Posts Tagged 'Parenting'



7 Point Font & Other Acts of Desperation

Shrtr ltrs 2 cmp

By now, you’re a seasoned letter-writer.  Your letters to camp are masterful.  Funny.  No, hysterical.  Engaging.  Illuminating.  Pieces of fine art.  World-class prose.  On par with those of John and Abigail Adams.  But if your letters are too long, how can you shorten them?

Continue reading ‘7 Point Font & Other Acts of Desperation’

New York Times Article on Summer Camp

Earlier this summer, I mentionedLetters from Sleep-away Camp,” an article in Motherlode in The NY Times.  

If you are considering sending sending your children to summer camp, I recommend reading the amazing compendium of comments.  You’ll see all sorts of different perspectives on overnight camp.  As you read through the letters, consider how your child would enjoy summer camp.  Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to read the comments.


The Last Letter Should Never Be A “Z”

It’s hard to believe but this morning, I actually sent my last email for the season. I think I’m going to miss the morning rush to craft an interesting letter filled with humor, support and daily updates – all by 9 am, 6 days a week.

I’ll admit, I had to resort to some unorthodox practices… fill-in-the-blank and form letters, letters from my dog (some translated, some not – as in wuff wuff wuff); crazy dog adventures (the dog thing seems to come up a lot in my letters); new and amusing spin on my daily activities; barely legible 8-point font so that I could include material from my wife, my dog, my son and myself;  new jokes to include (see my last two posts 1 2), and a lot more. Yes, every day has been quite action-packed – before the 9 am deadline. And through it all, I worked hard to make sure that my letters – from first to last – never ended with a zzzzzzzzzzz!

So the last letter has been written for the season.  But summer 2010 awaits! I know you’ll want to be thinking about next year’s letters (which could number as many as 50), so we’ll continue to write through the “winter” months – the seemingly endless stretch between summer camp this year and next.  So when next summer rolls around, you’ll be more ready than ever to write well-crafted, supportive, meaningful, and humorous letters to camp.

And if you’d like to add your own advice, let us know by commenting below.  We’ll contact you so you can contribute a post.

More Jokes

Yesterday I listed kid-safe joke sites.  Following is a list of general sites that have a mix of kid-friendly and not so kid-friendly jokes.  But most of these sites have a great selection of appropriate jokes so you’ll want to check them out. The best sites are at the top of the list.

General Jokes Sites

Broad selection of general jokes without sections dedicated to kids.

 

  • Comedy Zone. Huge selection of jokes, many of which are clean.  Easily browse-able with titles for each joke. Check out the extensive collection of funny pictures.  Looks like this site hails from the United Kingdom.
  • Joke-Best. Reader-rated jokes.  More clean jokes than many other sites.  Browse-able.  Easy to navigate.
  • Funny and Jokes. Good selection.Click on a category to see a selection of jokes on one page.  Click to see more.  Browse-able.  Decent number of categories.
  • The Joke Yard. Moderate selection of jokes with many categories.  Browse-able to short list of jokes in a given category. Check out clean one liners.  Click more categories to see a huge list of categories.  Great feature: shows if joke is clean, rude etc.  Beware: many rude jokes.  It’s also ad-supported so you never know what’s going to show up.
  • Funnyjokes.org. Click on categories to read random jokes, one at a time.  A bit tedious since you can’t browse for specific jokes.
  • Cool funny jokes.  Very easy to find new jokes from the home page.  You’ll have to look for the funny jokes.  Note that some people will find selected links and  jokes offensive.  Fully browse-able.  Beware: sometimes displays racy ads.
  • Joke-Of-The-Day.  Very easy to browse with descriptions.  Lots of clean jokes although much of the humor may be beyond the reach or interest of children.  Don’t go here looking for “the joke of the day” though.
  • Lots of Jokes.  Moderate selection of funny kids jokes but not easy to browse.  The main site contains many jokes, many of which are not appropriate for children.  Site has a lot of advertising.

