What Type of Letter-Writer Are You?

It doesn’t matter – your camper will love your letters!

My wife likes to write long, thoughtful and complete letters to our campers.  Me – I’m a get-to-the-point kind of guy – unless I’m writing a funny letter, in which case I become an author or a comedian with a long setup.  Read on to learn about the different types of letter-writers.    

As unique as you and your camper

The great news is that letter-writing can — and should be — as unique as you and your camper.  There is no one-size fits all.  There is really just one important rule of camp letter-writing: write letters that support your camper.  Keep your camper (or as a public speaker would say, your “audience”) in mind as you write, and you’ll do fine (see an upcoming post for more).

Which type are you?

Following is a list of a few types of letter-writers.  Some are common and some are, well, over the top, although I’m sure that each of us falls into every one of these roles from time to time.  The big thing: just write!  So what type of letter-writer are you?  Are you…

The 6 o’clock news anchor – Shares the latest news, taking every effort to be precise, complete and unbiased in their reporting.  Topping this evening’s news, at 7:14 am eastern standard time, Mom and I went for a 2 3/8 mile walk.  At 8:27 am I left for work… For dinner we had lemon chicken with mango salsa, a chutney blend and salad…

The drive-by letter-writer – Believes that a good letter is a short letter.  Doesn’t have time for fluffy fluffery like the word “dear,” pronouns or extra verbs.  Short and sweet rules the day!  Mikey, Hope camp is great.  Sunny today – could rain tonight.  Went to work today.  Dinner with the Smiths last night. Miss you. Dad. 

The budding author – Loves to spin a great story, especially the kind that goes on and on and on.  But that’s OK because your camper probably read through all of their books and they need more prose to satisfy their passion for reading.  Nothing helps a camper get a good night’s sleep like a nice long story!

The Hollywood reporter – Sure, he or she shares the latest news, but always enjoys a little dish about the stars in their life.  Shares inside news about the latest goings-on with family and friends.  Well, Aunt Selma – you remember her, she has the big hairy wart on her left hand – well, she came over last night and told me that…

The comedian – Loves to share the latest joke or riddle that he’s heard or read.  Always includes a joke of the day.  If he’s on a roll, he’ll even make up funny stories.  Did you hear the one about…. Have I got a story for you… You won’t believe what happened to your hamster…

The sports writer – Constantly feeds the latest MLB scores and standings, and the play-by-play from the latest games.  Being in the woods is one thing.  Being away from sports?  NEVER!

The detective – Needs to find out everything about the camper’s experience.  Gets a little antsy when the answers don’t show up in his mailbox – which is inevitable.  Letters are filled with questions, questions, and more questions such as… What did you eat? Wwho are your friends? What activities are you in?  What do you like most about camp?  Did I already ask what you eat?

The advice columnist – Really, really, really wants to be helpful – but may overstep just a tad.  Has a lot of experience to share.  And hey, everyone could use a little advice from time to time, right?  Now dear, I hope that you’ll try to work things through with your friend Elizabeth.  When I was a camper, we used to…

The professor – Believes that academic learning is a 365-day a year endeavor.  In fact, wishes it could be a 367-day a year endeavor.  Checks on their child’s progress in completing the school’s summer reading list, discusses the latest scientific advances and philosophical dilemmas.  Shares an interesting fact or insight in each letter.  Often includes an SAT word of the day, math problem of the day, or a fact of the day.

The secretary of state – Shares the latest diplomatic news from around the US and the world.  Being out of touch with one’s parents doesn’t mean you should be out of touch with the rest of the world after all.  This year’s topics might include the Arab Spring, the war in Afghanistan, The UK phone hacking scandal, etc.

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Finally – Help for Parent Letter-Writers

Challenged to write great letters to your camper(s)? Help is here! The Letters to Camp Blog will help you to write better letters. More

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