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)
Even adolescent and experienced campers miss family and friends while at camp. Homesickness is normal behavior among both first time and experienced campers, but it usually disappears within the first two days of camp.
Most campers need 2-3 days to adjust to a new routine, new cabin/tent mates and an increase in activity. By Wednesday, when the first camper letter arrives home with the “please come get me now," she is most likely feeling better and having fun.
At this point, you have two choices:
- You can call the camp director to see how she is doing
- Wait a day or two for the follow up letter.
If you call the camp director with concerns, we will update you on your camper’s experience. Every camper misses her family, friends and favorite pet during her stay at summer camp.
Occasionally campers will exhibit signs of atypical homesickness. These signs include needing constant attention, clinging to adults, needing someone by her side to fall asleep, disrupting camp activities, or crying constantly. In these situations the Camp Director will contact the parent/guardian to partner with them and make a plan for the camper, which may involve going home immediately. If you camper is experiencing atypical homesickness, the camp director will immediately initiate a 3-step plan with the camper and staff.
- Step 1: The unit leader will work with the camper and notify the camp director
- Step 2: The camper will write the camp director a letter (if age appropriate) expressing her feelings and the camp director will call the parents/guardians and share the information from the letter with them. The camp director and parent/guardian will partner to create a plan for the camper.
- Step 3: The camp director will meet with the camper and discuss the plan made with the parents.
One challenge campers and staff have are the promises parents/guardians make to pick up a camper if she is homesick. When a camper hears this promise, she is not as determined to be successful and often gives up at the first sign of homesickness.
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.campparents.org to learn more about how to help prepare you and your daughter for her stay at camp.
- 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 download and 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.