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Topic: I’m terrified of going on school camp

27 posts, 0 answered
  1. Forrest_123
    Forrest_123 avatar
    14 posts
    13 January 2020

    Even though my school camp is months away I am so worried about it and keep bursting into tears and not being able to breath properly however it is compulsory and 10 days long in tents. I think I am scared mostly because people always vomit on camp and I HATE vomit. (Last camp someone vomited and I was up until 2am crying in the nurses room and then I said I felt sick even though I didn’t end up being sick) I am also scared of being away from my family and not being able to get out of it if something bad happens and keep having dreams of me running away into the Forrest to escape.

    On camp I am scared of getting food poising so I generally don’t eat much at meal times and stick with the packaged things at recess and afternoon tea. I don’t know what to do to feel better when I go on camp and not get so worried. I think I might have a phobia of vomit but I really don’t want to go see anyone about it or talk to anyone in person.

    Someone please tell me what I can do, should I talk to my year coordinator about my fear of going on camp or do you think I do need to see a phycoligist or is there another way around it

    note: (we aren’t allowed phones or food on camp)

  2. Aaronsis
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    13 January 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Hi Forrest_123

    Welcome and I am so happy you have found your way here to share how you are feeling about camp. It is a really daunting time, when you are away from home, non familiar living arrangements, not sure of the food, then managing other people and their issues from being away from home and yes, vomit.

    This is causing you so much anxiety and I am not sure what year level the camp is but I am wondering why, if it is causing you so much pain, is this compulsory. I understand it is wonderful for self development, for making new friends and for having new experiences, however, if it is putting you into emotional and mental turmoil then it is more damaging than good.

    I would absolutely speak to your year coordinator as this is much more than "I don't wanna go"..this is causing you anxiety and panic and this is not good.

    If there is a part of you that actually does want to go, perhaps there are some strategies that we can work on to help overcome the vomit fear and how it makes you feel, perhaps that is something you might like to talk to a counsellor or professional about anyway to help over come this fear.

    I am so very sorry that something fun is actually making you feel so bad, I can hear how terrified you are.

    We are here for you to chat and to share as much or as little as you like Forrest_123.

    Huge hugs to you

    Sarah xx

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Forrest_123
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    14 posts
    13 January 2020 in reply to Aaronsis
    Yes it is a compulsory camp, my parents could just keep me at home and not let the school take me but they want me to go so there is no getting out of it. I am too scared to talk to any doctors or anyone about it and so I’m not sure what to do.
  4. Aaronsis
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    13 January 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Hey Forrest_123

    I am sorry that you are being forced to go, however if there is no way around it then we can think of some coping mechanisms to get you through this time. I still think it would be great to chat to the year coordinator so as that they are aware of how you are feeling and that they can just be mindful of you and keep an eye out for your wellbeing.

    It is good that you can identify why it is that you don't want to go to camp and being away from your family is pretty common. There are some ways to help with that and you might think this silly but I will suggest it anyway, you could ask your family to make a little book for you, and each day you can read a page that they have written to you and maybe put a photo in there to look at, something from home to look forward to each day to read and to make you feel safe. A small book could be put into your bag so as not to draw attention to you feeling homesick.

    The food is usually pretty standard stuff like spaghetti bolognaise and lasagne, perhaps they might do a BBQ, I think as long as it is hot then you are going to be pretty safe with the food. They do cater for large amounts of people at camp and usually get it right as they really cannot afford to have a camp full of sick people so hygiene is pretty paramount.

    The vomit part seems to be very traumatic for you and I know you only have past experience to go on, but can I suggest that while yes, people do vomit at camp, it is usually only one person or maybe two, does this make it easier no it doesn't, but I think trying to let yourself know that it is probably not going to be a daily thing, and it perhaps may not happen at all. It is very traumatic for you so in the instance that it does happen I think removing yourself from the situation and perhaps finding a friend or someone who you can be comforted by would be good. As much as you are thinking about it happening, perhaps trying to think it also may not happen too and give yourself some peace from that panic, as it really may not happen and you have been through all that anxiety for nothing.

    I think thinking also of the good things that will happen, the fun activities, the times with your friends, you might have a movie night, there will be lots of fun things so try to make a list even of some of the good things that you know you will enjoy.

