In this world of near constant connectivity, losing touch, even for a few moments can feel like a lifetime. When we send our children off to camp it can be hard not to hear from them each day about how their experience is going.
Many camps (including ours!) have the opportunity for families to stay connected to their camper’s experience through social media, or private pages where camper photos can be listed privately. If you are not already following your camp’s social media pages, I highly recommend that you do. Social media is a great place to get updates on discounts, specials, get more information on programs, and allow you to “meet” staff before the summer begins. Many camps also often provide great resource information on preparing your camper for the summer right on their social media pages.
Along with social media our camper families can stay connected to their campers through our camper email program. We know that snail mail is difficult for a lot of families, so our email program allows parents and family members to write to campers and ensure that their letters will be received the very next day. Since we’re an unplugged program, girls will receive printed copies of emails sent to them, and will not have the opportunity to email family members a response. However our email service allows campers to receive mail from their families each day without the need for parents to pop mail in the box days before camp begins.
There is more information out there on the best kinds of letters to send your camper while they are away, but here are some quick and easy dos and don’ts for sending your camper letters while they are away from home.
❖ DO – Send lots of mail! Campers love getting mail while they are away from home. Remember that snail mail is called such for a reason. If you do want your camper to get letters through traditional mail while they are away at camp putting a letter in the mail before your camper leaves for camp will ensure that they get something in the first few days of camp.
❖ DO – Ask lots of questions. Ask about favorite activities, new friends, and camp life in general! Asking questions will help prompt your camper to write back with answers.
❖ DON’T – Deliver bad news to a camper through a letter (or email letter). If there is emergency information that needs to be communicated to your camper, please call the camp office and we’ll arrange for the best way for your camper to receive the information.
❖ DON’T – Go into detail about how much you miss your camper, or discuss all the fun you are having while your camper is away. This information can work to heighten feelings of homesickness.
We will work to encourage campers to write home often, so send them with envelopes, stationery and stamps! Mail moves slowly at camp, so be forgiving if you do not hear from your camper for a few days. It often means that they are too busy having fun to sit down and write home.
About the Author
Elise’s summer camp journey began as a camper at Girl Scout camps in New York. As she got older, she worked her way from Junior Counselor to Waterfront Director with a Girl Scout residential summer camp in Vermont. Elise attended the University of Maine at Farmington, where she dual-majored in English and Psychology. Elise has worn many work hats, having been a Youth Advocate, Behavioral Health Professional, Education Technician, a Volunteer Coordinator and most recently the Executive Camp Director for non-traditional co-ed day and resident camps in Massachusetts. A former women’s rugby player and Zumba instructor, Elise currently spends her spare time moving and grooving outside, painting, playing with her animals (three dogs, two cats and a bird!) and watching reruns of Star Trek. Her favorite foods are campfire s’mores and mac and cheese.