Two of my pre-teen friends and family are at overnight camp this summer, and since I am an avid user of snail mail, I’ve been invited to correspond.

One of the camps has a standard “no food” policy and checks packages to ensure that well-meaning relatives aren’t tempting the animals in an effort to treat their camper. But the other camp won’t even allow anything larger than a regular business-size envelope – not to keep the critters away, rather to allow the campers to disconnect from Amazon! Apparently last year several participants received daily deliveries courtesy of Prime and the administration (wisely) changed policy to stop it.

It’s one thing to have everything at your fingertips if you’re an adult or living in a metropolitan area but I wonder what it teaches young people when they have near-instant access to everything while at a remote camp. In this situation, I think the good intentions of the sender are misplaced and the young people would benefit more from a week free of technology, commercialism, and instant gratification. After all, isn’t that part of what going to camp is all about?

So, if you are lucky enough to have a summer pen pal, opt for a touch of nostalgia and send correspondence that is as primitive as their environment. Postcards are as much of a treat as Amazon and even more of a novelty in this day and age.

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