    I am not sure if I am helping here, but talking might just help too.

    Huge hugs to you

    Sarah

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  5. Forrest_123
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    14 posts
    13 January 2020 in reply to Aaronsis
    Yes it is helping a bit but the food is cooked by students on camp drives so they don’t always have the best hygiene, and there aren’t many fun activities all we do is hike, camp, kayak and repeat. ☹️
  6. Aaronsis
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    13 January 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Hey Forrest_123

    Great that talking is helping, I understand what you mean by the kids cooking the food is somewhat scary in that you don't know if they have washed their hands or how they have handled the food. What about as an option could you ask to be included in the cooking team so that you can help and make sure that people are doing the right thing and then you can see for yourself that it is ok and that they have done the right things and it is all ok? I am not sure how you feel about suggesting that as perhaps a way to manage this and mentioning it to the year coordinator so as you can have some peace on that one???

    Yes i too am not one for hiking and kayaking, however while you are walking you could use the time to chat to a friend or make a new friend or try to think of some things that are positive about it, give yourself some goal like, on this hike I am going to talk to a person I don't know and make a new friend. Then I guess it becomes more about the chat than the hike?

    I really feel for you, it is hard especially when you HAVE TO go. I have found in the past though that after a few days you do settle down a bit and you actually enjoy it...you don't have to answer this but is it the Year 10 Central Australia camp? I have my son doing that this year and just felt like it might be the same one for you?

    Hope to chat some more and help you through this time Forrest_123

    Hugs

    Sarah

  7. uncut_gems
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    13 January 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Forrest_123,

    Newbie and first time poster here, so apologies if I'm not doing this quite right. Your post really resonated with me because I also have a fear of vomit and dreaded going to camp for exactly this reason. Everything you said felt familiar– the trip to the nurse, the worrying, and the fear of being away from family, all of it. The other posters have offered some wonderful advice, to which I would only add that one thing I find helps me calm down when I get anxious about someone getting sick is taking a walk and listening to a podcast or an audiobook through my headphones– I find that focusing on the narrative or the cool facts they are telling you about is really helpful.

    I'm a bit older now and out of school but I still remember that fear of camp you're describing so well. Please let me know if you want to chat more, or would like some recommendations for things to listen to or read ツ

    Please just know that no matter what, you are not the only person who has experienced this and that at least one other person knows just what you're going through.

    Hugs,

    Gems

  8. Forrest_123
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    14 posts
    13 January 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    It is actually a year 9 camp somewhere in the bush (don’t know exactly where)

    I also have another question which is not related to camp at all but is it normal to have your brain keep telling you to do things and if you don’t do it something bad might happen. for example keep checking that the doors are locked, check my wardrobe and curtains multiple times before going to bed to make sure no one is hiding there and having numbers that you can only do things in. My numbers are 3,5,10,20. So if I am reading YouTube comments I can only read that many and if I accidentally go over the line of one I have to read to the next number. I have to step on my pool steps as I get out exactly 10 times. I hope that makes sense

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Aaronsis
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    13 January 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Hey Forrest_123

    That sure does make sense what you have described and once again, you are most surely not alone, I am no professional here but what you are describing sounds somewhat like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which also encompasses some fears about contamination and some of the things you have mentioned about school camp. You will be happy to know that you can live a really happy life and there is nothing "wrong" with you and you are not "abnormal", that will some help and support from a GP you can manage this. How would you feel about asking your mum or dad to take you to the doctor to get some help with this one? It might sound all too much and you don't want to talk to them, however you can show them this post here, or even write it down and show them, as you have expressed yourself very well here.

    There are so many Mental Health issues that are around today and that people can live with and manage very happily, there is nothing that is wrong with you or that you have done. This can happen to anyone, and it does happen to many people.

    Hugs

    Sarah

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  10. uncut_gems
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    13 January 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Hi Forrest,

    Gems here again– hope you don't mind if I cut in again, only because once again your post really really resonated with me. I am not a mental health professional so I obviously can't make any kind of diagnosis, but I have struggled with exactly the kind of thoughts you just described for most of my life, and I can share what I know to be true about them.

