Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Good Mail @ Girls Camp

After reading Jill's post today, I thought I'd find a minute to finally get a little post done about a part of camp this year. During the pre camp meetings our camp director mentioned that they were not doing "secret sisters" anymore at camp, but wanted to do some sort of mail center... and asked for a volunteer to organize it. Thanks to the inspiration of Jill the Good Mail Queen, I volunteered. Now I know I could've gotten a lot more creative with the whole thing, but it really didn't matter in the end. The Good Mail@Girls Camp mail center was a HUGE HIT!

I got the mailboxes, Natosha got the paper supplies and by the end of the first day of camp, we realized we would need more paper! We could not keep the girls away from the Good Mail.

Here's what we did:

*Set up a station in the lodge that was out of the way. Made a sign and "mail boxes" (dollar store find!)- one mailbox per cabin and then an extra mailbox for any adult leaders/staff that were not in a girls cabin.

*Labeled each mailbox with a big sticker that I printed up with the name and number of that cabin.

*Created a list by certification group, alphabetized them by first name and included which cabin they were in... 1st years, 2nd years, 3rd years, 4th years, YCLs, Adult leaders (adults alphabetized by last name.) Hung lists on the wall near the Good Mail center.

*We brought pens, pencils, markers, stamping supplies, stickers, craft scissors, paper, scrap booking paper scraps, notepads... Natosha created these adorable notepads for those who only had time for a quick note.

I think they were a great idea! (We also got some baskets for these items to TRY to keep the table organized. Unfortunately the girls didn't care how cluttered the Good Mail table was getting & we were constantly re organizing, throwing away trash, etc...
*Each night the YCLs would come get the Good Mail to deliver to their cabin, but would first check to make sure all of their girls got something.

Sometimes they'd have to write a quick note to a girl who didn't have one.
*After a couple of days we started shutting down the mail center during certain times. The girls would be so busy writing Good Mail that they wouldn't do their chores or would be late to certification groups!

*The adults took advantage of the mail center too, writing notes to their daughters, girls from their ward and even to other adults.

*At the end of camp some girls asked if next year they could have 2 delivery times a day so they'd have more time to respond to notes they got.
* And the most fun part for me... By the end of the week many girls were using the term "Good Mail" :)

**EDIT: Jillie beat me to a post about Girls Camp.  I'm sure she'd appreciate some traffic over there. :)


Sunny said...

"Good" idea, Nik! Why didn't they want to do Secret Sisters? Are they going to stop doing that altogether? Sounds like your "good mail" was a hit. Great post!

Nikki said...

They found secret sisters to be a problem because some re getting fabulous well thought out gifts while others were getting junk. It just wasn't working well- so I think it's been officially replaced now.

JSG said...


dad said...

Another great job, Nik! Congratulations on another great success... and, looks like a new, and better trend.

Leanne said...

What a fun project! Of course I knew you would make it cool for them. :)

Jill said...

I'm so happy you shared this idea and made it part of your girls camp! It's a thrill. If we had had something like this at girls camp I probably would have spent all my time working on notes, I'm such an addict. Thanks Nikki!

Michelle said...

Very cute idea! Sounds like you've started a new trend. I'm sure all the girls just loved that.

Angie said...

I LOVE the good mail idea!!! And knew you would come up with brilliant additions for Girls Camp! I especially loved receiving my personal "good mail" wtih twizzlers!! I love that when you see twizzlers you think of me!! Thank you Thank you!!!

Carolyn said...

Awesome idea Nikki! I would've loved that much better than S.S. when I was in Y.W. and I agree with whoever ended it because it was alot of pressure to make sure you gave a good gift and then frustrating if you got "junk" back. I hope the idea spreads like wildfire to other wards. I know I will let the wards I know hear about it!

Caity said...

What a great idea! I personally didn't like secret sisters. I would have LOVED that though! THat was so nice of you to get everything together for that!

Holly said...

I LOVE it!!! You did such a good job. I feel so bad I wasn't more (ok, or ANY) help to you in all of this. You had so much to do at the last minute. You did awesome. We should have a "good mail@home" or a "good mail@church" center too. We could all use it! :) Great post and HURRAY to Jill for bringing good mail to us all!