What Not To Write – Dear Emily…

The toughest letter: the day after dropoff or visiting day

For many northern camps, today is the Monday morning after visiting day or the day after second/third session drop-off. Since this Monday can be a challenging one for many parent letter-writers, we’re taking a break from the usual suggestions on what TO write to your camper. Instead, take a look at the following letter to  see a few obvious pitfalls to avoid (at least we hope they’re obvious!). See the bottom of the post for more on what TO write. 

Dearest, Dearest Emily,

Your counselor told us that you were the most homesick camper they’ve ever seen. She said that your crying was keeping your bunk awake at night and that your letter-writing wasn’t leaving much time to take advantage of great camp activities like parasailing, parachute class, and hang-gliding. She said that, with all of your tears, your 24-pack of tissues ran out before the first week.

It’s only natural for you to be homesick since Mom and I, the centers of your life, are not there with you. We know that Mom’s cooking is so much better than camp’s. We understand that your bed at home is safe from the lizards and alligators that swim in the swamp your camp calls a “pond” and the ginormous black bears that stalk the nearby forest. We realize that your bunkmates are the meanest, nastiest, smelliest, and disgustingist  girls on the east coast, if not the whole wide world.

We get that your bunk counselors are meaner than army drill sergeants. And yes, yes, yes, we know that girls like you should never ever ever ever have to make their own beds, fold their clothes, swab the floors, clean the toilet, or scrub the front steps. We know how horrible it is to be limited to 10 pieces of candy a day. We’re sorry that you couldn’t bring 5 trunks of your favorite clothes to camp. And of course we understand that you can’t find a single activity you like among the camp’s 50 different skills, land sports, water-sports, swimming, horseback riding, computer class, theater, singing, dancing, ballet, art, cooking, archery, fencing, woodshop, nature, hiking, and creative writing elective activities. We understand. Really, we do. But that’s what camp is all about and we know you’ll have a great time anyways.

You will get over your homesickness. Then again, maybe you won’t. Actually, we’re kind of happy to know that you’re homesick since it means you do miss and love us, even if you told us that we were the worst parents in the world when we left you behind at camp yesterday. I guess I do feel kind of bad for you of course. Heck, don’t focus on camp – just think about home, and how much you love us and miss us, and you’re sure to get warm feelings all over. So what if it makes you even more homesick if you miss us! We actually want you to miss us. Really, we do.

In case I forget to mention it, please don’t make a scene next year by screaming and running after us as we drive down the mile-long road into town.  A police officer stopped us to ask if something was wrong and you know how we don’t like speaking with the police after last year’s “incident” in Iowa.

Anyways, do what you can to have a great rest of the summer. And remember not to come out too early on pick-up day because we’ll probably arrive after the rest of the families have picked up their kids and left for home.  Have a great summer – and remember – we love you more than (just about) anything!

Your Loving Parents,

Mom and Dad

Looking for ideas of what TO write?


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