Letters Home

Writing a letter home was not only a weekly requirement for the camper, but also turned out to be every camper's meal ticket to the Sunday evening meal.  The Sunday rest hour was a dreaded time for all campers. It was the time that tested their ingenuity in filling up at least one page of stationery (or sometimes just a post card) with the latest things they had been doing at camp. Campers told of the achievement stars earned in such things as riding, canoeing or archery, the location of patches of poison ivy on their body, their lost pet snake that came from Sneak-a-Leak Creek and other good things they thought their parents would want to know. Most often letters were filled with requests for various and sundry items urgently needed by the camper such as candy or money to buy candy.

Fortunately, my Aunt Bernie saved a number of letters she received from her oldest son, Wes.  I have ordered the letters from Wes in roughly the order he sent them. I believe most of the letters were written by Wes during his first year at Charlevoix in 1956.  These letters are quite typical, I am sure, of the letters that were sent by campers each and every year.

Just to put things into perspective, for when you read the letters, Wes went on to get his MD and PhD.  He has been a practicing physician, like his father, for many years.

The Campers'  Letters Home

Another letter home to the parents was the one written by each boy's counselor at the end of Week 2 and Week 6, if the camper stayed the full 8 weeks.  The Counselor letter was really a report card for the camper. Like the "rest hour" letters for the camper, each counselor was required to inform the parents of any problems and to let parents know of the camper's achievements.  My aunt also saved several of these letters.

The Counselors' Letters Home

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