Create a cool camp care package for your Maryland camper

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CampCarePackageWBy Kristy MacKaben

When Annapolis teen Chase Hite received a slip at camp last summer letting him know there was a care package waiting for him, instantly his day became more awesome.

Hite, 17, spent the entire month of July at Lake Champion, a Young Life camp in New York. As a volunteer of the "work crew" team at the Christian-based camp, Hite says he had almost no connection to the "outside world." So, a camp care package was "literally" a godsend.

"It was always the highlight of my day," Hite says, explaining he received a few care packages and a lot of letters during his four weeks at camp. "The only times I felt homesick were when there was a gap between getting packages or letters."

Most Maryland camp directors and counselors agree sending a care package to kids in camp is important — it shows campers people care about them and they're not forgotten about at home.

"It's like a little mini birthday or Christmas surprise," says Trev Dalton, summer camp director at YMCA Camp Letts in Edgewater. "It's a little spark. A little bit of home is contained in there."

Fewer campers these days have been receiving the coveted goodies, according to the American Camp Association. Whether the cause is busy parents or shorter camp sessions, about 20 percent of campers receive care packages compared to 70 percent in years past, says Nancy Canter, executive director for the Chesapeake field office of the American Camp Association.

Regardless, camp directors agree that the camp care package should not be forgotten.

"I do feel like it's an important part of camp," stresses Tim Ward, director of ministry and programming for Camp Wabanna in Edgewater. "It shows campers they are supported and loved by their family and friends."

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