    What you're describing, the sense that doing (or not doing) certain things will prevent bad things from happening in the real world, is extremely common. It has lots of names, though one I kind of like is "magical thinking." Not only are you not alone, but most people at some point will struggle with these thoughts in one way or another. For example, your preference for the number 10 is something I have experienced, as well as things to do with reading, grouping things together, checking doors, and in my case making sure "I love you" is the last thing I say to my mom so nothing bad happens to her.

    There are lots of ways to go about tackling these tough thoughts which I am happy to talk to you about, but for now just know that what you're describing is a very, very well known phenomenon that I and many others have struggled with.

    One thing I found especially useful was to think about it this way: I don't do the behavior (check the door, group by 10s or 5s) because I like doing those things, or really think they will affect my life. I do it because there is a bad feeling that I get when I don't do it, and doing it simply helps me avoid that feeling. It's very simple and maybe even obvious, but I find that thinking about it like that puts me at ease a little bit when I realize what function it's actually serving for me. You're not crazy or anything like that, just trying to avoid the same yucky feeling that anyone else would try to avoid.

    Best,

    Gems

  11. Forrest_123
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    13 January 2020 in reply to uncut_gems

    Hey gems,

    could you explain what you did on camps to get through it if you weren’t allowed devices?

  12. uncut_gems
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    13 January 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    One of my favorite things to do at camp was to get a book of sudoku or crosswords to keep my mind busy– I would do them whenever I got scared like if there was a big thunder storm or I thought someone in my bunk was going to be sick. A good book is also a great escape if you need to get away for a little bit.

    Depending on how strict the rules are, you might be able to get an exception and take something with you that wouldn't normally be allowed, like a music player or something. I remember one time a camp counsellor let me listen to his ipod (I'm dating myself here lol) and I just closed my eyes and got lost in the music.

    I also have a tiny little travel chess set (you can get this for other games as well!) that I would take out and play. A deck of cards is always a good idea as well!

  13. geoff
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    14 January 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Hello Forrest, can I thank you for your comment and it something that does happen on many an occasion, and I was in the same position as you, petrified of going on a 2week camp when I was at school, something I couldn't avoid, it was compulsory.

    I thought that if I write to the nightly newspaper, which was printed many years ago, that someone, anyone who read my comment would have an answer, at that stage there was no medication available to help me through these couple of weeks, but was told to take it day by day and try to associate yourself with another person who you may feel as though they could be in the same situation.

    There is available help for you to overcome this fear of being away and the feeling of wanting to vomit, so please find the courage and not be afraid to ask for this, that's something I wasn't able to do many years ago.

    If you want you can ask any question you would like to know.

    Geoff.

    3 people found this helpful
  14. Forrest_123
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    13 April 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hello Sarah,

    I am a bit worried now about coronavirus as apparently it makes some people vomit before hand. I know chances are low but I still worry. What if I get it and vomit?

  15. Aaronsis
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    13 April 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Hey Forrest_123

    It is so wonderful to chat to you again, things have really changed in our community since we last spoke.

    The coronavirus is like nothing we have known in the past and we learn new things everyday, there is so much on the media and in the papers and on social media that it is hard to keep focused on the facts.

    Firstly more importantly that anything I think if we adhere to the physical distancing and stay at home and do what we have been asked to do, I think then you can eliminate the chances of the virus even impacting you.

    I understand though, vomitting is terrifying for you and hearing that must have really caused you fear and anxiety. I personally have not heard that it is one of the side effects however, I think like a common cold or any illness really we are all effected differently.

    I hope you can try and remain positive and really adhere to the guidelines that have been put in place, I also think limiting the amount of information that you do consume on this and try not to get overwhelmed with a truck load of information, it really becomes too much to manage.

    What have you been doing to keep yourself busy at this time? I have started painting and while they are no masterpieces they have kept me busy and I really enjoy doing it.

