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Jenza Talk / Summer Camp

How to deal with post-camp blues

Those post-summer camp blues are REAL (and suck) but four-time camper Victoria is here to help you through them.

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Hi! I’m Victoria, a 24-year-old from England who just finished up the most amazing fourth summer at a sleepaway camp in Pennsylvania.

My camp story

So, I first did camp back in 2018, I was 19 years old and went to camp not knowing what to expect AT ALL, I was extremely shy and very anxious about spending my summer away from home. Seven weeks with a huge group of people I had never met before was super exciting but very daunting. Fast forward to 6 years later and I have spent 4 incredible summers at my second home in the States (after missing two summers due to COVID), and I genuinely couldn’t imagine spending my time anywhere else.

The hardest part

When you’re at camp, those last few days can be really hard, you’re exhausted and missing home, and maybe a little bit ready to leave. But nothing can prepare you for the strange feeling of being alone in your room for the first time after camp. Maybe at camp, you’re the one who told everyone stories until the early hours of the morning, or you’d be laughing and giggling with your campers as you got ready for bed. Or maybe you’re the one who has a dance party on the porch or just enjoys sitting with your friends before going to sleep. Those are the hardest moments to remember when you're finally at home by yourself because in that moment you would genuinely give anything to have one more night in the bunk one more crazy meal in the dining hall or one more dance party on the porch.

Adjusting to life back at home

Yes, camp blues are real, and yes it can take some time to adjust to being back home. For me, camp helps me grow into the best version of myself and when I go home, I feel like I have outgrown that environment too. You can almost feel like an imposter in your own home, or feel like you don’t belong there anymore, and I think that’s because life at home has just been ticking along and not much has changed whilst you have had the most amazing summer away. But know that this is normal, you will have changed after spending a summer at camp, and hopefully, it has given you a sense of direction with what you want to do next.

For me, this was moving to Australia, I couldn’t stay stuck in England working a job that I didn’t care about when all I wanted to do was continue travelling. So that is what I did, and camp gave me the confidence and motivation to do that, something I will be forever grateful for.

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BFFs at summer camp

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Camp cabin life with the crew

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Sunsets at summer camp hit different

Victoria smiles in a grassy field at camp

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Victoria Whitehouse

Originally from Birmingham in the UK, Victoria got the travel bug good after spending her first summer at camp in Pennsylvania back in 2018. Since then she’s travelled a whole lot, lived abroad in Australia and Bali, gone to summer camp again (many, many times) and is really living her best life. Where you’ll find her: at the beach for sunrise.

"For me, camp helps me grow into the best version of myself and when I go home, I feel like I have outgrown that environment too."

Advice on how to cope

Now I understand that moving to Australia after coming back from camp isn’t going to be what everyone wants to do, so what are some ways to help cope if you are struggling with those post camp blues?

A big thing I recommend is to give yourself something new to work towards, plan your next adventure! Whether that is a holiday, a new job you really want to get, another work abroad program, going to university or even going to camp again the following summer.

Preserve all of your travel memories. This is one of my favourite things to do when getting back from travelling, printing out all of my photos, making a scrapbook, re-living the amazing time you had through the photos you took, and share these memories with the people around you.

Storytelling was an amazing way I kept those travel blues at bay, through sharing my experiences with friends and through posting on social media I was able to keep the magic of travelling very much alive. It became an everyday thing for me and helping others that were thinking of going to camp, or working abroad allowed me to stay wrapped up in that travel bubble even when I hadn’t gone anywhere.

Continue the feel-good camp vibes

A big thing a lot of camps say is “we live 10 for 2” meaning that out of the 12 months of the year, the best 2 months that are worth living for are spent at camp. I actually don’t agree with this saying at all, because why spend ten months of our lives just waiting around for something good in the summer? No next day is ever promised to us so live every day like it’s your last.

Get planning another adventure, have a summer camp-themed night with your mates, set yourself a new exciting goal you want to achieve, spend time with the people you love, romanticise the small moments, and make everything about your life just as exciting as it felt for those months you were at camp. Try and find ways of focusing on the here and now as well as plans that will get you hyped for the future and those post-camp blues will start to subside (you got this!).

If Summer Camp 2024 is on your radar (or re-booking might help ease the blues) head over to our JENZA Camp page to check out all the perks of booking with us, such as camp matching, a $2000 USD wage and heaps more.

Victoria smiles in a grassy field at camp

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Victoria Whitehouse

Originally from Birmingham in the UK, Victoria got the travel bug good after spending her first summer at camp in Pennsylvania back in 2018. Since then she’s travelled a whole lot, lived abroad in Australia and Bali, gone to summer camp again (many, many times) and is really living her best life. Where you’ll find her: at the beach for sunrise.

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