Packages, more stress than good?
Everybody loves to get mail; I know I do! But one thing I have noticed over the past few years is that the number of packages campers receive every day is growing, and the number of handwritten letters campers are getting is decreasing. Some campers are getting multiple packages a day!
I often wonder, do families feel guilty for sending their camper away to camp? But camp is the best gift you could ever give your camper! The skills they learn while at camp are “care packages” that last a lifetime.
Packages create all sorts of problems for your camper, and camp as well. Our campers have a limited amount of storage space in their cabins, food attracts vermin, and campers who don’t get packages can feel left out. We ask that you limit your packages to two per four-week term, yet we know that there are things your camper may legitimately need while here. So this is not a firm limit, just a recommendation. (You can find compact Packaging Supplies for campers here).
Remember! If you are going to send a care package, we ask that you not send food or other prohibited items of any kind in packages. All packages will be opened, and contraband will be confiscated. In the past, we’ve had families try to hide items in stuffed animals, pockets, and even more elaborate schemes. Please don’t do this—it sends the wrong message to campers that rules are meant to be sidestepped.
Send them a good old fashion letters
Children love to get handwritten letters and we highly encourage that! Many people write a letter to their camper and mail it a day or two before the session begins so the camper receives a letter on the first day (or you can bring mail and we will hold it until a prescribed date).
Always keep your letters newsy and upbeat. It’s a wonderful idea to ask questions about your camper’s camp experience in letters. It’s a good idea to talk with your camper before camp starts about how many letters you’ll write so they have a good idea of what to expect.
Sometimes families receive a letter from their camper that concerns them. A camper might discuss an argument with a cabin mate, homesickness, or some other problem. Please call us if you receive a letter that concerns you. Most times, we’re already aware of the issue and it’s resolved or on its way to be by the time you receive the letter. But occasionally we discover an issue we weren’t aware of this way, and a call enables us to get on the problem.
Email, a quick and easy way to communicate!
While we strongly recommend the handwritten letters, we know that in this day and age we are used to instant communication. And it is often much easier with busy schedules and traveling to just shoot over an email, and have a response waiting for you shortly thereafter. By logging into our CampInTouch system, you will be able to email your camper while she is here at The Heart.
In order to send email, you may purchase CampStamps. Click the “CampStamps” link at the top of the page to manage your CampStamps. You will also have the option of asking for a handwritten reply back. This service will cost an additional CampStamp once the email is sent to you. These emails come to your inbox just as soon as your camper turns them in to us. This process is not quite as simple as you might think! Because of our no-electronics policy, your campers hand write a response to you. Once it has been brought to the office, it is faxed to CampMinder using a system called MyFax. With the bar code printed on the side of the paper, the reply is delivered to your inbox!