to send them back to camp. This will also allow for the opportunity to start new conversations as you talk about what they most look forward to.
And trust us, they will start counting the days down.