Teens: Getting Ready for Summer Camp

A Note From the L.A. Teen Therapist

Traveling away from home for the first time–leaving behind everything that is familiar can be scary. Going to summer camp for the first time? Read on to learn how you can master this new experience. – Sandra

“I’m going to camp this summer and I feel really nervous. I’m scared about being homesick and not knowing anybody! Please help!!”

You don’t know what to expect and aren’t sure how people are going to respond to you. It can also be a very exciting time! Adventure awaits you… along with the possibility of new friendships. Summer camp is an opportunity to practice your social skills and grow as a person. By stepping outside of your normal routine, you get a chance to learn from others and then return to school in the fall with new experiences under your belt.

One of the ways people deal with being homesick is to take something with them that feels comforting. One gal I know took a pillowcase with a photo of her family on it. Another took a pre-addressed notecards to send home letters telling her friends about her trip. At the very least, you can take a couple photos to look at whenever you want, and perhaps share with the people you meet.

The first day of camp is like the first day back at school after summer break. People who already know each other gather together and visit. You may want to see who looks interesting to you, and introduce yourself. There are probably other new people like yourself who are very open to getting to know you.

Try to participate in all the activities. Avoid making any snap judgments about people. Give yourself permission to really enjoy yourself. It’s okay to be silly. It’s okay to have fun. Find people who make you laugh, and spend time with them. Summer camp is meant to be a break from school, so don’t worry about needing to do everything right.

A big key is your attitude. Kindness, gratitude and a sense of humor will go a long way towards your making new friends.


“The best example of Sandra’s work is in my daughter’s renewed enthusiasm and attitude towards life. My daughter now sees every problem as one that can be solved, every uncomfortable experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sandra’s work with my daughter has helped her become a more secure, confident and happy individual.”

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Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.