Receiving mail at camp is one of the highlights of a camper’s day. However, over the past several years, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of packages arriving each day.
Many families chose to send their child to OSRUI because of the deep sense of community found here. We believe that camp is a place where each camper feels they are valued and treated equally.
We have found that the subject of packages, including who receives them and what is inside, has become an unnecessary source of stress and competition among our campers. While some of our campers receive many packages, some receive none at all. The reasons vary, but it still creates a sense of “haves and have-nots.” We have also found that while packages are sent with the best of intentions, the items are often quickly discarded, forgotten, and become another source of clutter and trash.
After much consideration and following the lead of a number of other summer camps, we have decided to make a change to our policy: Beginning Summer 2020, OSRUI will implement a no package policy. We will continue to accept letters and flat envelopes up to and including 9 x 12 size.
Other Jewish overnight camps that have instituted no-package policies report that this change lifted the burden from parents, campers, and camp staff, and has had a positive overall impact on the camp community.
What can you send? We encourage you to continue to use creative ways of interacting with your camper through letters, which can include word puzzles, pictures, magazines, or a comic clip from the newspaper. We will also continue to offer e-letters through CampMinder. Your letter or postcard is more than enough to encourage, uplift, and connect your child to home while leaving them free to “get away from it all,” — including from toys, gifts, and other “stuff.”
Birthdays at camp are special. Don’t worry – campers who are celebrating a birthday during their session may receive a birthday package. (Please do not send food or expensive gifts). Our counselors and staff are committed to making a camp birthday celebration special and unique!
If your camper forgets something essential (for example, a teddy bear they need to feel comfortable or fall asleep), please be in touch with the camp office so we can discuss the need and the best way for you to send the item to our Camper Care team for delivery to your camper. Please note that we provide toiletries at no charge for campers who run out or lose something.
Please share this policy with your camper and with family and friends. More specific information about what is allowed will be provided in the spring.
We hope you agree that this is a positive change, and we are grateful for your cooperation. Thank you in advance for doing your part to ensure that OSRUI can continue to promote and support our values and principles.