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 boys and girls 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:
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, tell jokes. (Here are a few summer camp-themed ones.) There’s no need to 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.
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.