I have been writing a lot of letters lately. If you are wondering why, I will tell you. My daughter, Grace, is at sleep-away camp for 6 weeks this summer. As she was preparing to go to camp she created her address list and letter writing kit. I bought her stamps (both Canadian and US), and provided her with the labels and envelopes and stationary. I remember my own mother helping me prepare for letter writing when I went to camp as a child. In those days, the only method of communication was good-old-fashioned “snail mail.”
I remember looking forward to the mail that I received from my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends. I can vividly recall sitting on my bed at camp, or on the cabin or tent porch during rest-hour, and reading the precious letters that came from home.
Perhaps that is why I find it so important to write my letters to Grace.
Today’s mail delivery at summer camp has many options. There is the original method of mailing a letter that can take 2-5 days to arrive at camp. That one involves us parents writing the letters, stamping and decorating the envelopes and dropping them off in the local mailboxes. But there is also now the option of e-mailing our children so that they get the “news from home” within hours. This method is great for parents who are travelling as well as for parents who want to send something off to their kids quickly. The e-mails can be simple or elaborately decorated with borders and color. They can include pictures, word games…….the choices are right there at our finger tips and often if feels to me as though sending a regular letter has become a thing of the past.
I must admit that I do send the daily emails to Grace – My emails are mostly updates about some of her favorite summer television shows that we watch together such as Masterchef, The Next Great Baker and Big Brother (please don’t judge me!!!!). My emails also consist of sports updates about the Montreal Canadians and Chicago Bears. But to be perfectly honest, I much prefer sitting down and putting pen to paper. I truly love writing letters to my daughter and filling her in on what is going on at home.
Kids at camp WANT and NEED to hear from us. Just like we want their letters and news from camp, they yearn to know what is going on at home in order to feel that connection when they are away.
Don’t get me wrong, kids love to have a break from home when they are away at summer camp, but they also want to feel as though they are still “in the loop” and up to date on the news. I clearly know that life at camp for Grace is far more interesting than anything else in the world! But I also know that she loves the information about what is going on and especially the funny and silly anecdotes that I write about her sister and about the adventures of our dog.
And as I mail each letter, I try to imagine her sitting somewhere cozy, opening up the envelope and truly appreciating the news that she receives. I know how much she loves to get mail at camp- the sillier the letters, the better. Her sister Nora and I often send letters filled with jokes and poems. We have so much fun creating those letters and I am certain that she loves reading them. Hopefully I will get a letter or two this summer….and I will sit down somewhere cozy and read all about Grace’s Adventures at Summer Camp.
Gotta go write a letter!
Happy letter writing everyone!!!