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You may recall my post a few weeks back advising you on what essentials your child would need for summer camp. I promised a follow-up on what types of things kids like to receive in the mail at camp, and I’ve been gathering some fantastic deals from local stores! My little one left on Sunday for a two-week long camp hours from home. The only communication we’ll have until I pick her up will be through the mail, so I want to be sure that everything I send has a special touch of home. When I was a camper myself, my own mom would send ridiculous amounts of letters, snacks, games, books…all kinds of stuff. Unfortunately nowadays campers aren’t allowed to receive treats the way they used to be able to, but I have some great ideas that I promise will go over just as well as well as your famous chocolate chip cookies.

I’m going to be honest, I collect goodies throughout the year when I see something cute that I know might make her smile during summer camp. So I’ve had a box that I have been slowly filling with activity books (I like those pocket-sized ones you can get at Cracker Barrel), stickers, notecards, and so on. The one item my daughter requests every summer is Pokemon cards; and while they never come home in good shape, I do like to give her something that I know without a doubt that she is looking for. I also like to send a book or two, because it’s really easy for kids to get out of the habit of reading while school is out. I stopped by The Knowledge Tree and browsed their chapter books for a while, and picked out Chris Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins. From the synopsis on the back, it seemed to have a little mystery, a little summer adventure, and that shiny gold Newberry Medal on the cover that assures me it’s a quality read.

Another thoughtful thing to send is extra stationery and stamps. Some years, Cassidy will write home one or two times, but last year she used all of her stamps before the week was up. I tossed in a cute set of notecards with a neat little pen, some stamps, and stickers to decorate envelopes. I also made a tiny address book with some of her friends and grandparents’ addresses, to remind her who is missing her. 

Finally, although I did my best to pack every item on her list (and more) I know that kids get dirty, sometimes a lot more than even they expect. I wanted to send an extra set of clothes in case she runs out of clean outfits early, or just wants something new to wear. I saw the most ADORABLE owl t-shirt in the June issue’s ad for Haus Werk, and when they had a sale I knew that shirt had to be Cassidy’s. I was lucky enough to grab one for 40% off, and I have no doubt she’ll love it. I paired them with an adorable pair of shorts and a whole pack of clean socks. 

I think the best things to keep in mind when shopping for a care package are what your child wants and what he or she needs. A little of both plus an extra goodie or two will go a long way towards helping a homesick camper feel a little sunnier on the inside.

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