E(xcellent) Mail

Dear Mr. or Mrs. Camp Director,

If you must email your camper, do it right.

Does your camp subscribe to a one-way e-mail service, whereby parents can write to their kids via the Internet?

Well, don’t get me started expounding on the virtues of a carefully handwritten letter.

For more on that, listen to my podcast on the topic here: http://www.campspirit.com/mp3/Letters_Home_10.mp3

For those of you who embrace e-mail services in lieu of handwritten letters, we can still be friends.

But for goodness sake, please coach your camp parents on the best way to write an e-mail. Remind them that their son or daughter is not a work colleague, sitting in the cubicle next to them.

A loving e-mail from home should not read like an inter-office memo about the air conditioner requisition form that you botched.

It should be thoughtful, grammatical and–most of all–personal.

I’ve attached a handout I hope you’ll share with your camp parents this summer. It’s a turnkey solution for 21st century brevity and the blight of acronyms.

Please distribute it widely, in the hopes that 2012 will bring more carefully written e-mails from moms and dads everywhere.

Dr. Christopher Thurber is a board-certified clinical psychologist, father and author of The Summer Camp Handbook, now available online for free at SummerCampHandbook.com. He is the co-creator of ExpertOnlineTraining.com, a set of Internet-based-video training modules for camp counselors, nurses and doctors. He can be reached via e-mail at chris@campspirit.com.

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