OK. I’m pretty sure this is a joke, but I’m not sure. There’s a blog called “Letters to Camp” and it’s devoted to nothing other than helping parents write letters to their kids who are away at camp. I realize that I write for a living so I might not be the target population here, but really? How hard is it to write a letter to your own kid?
The blog owner says he was inspired to create the blog because he had trouble writing a letter each and every day to his kid at overnight camp. And, see, the kid wanted a letter each day. The guy running the site seems like a very nice dude but I’m still a bit confused. I guess I’ll file this under “markets in everything.”
One page notes that the top question they receive is “So how exactly do I write letters to camp?” They put together a handy reference with such tips as “say hello,” “ask questions,” “share the latest ‘news’,” “tell a joke,” and “encourage your camper.”
Another section of the web site asks parents what their biggest challenge is. The options? “How to write letters to campers in general,” “How to write BETTER letters to campers,” “How to write FUNNY letters to campers,” “SAMPLE letters from parents,” “FILL-IN-THE-BLANK letters from parents,” “How to prevent HOMESICKNESS.”
Fill-in-the-blank letters? Sample letters? Am I missing something? Is this a joke?
Because while I understand that the site aims to help parents out, I think it might perpetuate a problem of parents not knowing when to trust themselves and just write a letter — or not write a letter, for what it’s worth — to their own child. Nobody else can tell you what to do. And a fill-in-the-blank template will really only sure that your letter is boring and lacking that genuine quality. Kids just want a little piece of you. And maybe even not getting a daily letter is a good thing for a kid. Even if they want it. Learning how to stay away without constant contact from the parent is healthy for everyone.