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Would you pick her up from camp?
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 9:36 am
My 13 yo dd went to camp with girls she knew but no friends. She was not accepted 1st 1/2 so we took the risk and sent her alone 2nd half knowing shes an extremely cute and friendly girl.
Shes been calling a lot and is really miserable, many of the girls know each other from before and although she keeps trying it doesnt seem to be working for her.
Shes about 1 wk in, do we give it up and just go get her? Its so hard as parents to be so far away and unable to help her.
Or is this a good growing lesson for her to try harder to figure it out? Im so at a loss of how to handle.
Would appreciate advice from those who have been there or expert advice on how to proceed.
Thanks!
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vintagebknyc




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 9:48 am
I’ve been there, I’ve been that miserable camper. Pick her up. Let her know you’ve heard her
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amother




Salmon
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 9:51 am
No don’t pick her up, for sure not before visiting day. It takes more than a week to get used to it.
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keym




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 9:52 am
I would start with asking her if she wants to be picked up or if she's venting.
I've been that miserable camper too. But I didn't want to be picked up. I wanted to vent and cry and then go back to the bunk and try again.
If she wants to be picked up, I would but I would let her know it's her choice.
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tweety1




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 9:53 am
I think I'd pick her up. My daughter always tells me that the 2nd halfers always have a very hard time. Even girls that went to the same camp the previous years sometimes don't make it. The girls have their friends, they have their jokes, and a girl who comes 2nd half very often feels like a 5th wheel.
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amother




Freesia
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 9:53 am
Do not pick her up
It takes at least a week to get into it
She is not even giving herself a chance and is hindering it by calling you so often
Does the camp not have phone rules/calling hours?
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amother




Wandflower
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:02 am
Hmm..dd is the same age and did not take that risk. She couldn’t find a job and is now home miserable and bored.
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amother




Ballota
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:13 am
It depends on your gut feeling. If she's miserable or you think there's more than she's telling you, please pick her up. We almost made what could have been a life altering decision had we let dc stay in camp which is what I was thinking we should do. Baruch Hashem DH recognized something wasn't right, distress in dc voice, and decided we should pick up dc.
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amother




Yolk
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:14 am
No I wouldn't. Not until at least two weeks in so she gave it a fair chance.
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:14 am
Did she outright ask you to pick her up?
The first time I went to sleep away camp I thought I was going with a friend. That friend's family ended up going away so I knew not one soul. Fine, back then, 32 years ago, there was no calling home unless it was an emergency or medical reason, but I just stayed. I didnt even think of calling my parents to take me home. It was not an option. I stuck it out. And in the end I made some nice camp friends from that.
I think, if she really wanted to go, let her try it for a bit longer. One week is not enough to know if she really needs to come home or not.
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lamplighter




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:16 am
Offer to pick her up and see from there.
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Chayalle




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:17 am
tweety1 wrote:
I think I'd pick her up. My daughter always tells me that the 2nd halfers always have a very hard time. Even girls that went to the same camp the previous years sometimes don't make it. The girls have their friends, they have their jokes, and a girl who comes 2nd half very often feels like a 5th wheel.


And my girls tell me the opposite LOL. They say the second half is more chilled. I have one DD who went 2nd half for two years and loved it. The next year a friend convinced her to go first half and she did not enjoy it as much, she felt the first half was more intense.

But other DD is a staunch first half-er. Different personalities.

I wonder if now that the camps are more full, the distinctions have changed. It used to be that 2nd half wasn't as full, and was known to be the more slow-paced half.
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amother




Clover
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:19 am
I had the same thing with my son last year. He went to a camp where he did not know anyone, it was his choice, but I don't think he realized how hard it would be to go where you don't know anyone. He cried miserably about wanting to come home called us multiple times a day. We spoke to my sister-in-law who is a social worker, who explained to us how to talk to my son. Basically we told him that he had to give it a week and if after a full week and he was still very unhappy we would take him home. If that's what he wanted. We explained to him that sometimes uncomfortable situations and hard situations, If you work through them make you stronger. He also had a lot of support from the counselors and head counselors. He was able to call us multiple times a day. We also bribed him by telling him that if he did stick it out we would take him out to eat together, my husband and I and him to a really nice restaurant that he wanted to go to. It was so so hard for us! He stuck it out the week and while he still wasn't happy he agreed to give it another few days and after about a week and a half he was able to make friends be comfortable and really had a great time in camp. And went back this summer.
It is so hard to see your child sad miserable and upset! Sending you hugs!!
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scientist




