We’ve seen that having a buddy factors greatly into a positive time at camp. Some campers make new friends super fast and jump right into the activities, but a nervous or shy camper can quickly dissolve into loneliness and homesickness once mom and dad go home. Just knowing that someone they trust will be alongside them, sharing in the anxious parts (like meeting new people and sleeping away from home) will be a cause for relief before they even get here. Sharing the anticipation of coming will increase their excitement and can help a nervous camper focus more on the fun they’re going to have at camp.
Homesick campers will usually pull away from the group and resist the counselor’s attempts to help the camper be included. It’s much easier to feel like a part of the group and focus on enjoying the time right off the bat with a built-in friend. Our counselors are trained in helping campers overcome homesickness and are great at including everyone and spotting kids who may be struggling, but there’s nothing like having a friend by your side to be an encouragement!
If you have a new or nervous camper, consider who you can invite to come along with them and make their camp experience that much better!