Coping with Homesickness
- 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.
- 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.
- Make sure you have completed a cabin constitution and communicated about the ground rules of Outdoor School.
- 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
- Remember, homesickness is highly contagious, so watch your students carefully.
- 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 . . .)
- Remember ask for help from program leaders, teachers, or get ideas from returning student leaders.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.