Coping with Homesickness
1. Make sure your cabin group has done ice-breakers or get-to-know-you games. It may take 2-3 days for your students to really feel comfortable.
2. Keep students informed about the schedule, duties, daily schedule, bedtime and when they take showers. Make sure they know where the nurse, outgoing mailbox and meeting places are located.
3. Make sure you have completed a cabin constitution and communicated about the ground rules of Outdoor School.
4. Keep the students busy. Down times are when students get homesick, cabin times, before dinner, and bedtimes. Play quiet games or write letters to mail home.
Remedies for Homesickness
1. Remember, homesickness is highly contagious, so watch your students carefully.
2. Sit down and set realistic goals for the student and for yourself. (For example: not cry until after ______, try to remember three times during the day they smiled . . .)
3. Remember ask for help from program leaders, teachers, or get ideas from returning student leaders.
4. Give a little extra tender loving care. Give a little extra time or ask the program leader or teacher to spend some extra time with the student.
5. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Students can be devious about getting what they want. Remind them that their family sent them to Outdoor School for a reason. DO NOT PROMISE A CALL HOME!
6. Share with your students. Share a stuffed animal, share a funny story about you, share what worked for you when you were homesick, share their interests, lives and friends.