Every summer season means summer camps for our kids. It's a rite of passage, a growing up experience. And it can mean being homesick. Especially your first time away. So, I have a little tradition that I do for the kids their first time away for an extended youth camp. The night before they leave I sneak several packages, one for everyday they're gone, and hide them inside their clothing.
You'd think that this reminder from mom might make them more homesick, make them think of home, but it doesn't. And the contents aren't really the big deal. it's the magical feeling of surprise. And being excited and looking forward to something. And knowing someone loves and misses you.
My second to the youngest had her first week long camping trip and I put her envelopes inside her pack. I decorated the envelopes with the day she could open them. There is a downside - one of her friends told me that my daughter was so excited that she stayed awake until 12:01am so that she could open one of the packages. I laughed. I'd rather hear a camp story like that, than some of the other's I've heard before. She had a great week. I'll keep up with the tradition, one more to go.
Here's a list of what I put in this time -
• Light-up shoelaces, found them from Gabrielle Blair's post and love them $6-ish
• A flannel pillowcase that I sewed and stenciled her name, I sewed the pillowcase $4-ish + time
• A small sketch book and miniature pencils, from Hobby Lobby for less than $5
• A "miss you" puzzle, you might notice the similarities here and here $1 + time
What things might you put in? Add to my ideas for the next time.