Welcoming First Time Campers
For over 60 years we have been guiding first-time campers to find their place in the Alonim community. Every summer, we welcome hundreds of first-time campers to the Alonim community. We know it is not always easy adapting to being away from home, but our counselors and camper care staff work daily to ensure each camper is adjusting well to their new environment.
Prior to the summer, new campers and their parents will complete a Getting to Know You form. This helps new campers share a little bit about themselves so their counselors can get to know them before they even arrive at Alonim.
Alonim is a close-knit community where campers begin to develop a sense of belonging from Day One. Campers meet their bunk counselors in person almost immediately upon arrival to Peppertree Lane. Counselors get to work bonding and integrating campers new and old by playing ice breakers and other name games right away! On Opening Day parents will have an opportunity to meet their campers’ bunk counselors as well as share any last-minute concerns or details.
Homesickness among first time campers is common regardless of their age or experience being away from home. Our staff receive specific training in preventing and addressing homesickness and helping kids adjust to camp.
Once campers get involved in activities and make new friends, they quickly forget any initial hesitations.
Although the specific causes of homesickness differ from child to child, there are things you can do prior to your camper leaving to help prepare and prevent homesickness.
Make sure to talk to your camper about camp! Watch some videos of camp together with your camper or look at photos on our website and Facebook. Review the daily schedule that can be found on our website and help your camper imagine potential positive and fun moments at camp.
Go together to purchase supplies for camp, and involve your camper in packing. Talk about all the great things they will be able to do at camp and about all the new friends they will make.
Reassure your camper that missing home is normal. Don’t worry, talking about the possibility of feeling homesick at some point at camp will not make your child homesick! Discuss it before leaving for camp and let your child know that these feelings are normal. Take time to assure your camper that you have confidence in them and that even if they feel sad and miss home you know they will get involved in an activity and to feel better.
Finally, remind your camper that if they are feeling homesick, there are many people at camp they can go to for help, such as their bunk counselors, the Head Counselors, Camp Parents, and the Directors. We are all here to help!
For more information on our approach to homesickness, make sure to check your Family Handbook.
New campers and families can learn everything they need to know about Camp Alonim by looking through this “Alonim from A to Z!” guide written and illustrated by Alonim Staff in Summer 2021!