Camp is a special time in a young person’s life and if the camper is going to overnight camp, it’s especially nice to exchange letters. Many camps do not allow cell phones during camp, as they are easily lost or ruined, but letter-writing with family and friends is definitely encouraged. For the most part, kids love to receive mail at camp! The exchange of letters each week is an easy and fun way to stay in contact with your child when they are away.
Talk to your child before they leave about writing notes and make suggestions on who to write and what they can write about. To encourage letter writing, let them know that they will also be receiving mail. For some young people, it’s one of the first times they will have an opportunity to experience letter writing or with waiting for the mail to come each day!
To make this easier for the camper, there are special camp note pads with camp themes which will be fun for the camper to use. Notepads that have writing lines make writing easier for the camper to send their thoughts. There are also some fill-in-the-blanks notepads that can help a camper too.
It’s a good idea for you to pre-address and pre-stamp envelopes, in advance of the child’s departure. It’s worth talking to the camper before they leave on how to address an envelope and even where to put the stamp. When you are pre-addressing envelopes, talk to the camper about who they would like to write a note to, such as a special aunt, grandparent and friends at home. Help them address some envelopes to all those special people before they leave or at least have them watch you do it so they get the general idea.
If you think your camper is old enough to do this task on their own, you can provide them with an address list so the camper can address the envelopes themselves. Then, you might want to address one envelope for them so they have a format to follow. Be sure to send a few pens with the camper, some extra stamps, and their note pads (or stationery) and envelopes.
Add Photos, Prompt for Responses
When you write to the child, sometime it’s nice to add in a photo or two from home, such as of their pet or of their family so they have a photograph in their bunk from home. Getting a touch of something special from home is usually appreciated.
Also, when you send your notes to the camper, ask questions that will engage the camper in a response, such as: What is your favorite activity at camp, how is the food at camp, do you like your bunk mates, and is there anything you need that I can send to you? You can update them about anything new at home and even tell them how proud of them you are about how they are so grown up.
If you have ever read letters from campers, you’ll know what I mean when you say they can be sweet, dramatic, and even absolutely hilarious. From the sad camper who begs to come home and then the next week is as happy as a clam, to hearing about their likes, dislikes and activities, it’s hard to get enough. These letters can tug at your heart or make you laugh out load – but seeing that envelope from them can almost always make you smile.
Make it fun and easy for the child to write a letter home this summer with a personalized camp note pad and just sit back and wait for many touching moments to make their way into your mailbox! There are even books that have been published with copies of some of the funniest camp letters sent home. Also, be sure to save these letters because when the kids get older, they will absolutely love reading them.