How to Construct Great Care Packages for Teens

A teen going to a camp or training program away from home will have many overwhelming emotions during their time there. Some will be positive, some will be negative, but the most powerful emotion will most likely be homesickness. There’s no better way to tell a teen they are loved and missed by their loved ones than by sending a care package. Here are some great items to add to a care package for youth who are spending time in a teen summer camp or teen military program.

First of all, know what is allowed at each facility. Rules for a teen wilderness program will probably be different than rules at an indoor teen Christian Program, so be sure to check. Look on the website or call the facility for more information.

Send the essentials. Blankets, toothpaste, extra clothing, shoes for the shower- it’s so easy to forget these items when packing for a trip. It’s also very common to not know what is important to have until your teen is actually there. Find out what your teen needs and send it as soon as possible to set your teen up for success in their new environment.

Send the extras. This is the fun part. Add in favorite candy, silly toys or a funny book. Send fun family pictures or a cool poster to hang on the wall. Be sure to pack extra items for your teen to share with their new friends. If their stay occurs during a holiday, pack holiday decorations, food and music into their care package. Decorate the inside of the box for an extra bit of fun.

Send a piece of home.  There’s nothing as exhilarating as the smell of home enveloped in the family’s favorite throw blanket or eating a delicious homemade cookie from the family’s treasured recipe. Send items from your hometown gift shop or local sports teams. Adding in the local newspaper will be a great way for your teen to share about their home with their friends. Don’t forget photos of their pet, too.

And the most important part.  Include a handwritten letter from you and the rest of your family members. Be encouraging and positive in your communication. Remind them they are valued, strong and capable of achieving any goal they set their mind to accomplishing.  Include notes from neighbors, friends, and loved ones as well. 

The more a teenager knows how much they are loved, the more they find the confidence and bravery to be successful in their new environment.  Though they may never show it, care packages will become bright spots during their stays away from home. Do not neglect the important of them. 

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