Father Lance W. Harlow
Years ago, I was a summer camp counselor for a residential summer camp. Campers stayed for two weeks at a time for three sessions. Some of them stayed for all six weeks because they came from foreign countries to learn English. It was very hard work with long hours. In its heyday, we had over 100 boys ages 6-15 years old. Many of them adapted well to camp life even with the heat, rainy days, mosquitoes and skunks. However, there was a variety of fun activities and for many of the boys it was the highlight of their summer. As the Program Director, I had to ensure that everybody was in the right place, that the camp schedule ran on time and that the counselors and counselors-in-training were teaching their activities and/or supervising the kids. The worst part of the job was dealing with homesickness.
There were always one or two boys every session we were inconsolable and wanted to go home. We were usually forewarned by their parents that the kids were prone to homesickness and we all agreed that we would try to stick it out for as long as possible. Despite various tactics at distraction, some of the kids were eventually sent home. Much to their relief and mine.
If you've ever been homesick yourself, you know the feeling. It's a terrible aching in the pit of your stomach that never seems to go away. However, with distraction, stimulating activities and new friends, it can pass. Some of the boys and girls at the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children experience initial homesickness, which can be a normal response to separation from their environment. But with new friends, new activities and lots of listening ears, the children adapt to their new environment and begin to reap the benefits of all their new experiences.
Many of the homesick boys at summer camp flourished after their initial bouts of homesickness and loved their experience at camp and told stories for years after with happy memories.
That is my hope for the boys and girls at the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children; that they, too, will have a conversion from "homesickness" to "home-is-where-the-heart-is" and will have many fun and happy memories of their time there.
Please make a donation today by clicking on the Donate icon above. Somebody who is homesick is counting on your support. God bless you!
Photo credit: Luke Porter@www.unsplash.com