Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Dear Camp Director (An Actual Letter)

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Yes, I actually sent this nearly two weeks into his time at sleepaway camp. Is it just me or do you feel this way too?

Dear Camp Staff,

I hope the camp is going well and that my son is doing well as no one as heard from him yet. I’m willing to assume he’s fine. I hear there are pictures of him online via Bunk1 (cute ones!), but the number of pictures is so overwhelming to me, that I haven’t been looking through them.

I’m guessing that there are parents who complain that they don’t see enough photos featuring their kids and so the camp is making an effort to please the parents by taking more, but this parent does not relish looking through more than 350 photos taken on a single day to find one or two of her child. Am I the only parent to express this opinion? (If so, perhaps I’m part of a silent majority.) I mean look at the numbers from Aleph session compared to the Bet session. Also, aren't the roaming photographers a reminder that their parents are watching? Do these photo interfere with the feel and spirit of camp?

Perhaps you can at least sort the photos by cabin or activity? Or maybe for an extra few bucks you can tag my child so I don’t have to skim through 386 pics from 7/31 trying to make out the back of his head? Not to mention the 600+ photos I missed on 7/25-7/27 while I was at a business conference.

As long as I’m asking for favors, can you please help me out and given me a sense of what size donation parents tend to make to the staff appreciation fund? I’m sure parents contribute a wide range with the East Coast families maybe tipping the scales. I’m not interested in keeping up with the Steins as much as I am wanting to say thanks for your hard work keeping my kid safe, happy and giving him the summer of his life (again, I’m willing to assume this; I haven’t seen a letter or anything but the cabin photo which was just okay). Is this a nice round $18? $25? $50? $100? Can you give me a range at least?


Updated to add: Camp director said the average donation is $50 for a 3-4 week sleepaway camp. I think that's per family, not per kid. And I suspect that's the average of families who decided to contribute because I know that not all do.


Julie said...

That's awesome. I'm bothered by all the pictures shared at camps, and during preschool, too. The time taken to take the pictures is time away from important tasks. And I love that you pointed out that its a reminder to the kids that they aren't really alone. Much of the value of camp is in being on their own and not watched.

Let the kids take out the camera when he wants to. He can share them when he's home.

adrienne said...

I'm missing the photo floods- probably because I'm intentionally off Facebook (which gets harder to avoid every day). In my Facebook-free life, the photographic world is much more like the 1980s, when we all had to wait for film processing (and then lost the rolls for years).

That aside, this letter is the type of thing that most of us *wish* we'd thought to write- particularly the part about the fund. I hate the mysterious requests where you have no idea of proportion.

Please share the response with an update. I'm sure camp parents everywhere are Googling furiously for some kind of clue.