This post originally appeared at my parenting blog The Gift of Good Manners. I will be cross posting some of my favorite content from that blog here at the Etiquette Daily. I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I enjoyed writing them.
School’s out! Now is the time many kids head off to summer camp. Some camps are specialty camps: horse back riding, sailing, hiking, church camps, music, or “you name it!” And some camps are just general summer camps with time on the waterfront, arts and crafts, team games, field trips, or “you name it!” Whatever the camp, there are some things you can do to help your child prepare for the best camping experience ever.
One of those things is to encourage your camper to create a camp correspondence kit. Unless the camp has a computer focus, it is unlikely your child will be communicating electronically. A great treat at camp is that time of day when there is mail call. If your child wants to receive mail, he/she should be prepared to send mail; and you can help. A camp correspondence kit does not have to be fancy. A manila envelope with the necessary supplies will do and will make it easy for your camper to get a few notes to you at home, to grandparents, or to good friends they may be missing.
Here are five easy steps. With your camper:
- Find a box, baggie, or large envelope that can hold paper, note cards, envelopes, pens, an address book or list, and stamps. However, it should be small enough to fit into a duffel or on a shelf. Your camper can decorate it. Be sure to include his/her name so counselors know who it belongs to if misplaced!
- Make a list of people your child may want to write to. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, all love to hear from their young relative at camp. Don’t forget to add good friends, and even brothers and sisters! Include addresses for everyone on the list.
- Add all the necessary supplies. One of the most common excuses people have for not writing is that they didn’t have any paper, or envelopes, or stamps, or….
- Buy stamps. The post office and on-line sites have a great variety of stamps. Your camper can choose his/her favorite!
- Encourage your camper to actually address some postcards or envelopes and put them in the kit. That makes it easy when it’s quiet time and letter writing is the activity at hand.
Now when your child is away at camp, it will be easy for him/her to send a quick note home. You’ll be so glad you helped with this camp correspondence kit when you’re missing your young camper and that hand written note shows up in the mail!