Writing letters to Campers may sound simple, but when you sit down to write them, you won’t be the first family member or friend to face a case of writer’s block. Letters are a great way to keep campers connected, excited, and confident throughout their summer journey, but there’s a balance to strike. If you’re not sure where to start or what to include, especially to avoid causing your campers any negative feelings, use these tips for letters to campers as your guide.
Things to include in letters to campers
Provide updates on what’s happening at home and with family members. This can include positive information about family pets, updates on family members’ summer activities, and stories about home improvements (even those gone wrong). This will help campers feel connected to home and give them something to talk about with their peers at camp.
Encouragement and support
Support your camper’s experiences and accomplishments at camp. Give them praise for trying new activities, express excitement about their upcoming experiences, and offer words of encouragement for the challenges they may face.
Plans for future family trips or events
While you don’t want to give campers FOMO about family events they’re missing during camp, it’s ok to share plans for future family trips or events. You can write about upcoming family vacations, holidays, or other special events. This will give campers something to look forward to and help them feel connected to their families. It could even alleviate some of the post-camp blues.
Personal experiences at camp
Share your own personal stories and lessons learned based on your experiences at camp. Write about your favorite activities, the friends you made, and the best counselors you had. These anecdotes can reinforce their decision to go to camp and get them excited about having these same long-lasting memories.
Tips and advice for dealing with homesickness
If your campers are likely to feel homesick, you can provide tips and advice for dealing with it. Remind them that everything at home is ok, give them advice on how to make new friends at camp, and make sure they know who to go to for support on camp staff. Positive words or affirmations can boost their confidence, and inspiring quotes can remind them of their strengths.
Funny or interesting news stories
Share funny or interesting news stories from the local area or world events. This can help campers stay informed and connected to things outside of camp, and also give them something to talk about with their friends. You can even ask them a trivia question in one letter and provide the answer in the next.
Things to avoid in letters to campers
Complaints about the camp or staff
It’s important to avoid any complaints you may have about the camp or staff in your letters to your camper. Letters that contain complaints can cause campers to become upset or dissatisfied with their experience. It may also cause them to lose trust in the camp’s leadership. If you’re having issues, go through the proper channels.
Summer camp can be expensive, but it’s important to stay away from making this point in a letter. When you encourage your camper to try new things in a letter, don’t tell them that one motivation should be how much you spent for them to have this camp experience. You don’t want your campers to feel stressed or be put under pressure to try things they’re not quite ready for.
News of family conflicts or problems
It’s important not to mention any family conflicts or problems in your letters to your camper while they are away. Not only can updates like this make campers feel uneasy, they’ll likely distract campers from enjoying their time at camp. If there is a family issue that requires a camper to be informed, go through the camp director who can use their emotional support skills to get the information delivered in the right way at the right time.
Requests for special treatment or privileges
Don’t encourage your camper to ask the camp staff for special treatment or privileges. Any requests that come up during summer need to go through camp leadership. These kinds of requests frustrate staff and can also create tension between your camper and their friends.
Mention of homesickness or missing them too much
It’s natural to miss your child while they are away at camp, but it’s important to proceed with caution when you mention how much you miss them. While a brief note that family is still thinking about them is ok, going too far can cause campers to become homesick themselves. It could even make them feel guilty for enjoying camp.
Talk of upcoming events or experiences they will miss
Don’t give in to the temptation to tell your campers about every event or experience that is happening at home while they are away at camp. You don’t want your campers to feel jealous, or have the feeling that they would have been better off staying home. You can tell them what you’re up to without creating an overwhelming sense of FOMO.
Pressure to excel in activities
Of course, you want your camper to excel in the activities or sports offered at camp, but it’s important to encourage them without putting too much pressure to succeed. You don’t want campers to become anxious, and pushing too hard can also prevent them from fully enjoying their camp experience.
Any news of illnesses or deaths in the family that your campers need to know about should be communicated through camp staff. The same goes for current events or political issues that might upset or worry them. Not only can these topics cause anxiety in your own campers, but if they share this information with their friends it can have wide-ranging consequences across the entire camp community.
You’ve Got Mail!
Letters to campers should make camp even more memorable. Follow this guide on what to include and what to avoid, and help create positive experiences for your campers. Well-thought-out letters that reduce camper anxiety also benefit the entire camp community and the camp staff. Letters to campers should bring happiness, encouragement, and a sense of belonging to your child’s camp experience. When written with the right intentions, letters to campers can also encourage them to write back with these same approaches. And who doesn’t love getting a letter?