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The Best Letters to Write Your Kids at Summer Camp

Recently, a parent asked if I had a favorite article about the kind of letters to write to kids at camp. I didn’t have one specific article to recommend, but there are a few things that I tell parents to keep in mind about writing letters to their campers:

Tips on Writing a Letter to Your Kid at Camp

1) We always suggest that you write a letter or two before your child gets to camp so that it is waiting for them on their bed upon arrival. It’s like sending a big hug on their first day. (We even do this for our own kids!)

2) While it’s easy to send off emails, kids love getting letters from home, so make sure to write a real letter once a week. You can encourage friends and other family members to send a letter during the summer as well.

3) Keep in mind that the reason for writing letters is to enhance the camper’s experience at camp, not to make them miss you or miss home. For instance, you wouldn’t want to send a postcard from a place they would like to go, but can’t because they’re at camp, or tell them how hard it is without them at home.

4) Make your letters as fun as possible. It’s ok to be silly, include a riddle, or tell jokes. There’s no need to keep things formal.

5) Ask them questions so that they have things to write back to you. Who are your counselors? What are your favorite activities? Have you been on any hikes? What is your favorite camp food? Have you learned any new songs? What’s it like to swim in the lake?

6) Sometimes when parents are trying to figure out what to write, I suggest to them to do a top 10 list, such as Top 10 things we love about you; Top 10 things we’ve been eating since you’ve been gone; or Top 10 favorite movies I’ve ever watched (then ask them to write back their favorites). You can also try doing a Top 10 reasons why I wish I could be at camp or a Top 10 reasons why it’s no fun at home. Just be careful not to make it about missing them. (See number 3.)

7) Some kids love getting a cutout from a newspaper or magazine on a topic they like.

Sample Letter to Write to Your Kid at Camp

If you are looking for ideas or need a place to start, take a look at this sample letter.

Dear [Child’s Name],

Hello from the land where the laundry is less, and the cookie jar remains mysteriously full! Yup, we are writing you from the kitchen and hope this letter finds you having a ton of fun at camp.

First things first, how is camp going? Have you discovered a hidden talent in sailing or are you now a professional s’more chef (or at least a professional s’more eater)? We know how excited you were to try water skiing, we want to hear what it was like when you finally got up on your skis. How has the food been? Have you heard any new campfire stories you can share with us when we go away after camp? Most importantly, have you made any new friends that are as awesome as you are? 

Before I forget, here are a couple of riddles for you:

  • What comes once in a minute, twice in a moment, but never in a thousand years?
  • I speak without a mouth and hear without ears. I have no body, but I come alive with wind. What am I?

We are so, so proud of you for giving sleepaway camp a go. It’s a big deal, and it sounds like you’re doing amazing so far!! Know that we love you to the moon and back, and then some!

Now, for the top ten funniest things that have happened at home since you’ve been gone:

  • #1 The dog tried to bury his bone in the laundry basket. We’ve got the cleanest bone on the block now!
  • #2 Your little sibling has been practicing magic tricks and made a spoon disappear! (We found it later in the couch cushions.)
  • #3 I tried to cook your favorite spaghetti recipe and, well, let’s just say the fire department says hello.
  • #4 I sang in the shower so loudly that the neighbors asked if we had a new pet whale.
  • #5 We had a dance-off in the living room, and your dad’s “robot dance” almost broke the lamp.
  • #6 Your little brother tried to vacuum the lawn. Yes, you read that right.
  • #7 I had a chat with Siri about the meaning of life. She’s still thinking about it.
  • #8 Our fridge is strangely full. Turns out you’re the secret snack ninja
  • #9 Your dad tried to make pancakes and ended up with something resembling a frisbee – a flying breakfast!
  • #10 Grandma attempted yoga. Let’s just say she’s found new respect for pretzels.

Remember, no matter how much fun we’re having here, it’s not nearly as much fun as you’re having at camp. We miss your laughter and can’t wait to hear all about your adventures.

Sending you all the love and bear hugs in the world!

Stay awesome,

P.S. The answers to the riddles are: 1) The letter ‘M’, and 2) An echo. Did you guess them right?


In most corners of the world, the art of letter writing is dying, but at camp the practice is alive and well. You’ll love seeing your child’s handwriting when you open your mailbox, and they’ll look forward to opening a letter from home among their friends.

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