By Audrey “Sunshine” Monke, Camp Director
Originally published at Sunshine Parenting
Because we’re not in the habit of writing letters to our kids much these days – with brief texts being the primary form of written communication between us – it can be challenging to come up with what to write to our campers. This is especially true when you’re writing more letters than you’re receiving, which will most likely be the case, because while your child is busy at camp, you will be at your home or office glued to your computer, looking at photos of the fun they’re having.
To keep letters fun and entertaining for your camper, here are some creative ideas:
1. Create a “fill-in-the-blanks” response letter
Especially for younger campers (or for kids who think writing is torture), make it easy for them to send you news without having to worry about writer’s block or grammar. Create a funny, fill-in-the-blanks response letter for them, or choose something from one of these websites:
Joy in the Works (free printables)
Fine Stationery (fill-in-the-blank pad to purchase)
Another easy, fun idea is to provide a small return postcard with something like, “The fun things I could be doing right now instead of writing home:” and provide three blank spaces.
Include the fill-in-the-blanks letter with a self-addressed stamped envelope. Ideally, your camper will take 60 seconds from their fun to complete the blanks and send it back! However, I offer no guarantees.
2. Provide a “Top 10” List (à la David Letterman)
You can create your own Top 10 list and provide an entertaining letter to your camper, or you can try one of these:
- Top 10 Foods We’ve Been Eating While You’re at Camp (and include some really gross sounding stuff)
- Top 10 Parent Activities While You’ve Been at Camp (include items like cleaning out closets, fumigating the house, repainting the garage)
- Top 10 Reasons to go to Camp (don’t have to do dishes, clean room, listen to mom nagging about getting off Xbox, etc.)
- Top 10 Events at Home this Week (include boring stuff like dusting, toilet cleaning, eating leftovers)
3. Write a letter from a pet or favorite toy
Mix it up by writing a letter from the perspective of your family dog, a stuffed animal, your camper’s blanket, or some sports item (skate board, bike, etc.)
4. Make up a story about a picture you’ve seen of them
Why not think up a funny story to go along with a picture you’ve seen of your camper on the camp’s website?
“I saw you climbing up a huge wall at camp. I’m guessing that you were escaping from the camp cook who was trying to make you eat Brussels sprouts?”
5. Have everyone in the family write a “warm fuzzy” for your camper
This is always such a great activity – even when your child isn’t at camp. But camp is an especially good time to think about what you love about your camper. Get each family member who’s still at home to write a sentence or two about what they love about your camper. You could even collect sentences via email from grandparents and extended family. What camper wouldn’t love to hear how much they are loved and appreciated?
Have fun writing letters to your camper, and enjoy the hand-written letters you’ll get in return. You’ll want to save those forever!
Here are some additional letter-writing tips:
Make an envelope out of their favorite magazine, a sports article from the newspaper, or something else fun or colorful.
Type the letter in funny fonts or backwards, or hand write it in a circle or in a bunch of different colors.
Ask simple questions and try to just include one per letter.
Include a joke or riddle
Letters to Camp is a whole blog dedicated to letter-writing ideas! Check it out!