Resources:

More funny stuff from the Letters To Camp Blog.
A Letter A Day Makes A Happy Camper

A Joke A Day Makes A Happy Camper

Keep your camper laughing with funny letters to camp!  Campers always love to get jokes from their parents.  Jokes lighten your camper’s mood and help to build a shared connection between you and your child.  What’s more, your camper will enjoy sharing jokes and laughs with their friends.  In our family, we try to include a joke in each daily (!) email we send to our kids at camp.

Make it relevant. Remember to tailor your joke selections to the interests and sensibilities of your child.  If your kid follows politics, send political jokes.  Interested in computers?  Send computer jokes, etc.

A web of jokes. You can draw from your own arsenal of jokes or you can find more jokes on the web.  In most cases, it’s easy to cut and paste jokes, riddles and pictures from these sites directly into your typed letters and emails.  You’ll also find that the ability to browse and find jokes varies greatly from site to site.  The best sites include a multitude of categories with links to specific titles for each joke.

Joke of the Day?  You choose. It’s tempting to just go to a joke of the day website and cut and paste the day’s joke.  But the jokes tend to be uneven so you’re better off browsing for a an interesting joke.

Following is a list of joke sites with kid-appropriate, usually clean jokes.  The best sites are closest to the top.

Kid-Friendly & Kid-Safe Joke Sites

  • A Joke A Day – It seems like of these jokes have been around for a while but if you look at the archives, you’ll find some god ones.  The actual “Joke of the Day” usually comes from the archives.  You can subscribe to a daily email as well. Fully Browse-able.  Massive number of browse-able categories with joke descriptions.
  • AHA Jokes.  Excellent selection (some of the best kids jokes I’ve read) but difficult to browse.  Browse to a category where you’ll see a numbered list without descriptions.  Avoid the joke of the day because it doesn’t look like it’s been updated regularly.
  • Arizona Kids Net.  Jokes and lots of riddles submitted by kids.  Difficult to cut and paste – but great selection of funny jokes.  Easily brows-able but limited number of categories.
  • Library jokes – Multinomah Public Library.  Library jokes for real, and a lot more.  Great links to other clean joke sites.  Scroll to the bottom of the page for an excellent selection of clean, funny riddles.  Easy cut and paste.  Not browse-able.
  • Jokes ‘n Jokes.  All clean jokes with a few politically incorrect jokes for good measure.  Includes numerous categories but the site layout is cluttered and a little difficult to navigate.  Browse-able.

Resources:

More funny stuff from the Letters To Camp Blog.

Next: More joke sites – tomorrow.

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.

Advice: Letters FROM Camp

I started this blog because it’s so hard to find ideas about writing letters TO camp.  But there’s no shortage of parental advice and concern about letters FROM camp.  Check these out:

  • Decoding letters from camp. A recent New York Times post, “Letters from Sleep-away Camp,” included Randy Wedin’s decoding of his kids’ letters and their evolving sentiments.
  • No news… The Summer Camp Handbook advises that “No news is good news when it comes to kids at camp.  If you don’t receive any letters from your child while she’s at camp, you’re not alone.”
  • Downs and Ups. In the blog, Life the C Train, Clare’s “Letters from Camp” chronology perfectly summarizes the parent/child letter-writing experience.  If your child has never been to camp before, this is a must-read.
  • Letters = Love. Amy Howorth guest-wrote for Parent Talk Today.  She told how she dutifully to her kids at camp, which her kids did not of course reciprocate.  But all was forgotten when her son wrote, “Thanks for sending me the letters mom. It made me feel loved.”
  • Letter from a shopaholic. If you’re a shopaholic, it’s probably a safe bet that your kid is one too, even at camp.  Check out Camp Letters – An SOS Letter from Summer Camp.
  • Visiting Day. A touching story from several years ago.  Every parent will relate to this story of letters and visitng day.
  • Funny letters back and forth. Mike Sacks’ funny — and very sarcastic — letters to and from camp – I recently linked to this funny post too.

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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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