Did your child get kicked out of camp this year? You’re not alone.
Every year we get one or two calls from panicked parents about their child being sent home from summer camp. This year we are receiving more frantic emails and calls about this than ever, and hearing some of our colleagues having similar experiences. What gives?!
First and foremost: YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE BECAUSE YOUR CHILD WAS SENT HOME FROM CAMP!
Some quick thoughts into why this may be happening: (Big picture – the pandemic.)
- Nationally, behavior problems at school have skyrocketed post-covid. It would make sense that we would see this same trend in other settings as well.
- Mental health disorders in kids and teens have also skyrocketed. Often times an “angry” or “badly behaving” kid is really a depressed or anxious kid. For some kids, separation anxiety has emerged or gotten worse – making being away from home more difficult.
- During the pandemic, kids and teens were forced to turn to social media and technology to connect to their friends, and often used them as an outlet or escape for big feelings. Going to camp means this coping mechanism is stripped. If they do not have other coping skills, or are out of practice using them, they may turn to unhealthy coping skills they previously used (i.g. Self-harm, violence), or struggle to cope and lash out.
- So many kids have been holding on to camp as their saving grace. In typical times it can be. In these crazy times, camp may just not be enough. This can be a devastating reality check for those kids who were banking on it being a “fix all.”
- Finally, adults are struggling too. That means those in charge of your kids may have lower patience and less experience than needed.
Take the fact that your child had the courage to try camp this year as win and try again next year. And if you need us, we’re here.
Blog by YBS Founder, Brittany LaFleur, LCPC-S, RPT