Letters to Campers
The handwritten letter is a rarity these days. Except for the occasional thank you note, our correspondences are mainly taking place on our phones and computers. We no longer wait for the mail to arrive to hear from friends and family. And shopping for stationery is mostly a thing of the past. That is, until its summer camp time! This is the one time of year when we pick up a pen and write letters to communicate with our children. The news may be days old, but the excitement of receiving letters from home is loved and appreciated. News from home lets campers feel connected and supported while at camp. Letters can be pages long or just a few sentences, either way they are cherished and often saved for years to come.
For many parents, writing to their children is somewhat unfamiliar, and they may be unsure of what to write about. A great way to start is by asking lots of questions. Inquire about your camper’s friends, counselors, and activities. Ask them about the weather, the food, or their favorite evening activity. This will give your camper topics to write home about as well. And if you run out of questions, send news about their favorite sports teams, celebrities or current events. Send jokes or riddles they can share with their bunkmates. If there is a day you don’t have time to write a letter, or if you run out of stamps, you can also email your camper to say hello and let them know you are thinking of them. Campers will not be able to email back, but still love receiving news and love from home.
Be sure to keep letters positive and upbeat. You can tell them you miss them of course (they know you do), but remind them how happy and proud you are of them for going to camp and how excited you are to hear all about their adventures. Along with sending words of love and support, we know how tempting it is to send your camper packages filled with their favorite games, toys and treats, but please refrain. Packages are not necessary, as campers already have so much to do at camp, and are not accepted if not in a flat envelope. We gladly accept flat envelopes filled with magazines, books, stickers and stationary, but appreciate if you could save the other items for visiting day or when your camper arrives home.
Campers love having mail waiting for them when they arrive at camp, so send a letter or two a few days before camp begins. It can help them during the early days at camp when they are adjusting to their new environment. We also know how important it is for you to hear from your camper, so we encourage campers to write home at least once a week. Please be aware that some letters will be filled with joy and enthusiasm and others may be quite different. Do not panic. Many first week letters contain feelings of homesickness related to adjustment to camp life. These feelings have most likely been worked out by the time you are reading the letter and your camper is thoroughly enjoying their camp experience. If you have any questions or concerns please call us, we are always here for you.
So, as you pack for camp, be sure to include enough writing supplies to last during your child’s stay at camp. Pack plenty of stationery, pens, addresses of friends and family, stamps and return address labels. Campers may not have the time to write letters every day, but be rest assured that their lack of writing is due to the fun they are having with their friends. They may not have the time to write home every day, but they definitely make the time to read the letters, cards and emails they receive. Keep the correspondence coming and enjoy reading the handwritten letters you receive. We hope they bring a smile to your face.