Adjustment To Camp

Upon arrival at Camp Barney Medintz, it is common for all campers, new and returning, to require some adjustment. Some campers may immediately become homesick and might express these feelings in the first or second letter home to you. In fact, homesickness is NORMAL! It’s often about being away from all that is familiar and suddenly encountering new places, new faces, new systems and a change in routine. It’s common for adults, too!

Experienced campers may initially compare their first impressions to a previous counselor, camp, or fellow campers. Also NORMAL! Some kids adjust sooner than others, but generally, campers become truly comfortable when more and more about Camp becomes familiar.

Camp Barney’s sensory cabin, The Gail and Lyons Den, is new for Summer 2021. The Den’s two sensory rooms are an ideal space for campers to process emotions, take needed breaks, and ensure every camper has the support needed to get the most out of camp. The Gail and Lyons Den will also be home base for Camp Barney’s Camper Care team of licensed therapists and mental health professionals who will offer mental, emotional, and social health support for campers and staff throughout the summer. We are so fortunate to have this amazing space where kids can receive assistance from our professional staff, get a respite if camp life ever feels overwhelming, learn coping skills, or just chill out.

Our Staff will be ready to respond to campers upon their arrival. Some kids need “quiet time” at first with reduced instructions and stimuli, and some want to know “everything right away!” Still, others feel fine once they are “connected” with the counselor, campers in their cabin, the Health Center, cubby space, their bed, facilities, activities, and routines. That’s why the “First Letter Home,” especially if “distressful,” is often a very premature (and sometimes a very dramatic) reaction! Wait for the “second letter home,” and call us if you’re still concerned. Additionally, it helps most campers to hear from home while they are away. You can visit our Communicating at Camp page to explore the many ways of staying in touch with your child, such as letters and emails.

Meanwhile, you may choose to build excitement and/or reduce anxiety by doing some pre-camp preparation. Express your confidence in your child’s ability to take care of himself or herself, knowing that asking for help is perfectly okay. Send along familiar items from home. Talk about the adventures awaiting your child, reuniting with old friends or making new ones (and which qualities your child possesses that other kids would be drawn to). In addition, Camp Barney offers opportunities to explore camp during the year to help your camper get more familiar with their surroundings before summer starts. 

Help your child understand our THREE RULES at Camp Barney Medintz:

  1. There is no abuse to living things. This includes: physical, psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as bullying, harassment, neglect, exclusion, etc.
  2. There is no abuse to the environment. This includes: purposely damaging our natural environment, other camper’s or staff’s property, or Camp Barney property.
  3. No illegal drugs or alcohol are permitted on CBM property.

Campers (and staff) who violate these rules will be returned home immediately without refund. (And, see our What To Bring/What Not To Bring page.)

If you wish to discuss your child’s experience at Camp, you are welcome to call the Camp Barney Medintz Camp Director or write your concerns in the “Camper Confidential Questionnaire.” We’ll determine together how we can best help your child have a fabulous experience at Camp Barney Medintz.