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Posted by Scott Lynett, Esq. | Jul 24, 2023 | 3 Comments

With the start of school a distant hope, my wife and I are facing one of the greatest crises of our family life: "How do we keep our kids from driving us nuts when there are still six weeks of summer left?"

This year, we took the easy way out and sent our 12- and 13-year-old sons to camp in the Poconos for two weeks. While we thought camp would be a great experience for our boys and an opportunity to make new friends and learn new sports and hobbies, we also had the selfish motivation of looking forward to two weeks of relative peace and quiet at home.

One of the unexpected benefits of camp is the steady stream of letters that we and my sister Jennifer have received, both from our boys and Jennifer's son, Michael, who is at the same camp. For anyone who went to camp as a child or sent your child there as a parent, I'd like to share actual letters sent by my sons and nephew over the past two weeks.

Dear Mom,

I texted you, but that takes too long, so here is a more detailed account of my experience here at camp.

For starters, our cabins smell like rotten garbage and are also swarming with bugs.

Next, the counselors are creepy and weird, nobody has been molested, yet. I'm stuck in stained glass class and electronics. I'm in other sports that I have little interest in but one highlight is I take two hours of ropes course every day. The food is awful, the bad lunch lady has 5,000 piercings on her face and she doesn't know how to close her mouth. And, she doesn't wear gloves. There is no soda anywhere. I can't last a full two weeks here, please mother, I beg you, if I knew I was only staying a week I would enjoy camp so much more. You want me back, I want to be back, so please only one week. If I have to hear that God- awful band that practices right next to us one more time, I will walk home.

Love, Michael

P.S. the kids are just mean.

P.P.S. I will take out all the trash that is needed.

It should be noted that "texting takes too long" for Michael because unbeknownst to him, his parents shut off his cellphone service when he went to camp.

In contrast to Michael's view, my son Scotty is embracing camp life to the point where he appears to have forgotten everything he learned during the school year about spelling, punctuation, capitalization or grammar:

Dear Mom and Dad,

Camp is a blast it's so much fun. There are 11 people in my cabin includeing me they're all nice. I have 3 cabin counclers they all really nice. Today for lunch we had BLTs (I took off the tomato) it was really good and for desert we had coffee ice cream Hey dad guess what they had rifles and I'm not that bad of a shot P.S. Don't send any more candy they throw it away but thanks.'

In fact, I can only assume Scotty wrote this letter. He did not sign it, nor was there a return address.

Henry charts a middle course. Knowing in his heart that, short of losing a limb, there is no hope that his parents will come rescue him from camp early, his letters are a daily journal of quiet resignation.


Day 5

Dear Mom and Dad,

My first pen broke, so I got a new one. That's all I got.


Day 6

Dear Mom and Dad,

The container of bug spray you gave me exploded in my bag. I'm really bored. Things I've bought so far: water bottle, headlight, backpack, yoyo, 3 canteens, 1 rocket. I went sailing today and me and my friend Greg almost came close to sort of getting it right. I gotta be honest, I'm getting really sick of doing the same stuff over and over.

Love, Henry

Of course, the same boy who is "bored" doing the same activities every day will, left to his own devices, sit in a chair playing video games and watching TV for days at a time.

Finally, Michael sent a second plea for early release:

Dear Mom,

I need to leave Sunday. I'm having fun but I can't stay away from home this long. if you take away the bugs, the crazy counselors, lack of soda and candy, awful food and the repetitive sports classes, I'm having a decent time. All of the kids in our cabin smell. I am keeping well groomed, but the awful smell lingers on the camp and in our cabin. I can't text you, but I'll write to you as much as I can. Love you!

Love, Michael

Someday, I hope all my kids look back fondly on their days at camp. For now, I'm just happy to have them home.

About the Author


Lynn Evans Reply

Posted Aug 03, 2023 at 06:46:38

Thanks so much for sharing this! Priceless. Made my day.

Phil Condron Reply

Posted Aug 03, 2023 at 06:55:54

Priceless! Love it.

Conrad Schintz Reply

Posted Aug 03, 2023 at 14:30:11

Great Letters , don’t ever lose them

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