    It has been so very great to chat to you some more Forrest_123

    Huge hugs to you

    Sarah xxx

  16. Forrest_123
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    14 posts
    7 July 2020 in reply to Aaronsis
    Me again, School camp is back on for about 2 months away but I am even more scared. My year coordinator knows about what is going on but isn't doing too much to help. One Of the main problems is the bus ride there and back. 2 hours of torture. The travel sick people sit at the front and I don't want to sit with them so I sit at the back but then if I sit at the back and someone at the front is sick then I'll have to step over it. I am terrified of someone being sick around the campsite but even more so on the bus where I can't escape. Also recently my sister was sick and I saw the vomit in a bowl and when into an anxiety attack like at camp last year. I want to get help from a professional but I am too scared to talk to someone. I just don't like talking about my own feelings. I had to go to a therapist as a young child for some random reason and I didn't speak the entire time and when they asked me to draw how I see my family I drew a house with 4 stick figures standing out front of it. When I had to speak to my year coordinated because I was being bullied I cried all the time in the lead-up and again barely spoke. Everyone seems to think I am always happy, when people ask how I am I say good but that is often not the case,I am always scared anxious and feel like people are always judging me.I am really done with this all why did all these problems have to pick me. Please help I don't know what to do.
  17. Aaronsis
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    8 July 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Hi Forrest_123

    It is great to chat with you some more and I am so pleased that you have reached out here when you are feeling so very overwhelmed. I am reading all the things that you are worried about and the things that make for a really unpleasant experience for you so I am wondering how you would feel about reaching out the amazing people at Kids HelpLine? Now before you worry about talking...I hear you it makes you very uncomfortable, they have a web chat service and I am going to put the link here for you :

    https://kidshelpline.com.au/get-help/webchat-counselling

    This might really be a great way to get some extra support with the fear of vomiting and with other people being sick and how that impacts you and your experience with camp. Also with some of the other things that you have mentioned too, feeling scared and anxious and that you do want to get help and talk to people but you are terrified. You could even put some of what you have posted here as you have expressed yourself so very well.

    Can I ask you a question? Other than the bus trip (which is really about the vomit and being sick) if that was put to the side do you feel like you are ok to go on camp? I know that the food side of things was causing you some anxiety (not sure if food equals vomit) but outside of the "sick", do you feel like you are okay to go on camp?

    I am really looking forward to chatting some more to you Forrest_123 and to hearing about what you think about the Kids Web chat and more about camp.

    Hugs to you

    Sarah

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Forrest_123
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    11 July 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    I am feeling ok about the rest of camp, I normally get a bit home sick but mostly the only problem is sickness. I feel like I could push through if someone was sick at the campsite as long as it isn’t the person I am sharing a tent with but the bus trip is worse. I will try the web chat soon and let you know how it goes.

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  19. Aaronsis
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    12 July 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Hi Forrest_123

    Great to chat to you some more and I am so happy to hear that other than the bus trip you actually feel ok about the rest of the camp. I have some really great memories of school camp and I hope that we can get you there so as you too can have this feeling of success and that you have overcome such worry and fear and have actually been able to go and enjoy camp.

    I have this idea and I am not sure if it is possible but I thought worth chatting to you about. Is it possible for a parent or family member to drive you to camp??? I know it may be hours away but this eliminates a really big fear and still allows you to be able to go on camp and be with your friends and have this experience. It will be a big ask for a parent to do this but at least you do not have to go on the bus, you don't have to be riddled with anxiety and you don't have to be sitting on edge waiting for someone to be sick. I would really like to know what you think about this and if it is a conversation you could have with your parents.

    Once you have been to camp and had a great time and even if someone is sick, you can manage that part and move yourself away from the situation and have some strategies to be able to cope with that, if it even happens that is. Then maybe during the course of the year before the next camp comes you can maybe even take some longer trips on the bus, to almost to like exposure therapy to see that mostly people are ok, that not every trip someone vomits, you can also see some of the country side too!

    Hope you have been able to enjoy your weekend and look forward to chatting to you soon.

    Hugs

    Sarah

  20. Forrest_123
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    13 July 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    I tried the web chat but I waited for an hour and then a thing came up saying the queue was full. I ended up using the beyondblue web chat and the person suggested I visit headspace. I did think about being dropped and picked up and I will ask my parents after having one more chat with my year coordinator about any other arrangements although I expect I will just have to take the bus with everyone else.
    I’m really glad you are still responding, it has helped me so much and made me feel like my feelings matter. Thank you.

  21. Aaronsis
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    14 July 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Hi Forrest_123

    That is really great news that you did try the web chat line, I am really not surprised that it was in demand as things are really busy at the moment and there are lots of people reaching out, which is great but at the same time means we do have to keep trying and know that they are there, they do care but are in such high demand. Headspace is another great organisation and also focused on youth so absolutely give them a try too, keep reaching out until you find someone who will listen and also many responses also gives you varied thoughts too.

