Archive for the 'Sending packages to camp' Category

Send a Book to Your Camper


Summer with a TwistMeredith and the Mean Girls

Every year parents labor over what goodies to send their kids in a care package.  Stickers? Card games? Stationery? Pens? Autographable pillowcases? Candy (if allowed by the camp)? Ah the possibilities are endless (and several are available in the Letters to Camp Store powered by Amazon).

How about this: send your camper a book, written by a kid like them. As it turns out, I am acquainted with two such authors, Citra Tenore (age 12) and Maddie Siegel (who wrote her book when she was age 9).

(See important note at the bottom of this post)

Continue reading ‘Send a Book to Your Camper’


Careless Packages

Once again, we’ll go beyond letters to camp…. Now that you’ve mastered the basics of care packages (see my last post), it’s time for the “remedial” class on “careless packages.”  This is the part where you get lazy and decide to have someone else make your “care” package for you.  Ah, the joys of parenting!

Now, I know what you’re thinking…  We’re all busy, don’t have time, want to show we care but don’t know what to do… blah blah blah.  If you can’t spend time building your kids’ care package, just how much care does that show anyways?  Is it possible to substitute an expensive package from some giant corporation for “care”?  Only you’ll know for sure.   And who knows, maybe your kid won’t care.  Heck, I’m not sure mine would care – they just want packages.  But I just wouldn’t feel right having someone else make it for me.  Yeah, right!

But I digress… Following is a list of companies that will gladly have you pay them to build “careless packages.”

NOTE: This is not a recommendation or endorsement of any of these online stores.

#1: Food Stuff
Most camps do not permit food so make sure to check your camp policies on food before sending.  IMPORTANT: some of these contain peanuts, which your camp may not permit due to allergies.  Make sure to check camp rules on peanuts.

  • The Popcorn Factory – Popcorn in all sizes and flavors – sure to be a kid favorite.
  • Oh Nuts – Kosher treats.  Beware of the peanuts if your camp has a peanut policy.  Looks tasty.

#2: Foodless “Care” Packages & Individual Stuff
Stuff, stuff, stuff.  A wide variety of choices.

  • Beyond Bookmarks – Their site states “Our care packages are in compliance with summer camp rules and are a favorite of camp directors.”  Lots of interesting packages with varied themes.  From the looks of their prices, it you must have to pay extra for camp director approval. $$$$
  • Fearless and Freckles – This shows up in Google under “Bunk Junk”!  Need I say more?  Individual items and “care” pails (as opposed to packages).  The pails seem expensive to me but they have lots of reasonable individual items. $$
  • Fuss Budget – Lots of interesting stuff – mainly individual items rather than care packages.  Reasonable price. $$
  • Gift Baskets – A few choice care packages.  Reasonable prices.  $$
  • Just4Camp – Stationery, pillows, games. Seems a little pricey. $$$
  • Sealed With a Kiss – “The original camp care package company since 1984”  Ready-to-go packages start at $20 but they’ll also do individual items and custom care packages.  Web site is very easy to use.  Yikes, these guys sent 7,000 “care” packages last year alone! $$
  • Send A Smile Gifts – Lots of reasonably priced care packages.  You can also order advance delivery.  $$
  • The Wrinkled Egg – Custom “care” packages.  $$$$

#3: Outdoors/Camping Supplies

  • Campbound – Check out the summer camp store.  Not much in the way of “care” packages but they are a business affiliate of the American Camping Association.

#4: Necessities

  • Minimus – Small sized toiletries etc.  Most camps sell necessities – check with camp before sending.

#5: More ideas – The Find

For additional care package ideas, check out The Find shopping site.  The Find is just an aggregator site so you’ll have to assemble these items yourself from different online stores featured.  Here are a few searches to get you started.

Care Packages 101

Do you really “care”? Is the size and volume of your care package directly proportional to the amount of love you have for your child?  Of course not!  But a care package can be a great gift that your child will appreciate.

Ah, care packages, always a camp favorite.  I remember that as a camper, I always looked forward to them.  And it’s amazing what can come in a good care package.  A care package is simply a package full of goodies (not necessarily food) for your camper.  The best ones are the ones you make yourself.  But companies offer convenient, pre-made care packages as well.

I recently came across an old but still relevant article on care packages from the Columbus Parent Magazine.  The article  includes a plethora of tips on care packages.  Among others, the article includes a suggestion for a “letter shower,” a package full of letters from your child’s friends.  That’s a great idea, especially for their birthday when they may be missing their friends.  You can also send pictures.

Also check out this excellent story from the Associated Press:  Summer camp care package: What to send tweens and teens.

Camp rules. Finally, remember that some camps have different rules for different types of “packages.”  Because of potential pest problems, many camps won’t allow food in bunks and thus care packages may not allow food.  Other camps limit the number of care packages so that other kids don’t feel bad when they don’t get care packages.  Our camp only allows one care package per session.  But they’ll allow needed clothes to be sent.  And they also treat most manila envelopes as regular mail, which is unlimited.

Remember: make sure that you have the correct address for packages at your camp.  Our camp uses a PO box for mail but packages have to be delivered directly to the camp.

The Last Word: Care packages are great and always appreciated.  But it’s the everyday, ongoing communication in letters, emails and faxes (where allowed) that helps your child to have a great experience day in and day out.

Birthdays at Camp

The Letters to Camp blog is all about, well, letters and parent-camper communication.  And from time to time, we’ll discuss related topics.  Today we cover birthdays.

If your child has a birthday at camp, you’ll want to make it as special as possible while keeping to your camp’s rules.

Every camp is different (and most don’t seem to allow any sort of food for birthdays) but Camp Greystone in North Carolina offers some great birthday tips for parents that including letter-writing and cards.  For example, they say that you should:

  • Let your child know special their birthday will be at camp.
  • Have a separate family and friend celebration at home either before or after camp.
  • Send birthday cards, letters, and [if permitted by your camp,] a package.
  • Mark the delivery day on the package or letter so that the camp can deliver it on that day.  [Check with your camp to see if they’ll do this.]

They ask parents not to:

  • Send food.
  • Send balloons… they really clutter up the cabin.
  • Send lots of presents… the best thing to get at camp is a letter; give most of the presents at the hometown party.

…This is all outstanding advice.  As a long time parent of campers whose birthdays fall during camp, I suggest that you also contact your camp to understand how they celebrate birthdays and what you are permitted to do.  Each camp’s birthday observance will vary.  Some camps celebrate the birthday on the day of the birthday while others will have a single celebration for all kids with birthdays during that session.  At our camp, our kids are also allowed to call us on their birthdays.

You can help your child to have a great birthday at camp… Happy Birthday!

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