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How to Overcome Nervousness About First Campout

Q: I’m nervous about my first overnight campout. I’m scared I’ll get homesick, but I really want to go. How should I handle it?

A: Reminds me of the first time I went scuba diving: I was absolutely terrified. But the wise guide said, “Once you get underwater and see all the pretty fish, you’ll forget all about being scared.” He was so right, and the same thing applies here.

Being away from home overnight is scary. But once you get out there and start hiking and swimming and trading jokes and cooking s’mores, you’ll forget all about it. Focus on the fun rather than the fear, and you’ll always win.

It’s totally normal to feel nervous going into any new situation. One thing that might help is to invite a friend over to do a dry run in the backyard — pitch a tent, lay out your sleeping bags, and bring comic books and lots of games!

Spending the night out there without Mom or Dad will give you a little boost in camping confidence — and hopefully get you excited to head out into the woods with your unit.

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