When Music Lovers went away to sleep away camp last summer, it was just for 5 days. She got off a long wait list as well, so it was sudden and we all had to scramble to get her ready. Hence, there was not need for that sleep away camp requisite Mommy-Loves-You care package. Whew! I got off easy.
This summer, I have no such luck. Music Lovers will be at a Y camp for a month and PickyKidPixat another Y camp for 2 weeks. I think I will be judged on the quality of my care packages by my kids and likely found wanting. I'm not really good at things like that and didn't I just go through something similar 6 months ago for Christmas?!
I thought I'd turn to Maine Camp Experience Camp Directors for some help. I'm sure they've seen the gamut from cookies intact and delicious to Very Sad Care Package. I'm going to try to surprisemy kids, in a good way! Here's what they recommend:
When planning care packages, first be clear on the camp package policies.
• NO food is permitted; flat mail is the predominant and preferred method; most camps do not allow care package boxes, or permit a very limited number per summer
• If camps do allow them, or even for those sending flat mail, here are some suggestions and tips:
o Make it personal – what makes your child smile; books or magazines they enjoy reading at home; for kids obsessed with sports stats, send them good old fashioned newspaper print-outs of team scores
o Make it shareable – a bunk activity is great; camp is about collaboration, friendship and communication
Friendship bracelet raw materials
o Make it interactive – send postcards or toy bags or pillow cases with watercolors or fabric markers they can decorate with bunkmates; small, uncomplicated games with few, contained pieces, etc. Example: UNO is good; Monopoly would be tough.
o Make them laugh – kids love Mad Libs, comics, joke books
o Share “oldies but goodies” from parents’ camp days – jacks, pick-up sticks, good old fashioned cards
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The rest of post including more tips here.