Letters from Camp

Hello Mother, Hello Father, Here I am at Camp…Letters from Camp!

“Dear Mom, I do not miss you” Those are wonderful words written by my little girl at camp. Recently I have been hanging on every word my kids have written- So far two letters from my oldest and one from my youngest. They have been short and sweet but have spoken volumes. All is well with the world because they are loving camp very far, far away from home.

As an Etiquette consultant, many people ask “what is the correct way to write a letter. What do I include? How much should I say?” Etiquette is not just what is the proper thing to do…. it really is what is the kindest thing to do. That even extends to something as simple as writing letters to camp. Here are some tips I recommend:

First: Keep it simple and upbeat.

Second: Keep it positive. Campers are in a great environment and the camp directors work very hard to set the tone of fun. Don’t mentally pull them out of that environment and have them worry about you.

Third: Talk about the activities you are doing. It can even be something as boring as what you had for dinner.

Fourth: Of course you would tell them you love them and are proud of their accomplishments and to have a great time.

As I look back on these tips you could also apply them to your other correspondence.

Another detail to think about is what kind paper you are sending your kids off to camp with. Even though it sounds odd do not skimp on the quality of what personal stationery you pack in their luggage. The incentive to do so is huge. If you are anything like me you will be saving those precious words in every letter forever. Paper with cotton content will last so much longer.

Sending a note on a “Fun & Trendy” card can bring great joy to a kid at camp. Everyone loves getting mail! I think my kids liked laughing at all the goofy things I told them we were doing.

At the end of camp my oldest asked me if I received her letters. I told her I had and read every one over and over. I of course wanted to know if she got all my letters. Her response was “you sent so many! But I loved going to my cabin and finding mail! ”

Letters from camp is a time honored tradition. The kids have all their electronics taken away for two weeks. It forces them to learn the classic art of letter writing. Set a good example, have fun corresponding with your kids.

Cricket Wantland is a graduate of The Protocol School of Washington and is a Certified Consultant of Corporate Etiquette, International Protocol and Children’s Etiquette. She lives in Southern California and offers classes and training to all ages. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter or check out her website at www.poisepolishpanache.com

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  1. smartin
    Posted July 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    We would love to hear the experiences of other parents who have gone through withdrawal from their offspring. Or maybe you’d like to share some of your own Summer Camp correspondence that you were smart enough to save.

    • Lorna
      Posted July 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      This was the first year our 14 year old son went to camp for two weeks. Not only was it the first time he had been away from home for that length of time, but the first time he had ever flown on an airplane. To say that I missed him, was an understatement! But I couldn’t help but feel real excitement for him. He is much more outgoing than myself in some ways, and I was unselfishly giving him the opportunity to expand his experiences, making new friends, and learning a new sense of independence. The letters I received from him were precious indeed, including every misspelled word (since spelling has never been his strong subject in school). Normally, when he writes thank you notes at home, I always have him do a practice letter first so that I could properly edit it before sending the final draft on, but the letters he sent us from camp were purely him and his personally. Full of fun, excitement, misspelled words and all, and I didn’t mind one little bit!

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