Post-Camp Disappointment Disorder

If any of you parents have kids just home from camp this week – or you are anticipating their return soon – you may be familiar with this extremely common syndrome. I know for sure this is true since I just got back from three weeks away at camp and am definitely suffering from PCDD.

PCDD: Post Camp Disappointment Disorder.

Here are the eight stages of PCDD:

  1. Elation at seeing your parents and siblings. Of course, this stage only lasts for a few minutes, an hour tops. And then…
  2. Fight with siblings because a) they are too loud or b) they are encroaching on your alone time. (Never mind that you just got back from living with a group of ten+ people 24/7. One or two siblings is just too much. Why do they have to make so much noise?)
  3. Total and complete exhaustion. Even if your camper pretends to be “fine,” it’s just the post-camp adrenaline talking. Naps are recommended. Camp time is different than real time so sleep schedules are all kinds of messed up.
  4. Desire to do basically nothing but mope around the house and watch mindless television for three days – AKA the zoning out of reality phase. Be sure to complain about how there is nothing to do, nothing to eat, and no one to hang out with. Walk a fine line between complaining and not complaining too much because your parents might give you chores to do.
  5. Either:
    a. Attempt to be in touch with camp friends and counselors, only to realize that you forgot to ask for their contact info before you left. Proceed to be frustrated.
    b. Spend hours upon hours texting and Facetiming/Skyping your camp friends and counselors. Proceed to be frustrated that it’s not in person.
  6. Full-on emotional meltdown for no reason. This includes mid-afternoon crying jags, eye-rolling and talking back. This affects the people around you, *cough* siblings *cough* causing all kinds of fun for your parents, who are starting to wonder why they pay for this experience each summer.
  7. Complain of boredom despite a room full of toys, books, and electronics. Yes, mom, I know I can play outside. But there’s nothing to do out there!
  8. Acceptance – this is when you finally begin to accept that you’re home, that you are back to reality – and soon enough, school. It’s also when you start dreaming about and anticipating next summer!