What to Do When Their Letter Says “I Hate Everything!”

  • If you’re lucky, you might have already received some mail from your camper! Or maybe a Bunk Note reply! Maybe your reading about how much they enjoy their counselors or their favorite activities, or perhaps they’ve only been writing about how much they hate everything – their bunkmates, the mosquitoes, or just about anything else they can list. These feelings may appear early on, but by the time you receive a note from your camper, they may be feeling totally different about camp. If you get one of those dreaded letters, we’ve got a few hints to help ease the shock.

     

    Mind the Date

    When was this letter or Bunk Note reply sent? Cabin and behavior issues happen, are usually quickly addressed, and the campers quickly move on. On Monday, your camper might hate everything, but by Wednesday, everything is back to normal.

    Reach Out to Camp Staff

    If you’re worried about something you’ve read in a letter, please reach out to us at camp! If we don’t know about your concerns, we can’t address them. If you reach out to camp, we can talk to counselors and unit leaders to get more information to make sure your camper is having a great camp experience.

    Reply to Your Camper

    Mail time is always a fun time at camp! While campers love getting mail, writing too much may increase homesickness. If your camper writes home, do take the time to reply and keep it upbeat! Share some news from home so they don’t feel like they are missing out and ask questions that invite another reply. Offer your love & support, but remember that letters are meant to add value to your camper’s experience, not to make them miss you or life at home.

     

     

    Consider It a Learning Experience

    When you send a child to camp, it’s great practice in the art of “letting go.” This helps parents AND campers. While campers are learning to “let go” of their parents, that’s when the real growth is happening. They may have moments of “hating camp,” but they are making their own choices and showing their own independence. Each time they accomplish something new, it turns into a great opportunity to gain some self-confidence. A little struggle builds character.

     

    If you get one of those “I hate camp” letters, don’t stress out. These are completely normal feelings, but they are fleeting. Be encouraging, be positive, and know that they’ll have an incredible time at Indian & Forest Acres.