Friday, April 10, 2015

Care packages for campers: What to send? {Somerset Beach - Michigan Youth Camp}

Campers LOVE to get mail.  There's nothing better than a postcard or letter from home.  Just a simple, "We love you and miss you" can mean the world to your child. Take it from us: Letters and notes are far more effective at alleviating home sickness than phone calls or visits.

We make it convenient to send a note to your child by offering the ability to email your camper (campermail[at]somersetbeach[dot]org). Any email received before 11 AM on any given day will be delivered that day. Anything received after 11 AM on the last day of camp might be delivered.  Please note that photos sent via email or attachment might not print.

A hand written letter or package goes a long way, too. Because the USPS is sometimes slow at mail delivery, letters often don't make it before the last day of camp.  As an alternative, you can leave mail and packages at the registration table when you drop off your camper.  Be sure they're marked with your child's name and what day you'd like it delivered.

If you're looking for fun ideas for care packages for your camper while he or she is at Somerset Beach, here are a few ideas (we encourage parents to NOT send anything edible or any money in care packages):

1.  A letter from your pet.  You can do this on paper, or by email.  Tell your child what's going on at your house this week from your pet's point of view. Campers are so excited to hear from their animal friends, and it's a unique way to keep in touch.

2. Mad libs.  Cabins love working on mad libs together, and if you search, you can find some books of camp-themed ones or free ones to be downloaded.  If you have time, you could even write your own!

3. Things that glow. Glow sticks, glow necklaces, glow in the dark balls, etc.  These are fun for campers to play with are a hit with our younger campers. We sell glow sticks in the Trading Post, so you could even pick one up at registration and leave it to be delivered later in the week.

4. Temporary tattoos or stick on mustaches. These are so much fun. Better yet? Send one for every kid in his cabin! It's a great way to help encourage cabin unity!

5. Autograph book, t-shirt, pillow case, etc. Be sure to include instructions so that your child knows what he or she should do with it.  It's a great thing to receive toward the end of the week, when your child is saying goodbye to new friends.

6. A journal or sketchbook. Encourage your child to write down or draw about what he or she is learning at camp.

7. Band aids. Many campers get a scrape or scratch that requires a band aid.  Our nurses have plenty, but a brightly colored band aid or a bandage with his or her favorite character on it is always fun. And even if he doesn't need it, he might enjoy sharing one with a friend who does! 

8. Fun socks. Take it from us: A camper can never have too many clean socks.

9. Camp gear.  Stop and get your camper a water bottle or t-shirt from the Trading Post before you leave and have it delivered to them on the first day of camp!

10. Pinterest.  Check out our pinterest board for SBC-appropriate care package ideas.  Remember that campers aren't allowed to hold onto their own money (to keep it from getting lost or stolen) and that food isn't allowed in the lodge, so anything edible would need to be consumed right away.