A few weeks ago someone from the New York Times asked if he could interview me about a growing trend in summer camps, the banning of care packages. Gulp! In mid July a very informative article appeared in the Sunday Style section that, jump for joy, included a mention of Mirth in a Box! The gist of the article seemed to imply that camps were limiting or doing away with care packages because a few parents were going overboard sending presents and contraband (cell phones, Snickers Bars, etc)to their children. Read the very funny article, The Care-Package Wars, HERE. Whoa! This overzealous style of parenting could very well be true but in my short experience with creating and sending summer camp care packages (2013 is our second summer), I’ve yet to meet one of these hyper competitive parents( oh damn!). Parents seem to send gifts to their children at camp for a variety of reasons. These seem to be the most common:
- Parents really miss their kids. These are usually parents who have sent their kid away for the first time. I remember losing 5 pounds from worry the first year my kids went away. Never happened again.
- Some parents feel guilty because they (the parents) are having a fantastic time at home while their children are being eaten by bugs in a hot, breezeless cabin and suffering through meals of burnt hamburgers and canned baked beans.
- Many parents worry that their children are homesick and want to cheer him/her up. Hey. It happens. I was very homesick my first year at camp.
- Traditionalists remember how fun it was to get something from home-no matter how small- and want to continue that tradition. I loved mail call at camp! For some reason postcards were my favorite.
I’m surprised by how many parents send gifts for the entire bunk. Seems like a great idea to me! I’ve also noticed that about a third of the camp care packages we send out are from aunts, uncles and grandparents. It takes a village….. Why have you ever sent a care package to someone you love? Common now, tell us the truth! Mirth in a Box is the happiest care package place on earth. Check us out! Photo credits via Flickr: EmmerFamily & CampASCCA