How I Do Care Packages and Letters - Lisa Hughes Tyson
I used to struggle about the whole Care Package and camp letter thing. I don’t anymore—struggle, that is. I want to share with you what I have started doing for my kids when they go to camp.
First, I only send two “packages” for the week. The “stuff’ in these “packages” all fit in a letter or legal size brown envelope. I usually decorate the outside of the envelope to make it fun. Inside, I only put things they can use AT CAMP. I don’t want a bunch of junk coming home on top of the mountain of nasty laundry. I may put in something for a dress up night like a camp bandana or a face paint color. I have put in a stack of temporary tattoos that they can share with everyone in the cabin. Sometimes I put in new pens because I am sure that they have lost the one from the trunk by the middle of the week. I may put in a journal or a page of stickers. There is always one thing in the care package they can share with everyone in their cabin. Sharing is a life skill and it is important to give them opportunities to practice.
Second, I write a letter for each day that I have ready for drop off on Sunday. But, it isn’t just a letter from home. It is a “letter with a purpose.” I write it on a 4x6 colorful notecard. On the front, I just keep it light and give a run down of what I am doing while they are gone. I always tell them how much I love them. I don’t usually go on and on about missing them.
- You should be so glad that you are at camp because today I am cleaning!
- I went to lunch at my favorite place. We can go to your favorite place like Chick Fil A when you get home.
- I haven’t tripped over your shoes one time since you have been gone!
On the back, I ask a question for them to answer during their rest time or “down” time. It also gives them something to do if they are feeling homesick to focus on “where they are” but still feel like they are connecting with home. When they finish answering the question, they can put the letter back in the envelope and in their trunk/bag. When we are unpacking, I can look at the cards and learn more about camp. Sometimes they are all filled out. Sometimes they were having too much fun and did not answer any of them. That is okay too. It just gives them something to occupy their mind if they want to do it.
- What do you like about the other girls/boys in your cabin?
- What is your favorite activity?
- What is something new that you have tried? Did you like it?
- What are you learning during Bible Study?
I have one child who could care less about care packages and letters. When he came home, all of the letters are still all sealed up just like they left home. My middle son likes the care packages and letters. He asks if I am writing them. When he comes home, everything is open. The questions on the back are hit or miss—usually miss. My daughter loves it all. She reads the letters. She answers the questions. She loves showing me the cards when she gets home. Everyone is different.
You may already have a letter/package system. If not, this works for our us. I love it when moms share ideas. I always learn something new!
~Lisa Hughes Tyson