Scenic view of trees at camp

What Every Parent Needs to Know About Care Packages and Camper Mail

by Jesse Garner


Like nap schedules, discipline, school choices, or pretty much anything in the parenting world, care packages are a topic that generate a diversity of opinions. Some parents fall into the “I already spend a lot of money on camp why in the world would I send you anything else” side of things. Others are in the “I miss you here’s some things to enjoy while you’re gone” side, and some in between. Our goal in this guide is to empower you to make your own decision based on your preferences and your family situation, so you can show up to camp blissfully confident.

All physical letters and packages must be packed inside your camper’s trunk at the beginning of the week. If you forgot something important for your camper, contact us and we’ll help you figure it out.


Letters are a great way for campers to hear from parents during the week. There are two ways to get a letter to your camper.

Option 1: In Trunk at Drop Off

As the trunk is getting packed, put all your letters into the trunk, labeled with the day you want your camper to open them. Boom – good to go.

Option 2: CampLife App

The other option is through the CampLife app. Write a short letter into the app by 10 am on Tuesday and Thursday. Those are printed out and delivered to your camper. The CampLife App only allows one letter per household, so if there are multiple people in the family who want to write to your camper, you should encourage them to get you letters ahead of time, or plan on sharing some space in your digital letter.

One great thing about writing letters is that you’ll probably get a letter back from your camper! Campers are encouraged to hand write letters for the app twice a week during FOB. Those letters are then sent to you via the CampLife app! They are precious… and sometimes hilarious.


“Care packages” are a little bit of a misnomer since camp is already taking great care of your camper and they don’t really need anything else. But some parents enjoy sending snacks and small gifts via packages. So many do, in fact, that we sell out of our pre-made care packages (keep reading below for more info!) every year.

Please pack all packages in your camper’s trunk upon arrival.

Package Guidelines

  • any snacks must be in resealable containers (those cookies are so good ants will seek them out no matter where they are). There are also snacks in the camp store if you’d rather your camper get them there.
  • nothing that’s already a “no” on our packing list, like gum, toy guns, electronics or magazines

Pine Cove Care Packs

Pine Cove’s pre-made care packs are both an easy and fun way for you to surprise your camper with Pine Cove products during their week at camp. Care packs can be ordered online through the camper’s account until Sunday at 11:59 pm or by phone until Monday at 10:00 am of their week of camp. They cannot be purchased at camp, so be sure to order before arrival! For our two-week campers, the deadline is still the Monday of their first week of camp and are delivered their first week of a two-week session.

Summer 2023 Delivery Schedule:


  • Towers Camo Kit


  • Shores, Outback, and Ridge Camo Kit


  • Swag Bags and Fun Packs for all camps


  • Ranch, Timbers, Silverado, and Springs Camo Kit

Skip the line, shop online!

Want to save space in your camper’s trunk? We offer online ordering from the camp store delivered straight to your camper’s bunk! Use the code “BOX23” for free shipping on your online camp store order. When you order, put the camper’s name, the camp they are attending, the week, and the day of the week for delivery in the special notes and we’ll take care of the rest. Deliveries are available Monday – Thursday during their camp week.

Mail Time

During the day, typically after lunch campers have time set aside to be able to read through their printed out letters from the CampLife app and open any letters or packages marked for that day in their trunk. 

Send It On Home

If you’re a parent in the “no packages” camp, that’s great! Just know you’ll probably hear about packages from your campers when they see other kids in the cabin getting them. This might be a great conversation to have with your camper before camp starts! Campers write letters during FOB, so snacks and packages might get mentioned in a letter home via the CampLife app. In our experience even if other campers getting stuff gets mentioned in a letter home it’s quickly forgotten once they are out of the cabin and back doing activities.

If you’re a parent in the “all the packages” camp, that’s great too! We just ask you to stick to these guidelines, and be considerate of others. Help keep the focus of the week on camp and not on the awesome thing they got (or are getting) in a care package.

If you’re in the middle, please don’t feel pressured to move to one side or the other. What you want to do in this area is totally up to you and we support your decision. We see you working hard doing this parent thing.

One thing we know is true is that a meaningful letter of encouragement and love is the best gift you can give your camper. So no matter what you decide, send some words of affirmation during the week to your camper. They may play it cool when you pick them up, but we bet that letter just might end up a little ragged from being read and reread in a treasure chest under a bed.

Posted Mar 1, 2022

Jesse Garner

Sr. Director of Camper Engagement

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