It is the holiday season and everything is so magical! What are some of your family traditions?
Growing up with a family of six siblings (yes, that is a picture of us in 1994) we always enjoyed the holiday time because it meant watcing movies, making holiday treats like puppy chow and playing board games together. It might sound like it was a Hallmark Christmas movie, but I promise we were far from it.
One of my favorite traditions that we have passed down to our two kids is writing Santa Claus a letter. It is so fun to send a Season’s Greeting to the North Pole and then get a handwritten response from St. Nick on Christmas day! I still cannot comprehend how he delivers all of those presents and gives a handwritten response to everyone child. What a great pen pal!
It may seem like letter writing is slowly becoming a nostalgic art of the past….. but not at Vista Camps! Campers are still putting the pen to paper to write home or to a pen pal. Letter writing typically happens during the two-hour rest period after lunchtime. Here is where parents can help us out by sending letters. There are two ways to stay in communication with loved ones while they are at camp.
We deliver mail to campers every day. They love getting notes with pictures of pets and news from the outside! A pro tip for parents: if you want them to write back, make sure they come to camp with the resources like envelopes, stamps and paper. We have had some parents pack blank stationery with stamps…. premade labels for addresses….. or a small address book with contact information. There is no wrong way to do it as long as you teach your camper how to properly send a letter. One of my favorite camp stories is when a parent called me because of a picture they saw of their camper. Our photographer thought a camper looked adorable because they put stickers all over their face. The photographer took a picture and posted it for the parent to see it. The stickers were stamps. The parent and I laughed about it and I made sure to let their child know that those were supposed to be for his letters… not his face. I learned a lesson that day: Make sure to tell parents to put the stamp on the envelope or give a letter writing tutorial to the child before they come to camp.
This is a paper hybrid of an email and it is the quickest way to communicate with your camper. When you register your camper there is a profile that is set up for your family. During the summer, you can type a letter and send it through that profile. We will deliver a paper version of that email. Through that system, it will sort every email by camper name and the cabin they are in. Every day we print off new emails… lots of emails… to deliver to the campers during rest period. The best part of this system is that a camper can respond faster than a snail mail letter. Campers can write on the back of that paper email and we will send a digital copy of their letter to you that night! Magical, right?!?
Staying in touch is so important for our community so that is why we value letter writing. At camp, we celebrate and love when a camper gets a letter from a loved one! With our email system, we get to celebrate every day with our campers!
To wrap this blog up, I know what you are thinking. If his family looked like that in 1994, what do they look like now? Here is a bonus picture of my family members in 2022 at the most magical place on earth…. nothing to do with camp but enjoy it!