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Kids are heading to camp… and they will be expecting mail. Here are some simple tips to ensure you don’t screw up.

1. No food means NO FOOD. Yes, I’m sure little Susie would love a bag of Skittles. But, do you know what Susie doesn’t want? An effing raccoon in her tent/cabin/shelter. Skip the snacks. They don’t make you a better parent… they make your kid a target for wild animals.

2. If your kid is at camp for less than a month, don’t SEND mail.¬†Instead, bring the mail with you, labeled with your child’s name, unit, and the day you want it delivered. Give it to someone in charge after you have dropped off your kid. This way, you can ensure they will get mail in a timely fashion.

3. If you want your kid to send YOU mail, give them pre-addressed, stamped envelopes, paper, and something to write with. Make it easy for them.

4. Care packages are great… but again… skip the snacks (or anything scented… no fruity lotions… use common sense). Books, mazes, puzzles, glow sticks, etc… these are good options. Hit up the dollar store! Just put everything in paper lunch sacks, labeled appropriately.

5. Don’t skimp on mail. If your kid doesn’t get at least one letter a day, they will most likely think you hate them and aren’t going to pick them up at the end of the week. (Especially younger kids.) Be proactive. Gather letters from family members, friends, neighbors… your kid will be beyond thrilled and feel totally loved. Everybody loves mail!

6.¬†Don’t say s!@#y things. You would be shocked at some of the things people send in camp mail. Messages like, “Your cat died,” and, “We went to Hershey Park without you,” and, “It’s so much better without you here,” are just distasteful and will ensure your child is up crying with her counselors until the wee hours of the morning. Camp should be fun. Don’t ruin it.

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I’m a former camp director/manager/counselor and would like to share my Summer Camp wisdom with the world.

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