Can a camper go home early if they miss home too much?

Missing home is a totally normal part of the camp experience, and your camper should know that it’s totally normal to have moments when they miss their parents! The vast majority of our campers have an amazing experience and come back to camp summer after summer.

We also have a caring team of parents and adults who will make sure that things are going smoothly for your camper. Keep in mind, you can always contact your Unit Head just to check in. They’ll tell you how your camper is doing, who they’re making friends with, what they’re eating at meals, and how camp is going for them. We aspire for camp to be an open book when it comes to communication. You will be able to contact your unit head any time to see how things are going. They’ll give you a full update.

If your camper is not having a positive experience, then we will do everything we can to turn it around and make sure your camper is thriving. We will also be in touch with you to let you know if a camper is struggling, so we can decide together how to proceed. It is exceedingly uncommon for a camper to leave camp early–it happens less than 1% of the time. If we discuss your camper’s experience and decide together that it would be better for the camper to go home early than stay in camp, then we would give you a full refund for any days the camper does not stay with us. Again, this is incredibly unlikely to happen.

Most importantly, please do not tell your camper that going home early is an option. Your camper should come to camp feeling committed to staying for the full experience. Of course, if we see it’s not going smoothly, then we’ll let you know right away and decide together on next steps. In the worst case scenario, the camper can leave early and we’ll give you a refund for the days they’re not in camp.

But again, don’t tell the camper that. If you do, the camper will spend the whole first week agonizing about whether to stay or go: “I’m making friends, but I miss home;” “Camp is fun, but I’d love to see my parents;” etc. Each camper should be prepared to have an awkward first few days — every new camper does — while they’re meeting new kids, getting to know the facility, and bonding with staff. Once we get past the first two-three days of camp, then it becomes an amazing experience in which campers make lifelong friends and memories. Camp gets more fun with each passing day, and each camper should be committed to staying for the full experience.