The Successful Camper
The Successful Camper

Camper Essential Functions
In order to attend and have a successful experience at
Girl Scouts of Maine camps, campers must meet the following essential functions: 

  • Capable of mainstream in public school system (doesn't require one on one guidance)
  • Move independently from place to place
  • Effectively interact in a group based on program content
  • Be able to meet personal needs (bathing, toileting, dressing, diet, etc)
  • Capable self-management of chronic illnesses
    (i.e. Diabetes, asthma, allergies)

A Little About Homesickness
(by the way, it isn’t really a sickness)

  • Homesickness is the distress (mild sadness/nervousness) people feel when they miss home.

  • Mild homesickness is normal. Almost all children have some mild homesick
    feelings when they’re away.

  • Severe homesickness is rare.

    Talking about homesickness does not cause homesickness or make it worst.
  • There are many things kids can do before leaving home and even more they can do during camp to lessen homesickness.

  • Homesick feelings are good because they reflect the love of things at home.

  • Homesickness, and getting over it, is a normal process that helps kids develop
    independence and self-confidence. Camp is a safe place where kids can go through this process with the help of trained staff. As a parent, one of the
    greatest gifts you can give your child is the opportunity and confidence to have this experience.

Can You Predict Homesickness?

You can roughly predict the strength of homesick feelings by considering your child and the circumstances surrounding her separation from home. The kids who are most likely to experience intense homesickness are those who:

  • Have never spent time away from home before

  • Feel as if they can’t trust other people very much

  • Are worried about spending time away from home

  • Think that camp is going to be crummy

  • Feel forced to go away to camp. NEVER send a child to camp just because you
    think it will be good for her. If your child says she’s not ready, LISTEN to her!

We encourage parents/guardians to reassure their campers that they will be successful and they look forward to seeing them on the closing day.  Please visit the American Camp Association website at www.summercamphandbook.com to learn more about how to help prepare you and your daughter for her stay at camp.

Suggestion from Experienced Parents
  • Send pre-addressed stamped envelopes with young campers, addressed to family and friends.  Remember to secure adequate postage.
  • Send old clothes they recognize as their own, not a lot of new ones they won’t remember are theirs.
  • Leave expensive clothing or other valuable items at home.
  • Label everything and pack light.
  • Please complete all camp forms well in advance.  It will save time and frustration at check-in.
  • There are more activities at camp than your child will be able to participate in during a one or two week session.  If your camper did not do all the activities they wanted, encourage them to look forward to next year.
  • Your camper will probably come home tired and may need additional rest after a week or two of high energy activity to which they are not accustomed.
  • Wear good shoes at check-in and check-out. Be prepared to walk, no vehicles are permitted in camp.
  • Do not let your daughter bring a cell phone to camp, it will be confiscated.