to Write a Letter While Your Child Is Away at Camp
Summer camp is a new experience for parents as well
as kids. If you are like many parents, this is the first time you’ve been away
from your child for an extended period of time. When it comes time to say goodbye to your child, you may find yourself feeling a little emotional.
One way to help with the transition is to have
camp letters and cards ready to send, so that you can be prepared to stay in
touch with your child as soon as you drop them at sleepaway camp. Receiving a
letter from home can help to ease homesickness for kids, and also give them a
way to share their camp experience with you.
However, getting a letter from mom and dad can
also make a child feel more homesick if it touches on certain subjects. Read
below for a guide on how to write the perfect letter to your child.
Don'ts, and Creative Ideas
l your child you’re proud of
them for trying new things and for being independent. Especially for first-time
campers, it can be really reassuring to hear this from mom and dad.
Encourage them to set goals during
their time at camp such as having fun, learning a new skill, and making
You can also ask them simple
questions that they will be able to respond to in a letter or share with you
when you pick them up, such as, what is your favorite camp meal or what new
activities have you tried.
Avoid saying things that will make
them feel like they’re missing out on special events happening at home.
Don’t talk about how you went to
their favorite restaurant, or that you’ve been doing fun activities without
Give simple updates that are
positive and encouraging, and try not to give the illusion that home is just
not the same without them.
Also, avoid laying on the guilt. The worst thing
you can do is make them feel guilty for having a great time at camp while you
are at home missing them. In general, avoid telling them you miss them.
Instead, tell them you love them and that you are happy they are having so much
fun at camp.
For more information on why you should avoid the
inclusion of “I miss you,” check out this blog post on homesickness.
Letter Ideas From Parents
Don’t be afraid to get silly with your letters,
and definitely make them as fun as possible. Your child is having a blast at
camp, so there’s no reason your letter needs to be serious or even in a
traditional letter format.
Get creative by writing a letter on the topic of
“Top 10 Foods We’ve Been Eating While You’re Gone,” and then include really
gross foods that will simultaneously make your child laugh and feel thankful
that they are not home to eat those gross meals.
Another successful letter idea might be, “Top 10
Parent Activities While You’ve Been at Camp,” followed by activities like
cleaning closets, fumigating the house, and organizing the garage. Stick with
letter topics that will make your child feel glad that they are away at camp,
like “Top 10 Reasons to Go to Camp,” filled with items like no dishes and no
Use silly fonts, lots of colors, and fun paper
to make your letters bright and exciting. Include a riddle, puzzle, or joke for
your child to share with new camp friends. If care packages are accepted at the
camp, you may be able to include their favorite snack or baked goods. Some
camps, including Pali, don’t allow outside food in care packages, so a deck of
cards or a coloring book are other good options.
With the Letter
Letters from home should only serve to enhance
your child’s camp experience. Any letter topic or idea that will make your
child miss home should be avoided. Look for fun cards with music or jokes or
tuck a picture in the letter of you doing chores.
Writing camp letters can provide peace of mind
for both you and your child, and provides a jovial way to keep in touch without
being an overbearing parent.
For more resources about sending your child to
camp, check out the Pali blog.