This post comes from Jeff and Lonnie Lorenz, owners and directors of Swift Nature Camp, a summer camp for boys and girls ages 6-15 and located 2.5 hours Northeast of Minneapolis Minnesota. Swift Nature Camp blends traditional summer camp with an appreciation for nature and the environment, providing an education outside the classroom. Activities include archery, canoeing, art & crafts, skiing, as well as backpacking and canoeing trips. Contact the camp at 630-654-8036.
From time to time, we invite guests to post their letter-writing experiences to the Letters to Camp Blog. Interested? Click to learn more.
Mom and Dad – Don’t Forget About Me
Advice from seasoned camp directors
Kids love to get letters!! Don’t we all. Some parents will send a little care package filled with a comic books, some little games, a bandana, posters, photos or other items, but no food, please. Correspondence with your camper is a critical aspect of the camp experience, and we can offer some practical suggestions. Keep your letters positive, upbeat and newsy, two to three letters each week is plenty, since too many letters can actually make a well adjusted camper become homesick! Please don’t make audio-tapes as they can be hard on younger or homesick campers. Do it the old fashioned way and put pen to paper.
If your child complains of some situation that is upsetting them at camp, don’t worry, it usually is a passing incident. If the problem reappears in a second letter, by all means acknowledge it when you write back. Then focus on some positive aspect of their personality that makes you confident they’ll work things out. This is a good time to call camp.
Please be careful not to use phrases like “I miss you terribly”, “the house is empty without you” or “even Rusty the dog misses you.” They tend to be more damaging than beneficial.
If your child seems at all reluctant, send a letter or card five days before camp starts – that way it will be waiting for them. Also, write more frequently the first week. Please remember that as anxious as you are to get mail, so is your child, and if we don’t see any from home we will call and ask why.