How to Write (the right) Letter Home

Written by Joey Schwartz

You know how to send an email. And a text message? Piece of cake. But when is the last time you sent an old-fashioned, pen-and-paper letter? During summer camp, when cell- phone service can be shaky and technology is often forbidden, knowing how to put together a well- crafted letter is a must.

Seven Tips to Guide Your Writing:

1. A Dear Welcome 

Whom are you writing the letter to? Start your letter by writing his or her name after the word “Dear” and put a comma after their name. It’s the classic way to start a letter, and your family will be impressed!

2. Making Memories

Make sure to write down the date on which you’re writing the letter. Your family may keep the letter or put it in a scrapbook, and you’ll be able to look back and remember exactly when you wrote it.

3. P.S. You Don’t Need a P.S.

Writing a P.S. (“post-script”) is completely optional. But if you’re going to have one, write something funny that will make your family smile.

4. Get Specific

Your family wants to know the details. They want to feel like they are there with you. Tell them exactly what you’ve done at camp – the people, schedule, games and highlights. The more details the better!

5.  Fun & Safe

You want to establish two things from the get-go. You are having fun and you are safe. Fun without safety can give the impression that you’re on the verge of an injury; safety without fun can give the impression that you’re on the verge of utter boredom. Tell your family that you’re having a blast and you’re going to come back home in one piece.

6. All You Need is Love

There are lots of ways to end a letter, but you should probably put the word “love” in there somewhere. Odds are your family has been thinking about you constantly since you left for camp. Reminding them of your love is probably the most important part of your letter.

7. Don’t Love it Too Much

Your family wants to know that you love camp. But they also want to know that you love home more. Make sure to give a small critique or two of camp, just so they’ll know you’re missing the comforts of home.

Sample Letter

July 5, 2015

Dear Mom,

I’m having a blast at camp. I couldn’t have imagined having this much fun, but it just keeps getting better! I’m making plenty of new friends. Everyone is so welcoming, and we do everything together. The camp staff is great, too. They make sure we stay safe while we’re having fun!

On Monday, we learned how to water ski, and then at night, we played capture the flag. Wednesday was the best day of the week. We divided up into teams and competed in a tug-of-war tournament. I’m proud to say my team finished second (we barely lost in the championship). We usually go to bed at 10 p.m., and we wake up at 6:30 a.m. every morning!

As much as I’m loving camp, the chicken pot pie here doesn’t come close to the one you make at home. I’m going to enjoy every minute of camp, but I’ll sure be ready to see you at the end of the month. I miss you and can’t wait to see you soon.

Love, Johnny

P.S. Please make sure Freddy gets fed twice a week! He’s a growing iguana and needs his protein.