    Your feelings matter very much Forest_123, that is why we are here, to chat and to listen and while I may not be able to provide a solution for you to your very real and terrifying fear, I care, and I am here to support you through this time. It also makes me think of how common the ride in the bus fear is for young people so I can assume from that that you are not the only one who is really terrified about the trip to and from camp. It doesn't change anything for you but does let you know that you are not alone and that you are not the only one, which is sometimes easier to manage these things as the feeling of "what is wrong with ME?", can sometimes soften.

    I think that is a really great idea to have another chat with your coordinator, it may even spark an idea for them in that someone from the staff team are driving to camp separately and you could even go with them in the car, you just don't know what ideas will come and so that is why talking and sharing is so important. Try not to overthink, and role play how things will go, I know this is very much easier said than done, however we just don't know really how things will turn out and your parents may agree to drive you, then all that worry and anxiety was for overthinking, they may also not be able to take you however you will never know until you actually chat with them and ask. It is really great that you are going to have this chat with them.

    How are things other than camp? Have you been doing some good things to keep you busy and that you enjoy?

    I may have mentioned this before but I am growing veggies for the first time and they are really booming...so proud of myself..lol

    Great to chat to you Forest_123, we are here and we care, very much, your feelings matter and so do you.

    Hugs

    Sarah

  22. Forrest_123
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    14 July 2020 in reply to Aaronsis
    Growing veggies sound like a great idea! My parents are good at keeping plants alive but not me unfortunately, I seem to kill every single one I get 😂. Things are going ok otherwise, Probably mostly because it’s the holidays, at least when I go back to school I get my new notebook for the term!
  23. Aaronsis
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    17 July 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Hey Forrest_123

    I just wanted to let you know I am still here and care about u. I have had a family loss so need some time for me.

    I will be back soon ok so big hugs to you.

    Sarah

  24. Forrest_123
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    18 July 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    No problem, take your time, I am really sorry for your loss, I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. If you can reply to me when you are back so I know that would be great. Xoxo

  25. Aaronsis
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    20 July 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Hey Forrest_123

    Just wanted to stop in and say thank you for the lovely message and that I hope you are doing ok too.

    How have you been doing and how is that new Notebook going? That is really great that you have something nice to look forward to.

    My kids are starting day one of home schooling again as we are in Victoria, I hope that they can get through this next part as my son who is 16 really did not like it,but my daughter is 13 and she found it ok....

    Looking forward to hearing from you Forrest_123, and thank you for your support to me.

    Hugs

    Sarah

  26. Forrest_123
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    20 July 2020 in reply to Aaronsis
    I am currently on holidays still, at my school we get 3 weeks for the July holidays and one less at Christmas so the notebook hasn’t gotten much use yet. I actually really liked home school but my older sister didn’t. Stay safe in Victoria, I hope it gets under control again, then your son can get back to seeing his friends at school. I am still quite nervous about camp but I have seen the base camp on my way down south for a holiday which helps because now I know the exact location. After emailing my year coordinator he said we will have a meeting when school is back to discuss camp more, so I will update you in about a week.
  27. Aaronsis
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    24 July 2020 in reply to Forrest_123

    Hi Forrest_123

    I am so happy to hear that you are feeling somewhat more comfortable with the camp now that you have seen the location and you know where it is. This is such great news and I am so happy that hopefully it has given you some time off and some peace from thinking about camp and the downfalls.

    It is also wonderful to hear that the coordinator is going to chat with you further when school starts up again, this too is really positive and shows that they are really hearing you and trying to make this as stress free as possible for you, which is fabulous.

    You are very lucky in that you like home schooling, it does take some self discipline and I think along with some motivation this is what my son is struggling with. My daughter is doing ok and kind of enjoys not being around all the dramas that unfold each day in class, I am sure she is not alone in that many kids who struggle in the class environment can actually get on with doing the work and not have the worries of people.

    What have you been getting up to on your holidays? I am sure that there are limitations with COVID but hopefully you have been able to do some fun things too.

    Great to chat to you some more Forrest_123 and I am so happy that you are feeling more at ease, I can really tell from your post that you seem more settled and that is so wonderful, it really is.

    Chat soon

    Sarah

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