If you have a child who is prone to homesickness while at camp, here are some ideas for writing letters to encourage them to reflect on the fun they are having rather than on what they are missing at home. Even if your camper does not write back (and answer the questions), this will keep their mind on camp and not home.
You can write your letters before camp and label them to be opened each day/night (ie. Camper name + Sunday, Monday, Tuesday … all except last day!) You might give them to the counselor at the beginning of camp to hand out with other camper mail throughout the week, or give them to your camper to open at quiet/bed time.
Offer positive thoughts:
- I bet you are going to have a great time at camp!
- I hope you are making some new friends!
- I pray that you are learning more about God/Jesus/God’s love for you/God’s exciting plan for your life!
- I hope you are enjoying great weather, although camp is fun no matter what the weather!
- Don’t forget – BE AWESOME!
- I bet you enjoyed some yummy foods today!
- Remember God made you special and He loves you very much! (Veggie Tales)
Ask them questions in your letter:
- Are you ready for some fun and adventure this week?
- What fun things did you do today?
- What did you eat today?
- Did you try any new foods?
- What is your favorite camp food or treat?
- Did you go swimming/creek stomping today?
- Did you have a campfire?
- What is your favorite camp song?
- What was your favorite activity today?
- Did you do a craft today? I can’t wait to see it!
- Have you seen any friends from last year?
- Have you made some new friends?
- Did you learn any new games today?
- Did you go for a Polar Bear Swim?
- Did you enjoy some S’mores?
- Did you go for a hike today? What interesting things did you see?
- I wonder what they will serve for breakfast tomorrow morning?
- Isn’t it fun to pick what you eat each day?
- Is your (favorite toy taken to camp) having a great time at camp?
End of week letter:
- I can’t wait to hear about all the fun and adventures you had this week!
- You only have one more sleep!
- We can’t wait to see you tomorrow at (pick-up time)!
- We hope you’ve had a great time at camp!
Offer a prayer:
- I pray that the Lord will bless you and protect you and that He will show you mercy and kindness. May the Lord be good to you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-25)
- “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
- Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity (1 Timothy 4:12)
- I pray that you will grow in God’s love & mercy and grace this week!
- Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power! (Ephesians 6:10)
- I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
- Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you (Isaiah 41:10)
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! (but no “I miss you”!!)
- I love you child’s full name (we say this every night in our home!)
- Love you forever!
- All my love …
- I <3 YOU
- I am so blessed to be your Mom/Dad/grandma/friend…
- Love you to the moon and back!
- I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. For always and ever my baby/name you’ll be!! (modified from Love You Forever by Robert Munsch)
Thanks to Sandii Peiffer for sharing these ideas for other parents to consider using.