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:21 am
Have you reached out to the camp administration to let them know what’s happening? They might be able to help.
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amother




Catmint
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:31 am
Can you call the head staff and get them involved?
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amother




Broom
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:34 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
My 13 yo dd went to camp with girls she knew but no friends. She was not accepted 1st 1/2 so we took the risk and sent her alone 2nd half knowing shes an extremely cute and friendly girl.
Shes been calling a lot and is really miserable, many of the girls know each other from before and although she keeps trying it doesnt seem to be working for her.
Shes about 1 wk in, do we give it up and just go get her? Its so hard as parents to be so far away and unable to help her.
Or is this a good growing lesson for her to try harder to figure it out? Im so at a loss of how to handle.
Would appreciate advice from those who have been there or expert advice on how to proceed.
Thanks!

You have to know your daughter, and how it will affect her. My daughter went to camp when she was 12 and 13. She went with friends. Both times, she called more than once in tears the first week, she’s miserable. Last year we didn’t bring her home. Once she was no longer allowed to call, things got better and she had a great time. This year she called also, but she kept saying “but I know you won’t bring me home, so I have to make it work” and she did. I told her if she goes back next summer, I’m going to send her a week early, so she can get all of the “I’m miserable, I want to come home” out of the way before camp starts, and then she can enjoy the whole time!!
Now obviously, that won’t work for everyone, and like I said you have to know your kid. We knew she would be ok, and we knew she would end up enjoying. Not everyone will personally, I detested (is that a strong enough word?) sleep away camp even though I went with people I knew. It just wasn’t for me. Maybe give it some more time, but tell her she can’t call you. I think that’s what was keeping my daughter in her rut, that she kept hearing our voices. Once she wasn’t allowed to call, she was really ok.
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Chayalle




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:34 am
Also think a week is too short to know if camp will work for your child. I know that this year, my DD and my niece were split up (not in same bunk) and the first week or so it took them time to make friends and find their place...but ultimately they both had a great summer. Neither my SIL nor I felt it was in their best interest to switch bunks or bring them home....we just encouraged them to stick it out and B"H it worked for both of them.
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tweety1




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:50 am
Chayalle wrote:
And my girls tell me the opposite LOL. They say the second half is more chilled. I have one DD who went 2nd half for two years and loved it. The next year a friend convinced her to go first half and she did not enjoy it as much, she felt the first half was more intense.

But other DD is a staunch first half-er. Different personalities.

I wonder if now that the camps are more full, the distinctions have changed. It used to be that 2nd half wasn't as full, and was known to be the more slow-paced half.

Where my daughter goes 1st half there are more than double amount of girls than 2nd half with the exception of Tc's, because of the reasons I stated. The staff don't do anything different 2nd half than 1st half. I don't know how this situation was created. It's been going on forever.
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amother




Trillium
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:51 am
I suggest you try talking to someone else at the camp (her counselor or the head counselor) to try to figure out how miserable she really is. When my second daughter went to camp for the first time at age 13, she was terribly homesick. Every time she talked to us (twice a week), she cried and cried. After the third miserable call we were really worried. That summer my older daughter was working in the same camp as a waitress. We asked her to figure out how her younger sister is doing and she told us that she knows her sister is homesick, and it's much worse after she talks to us, but otherwise she is participating in all activities and whenever she sees her she looks happy. She stuck it out for the summer and although she didn't go back to camp ever again, she is really happy she didn't leave early. She knows she would have been terribly bored at home and there were lots of fun things at camp even though she was homesick to the very last day.
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amother




Clematis
 

Post Tue, Aug 09 2022, 10:57 am
I agree with all the posters who said, 1 week isn't long enough. It can take a while to get used to everything in camp.
It's hard as a parent to know your kid is unhappy, but keep telling yourself that she is safe, nothing terrible is happening to her, she just hasn't found her place yet and misses home. And it's normal! Our kids can be unhappy sometimes. That's ok. That's how they learn resilience.
My dd went to an oot camp this summer and was nervous because in case she was miserable coming home wouldn't be an option. That didn't stop me from encouraging her to go. I figured, if she's unhappy for four weeks, she will still survive. Nothing will happen to her. (She loved it btw).
I also agree with the posters who suggested fewer phone calls. Calling home from camp and reminding yourself how much you miss home is rarely a good idea and doesn't allow you to fully immerse yourself in camp.
Hatzlacha. I hope she starts enjoying it soon.
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