Over the past couple of weeks our new Camp Runoia campers should have found a letter or two in their mailbox from a camp ‘penpal’. The tradition of welcoming new girls to camp and being available to answer any questions has been going on for many, many years. It encourages campers to make connections even before their arrivals to camp in June or July. Returning campers may be writing to a new girl in their cabin group or older girls may be reaching out to a younger ‘little sister.’ Girls look forward to writing notes and often seek out their new camp friend once they arrive at camp. For new campers we hope that it helps them to feel like a part of the community and to get excited about the new adventure that they are taking.
In our techno world of texting and social media interactions it seems rare to actually receive a paper letter or card in the actual mail. Often the mailbox is just full of solicitations and advertising along with some online shopping packages! What a treat to find a handwritten envelope addressed to you personally. This short video is a great introduction to letter writing to help kids for whom it may be a new skill.
At camp a campers only option of communicating with the outside world is through regular mail. While parents can send one way emails, ‘real’ letters are still the most valued and appreciated. Campers often show up with stationary boxes, a supply of stamps and some cool pens for their letter writing times. Rest hour and before bed are common times that girls will be found writing to family and friends. Campers and staff look forward to rest hour when mail is given out and often share news from home with their bunk mates or pin the notes that they receive to the wall by their beds.
Handwritten letters carry a charm and thoughtfulness that seems so radically different than an email or text message. The fact that someone took the time to write to you and that it is an unedited conscious stream of thought makes it super special. Parents often tell of the stacks of camp letters tucked away in memory boxes as treasures from their daughter’s time away at camp.
Send us some ‘real’ mail this summer it will be so greatly appreciated, we love when the PO Box is bursting at the seams.