Life Doesn't Fit in a File Folder

Handwritten Letters From Clay Watkins and Other Folks!

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Guess what everyone? My mailbox has been flooded with letters from readers, so I’m bundling a few together or I’ll end up dragging this summer contest  into the middle of the first academic marking period! Speaking of school, Clay from Making The Days Count is a middle school teacher. We bonded back in 2011 as fellow teachers, and we’ve followed each other’s blogs ever since. A writer and lover of literature and history, Clay attended Boy Scout Camp only once as a kid. He remembers that it rained every day… except the day he had to leave to go home. Despite the fact that he was only there for one week, he still managed to earn merit badges for swimming and marksmanship.

Back in the day, Tech’s camp offered riflery as a hobby. According to former campers, the guns went away when the Vietnam War started.

{I’m guessing kids made out read a lot between 1965 and 1975 .}

I know Tech reads tons while he’s at camp. In his letter, Clay mentioned a book that Tech hasn’t yet read.

Great handwriting, yes?

Clay knows my son starts high school in September, and he included some helpful advice from his 15-year-old who just finished his freshman year.

• Make new friends. Keep the old ones, but meet new people.
• Get involved. Join a club or clubs, play a sport – get involved in the school – don’t forget the clubs you were in either.
• Don’t procrastinate. Do the work before it’s due. Or your mom and dad will go nuts and take away your phone.
• Remember. You don’t have to like your teachers, just do the work they assign. And do it well.

But that’s not all!

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Seven postcards! Whaaaat?!

Clay included postcards from six different states he visited this summer: from Illinois to Alabama, Arkansas to Tennessee, Mississippi to Michigan!

And he wrote a short note on the back of each postcard! You guys, he basically sent Tech EIGHT letters! Faboosh, right?

Clay believes in making every day count, and I’m grateful to him for helping to make my son’s time at camp even more special! If you’d like to read the words of a wonderful educator filled with positivity, check out Clay’s blog. Or chat with him on Twitter at @makingdayscount. You won’t regret it.

• • •

Ange told Tech about the summer she spent all her free time slaving away over composing long, handwritten letters to her son while he was away at overnight camp – only to learn that he had been turning them over to his counselor to read.

“Because they’re too long,” her son complained.

Luckily, the counselor really liked her letters. And what of that son these days? He hardly writes her… unless he wants something! Check out a little piece of her letter!

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• • •

Liz got her son to write a little letter! That Liz is no fool. Who can resist emerging handwriting? It’s soooo scraggly and cute. Nick packed a lot of punch into his letter, considering it’s only 41 words! In a tiny little space, he managed to reference plenty of things that Tech loves: camp, LEGOs, Robotics and Minecraft! Will the handwriting win Tech’s heart?

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Many thanks to Clay, Ange, Liz and Nick for taking the time to write these gorgeous handwritten letters. They’ve been sent off to the boy in camp.

• • •

To see other posts in this series read letters from:

Maria of BrickHouseChick

Stuart Sheldon

Misty of Misty’s Law’s

Rivki Silver of Life in the Married Lane

Daile of Kiss Me Out of Desire

Naomi Hattoway of Box 53B 

Pleun of La Vida Loca

tweet me @rasjacobson

20 thoughts on “Handwritten Letters From Clay Watkins and Other Folks!

  1. Tech is going to have a real hard time picking a winner. All these letters seem so utterly cool! And those postcards were a brilliant idea!

    1. Pleun! I have no idea how he’s going to do it. He told me he had a front runner at intersession. I imagine he’ll read the last few and decide which if those he liked best and put it up against the front runner. Or something. Who knows? He is really enjoying them. We both are! 🙂

    1. All the letters have been sent! Sorry Gloria. If you sent one now, I wouldn’t have time to turn it around to get it to him in time. Thanks for thinking of him! I know you would have written a delicious letter! Plus it would have been fun to see your handwriting! 🙂

      1. You would have been impressed, Renee.

        I proudly keep my official Handwriting Certificate from second grade in a binder with protective sheets. I keep all of my certificates there.

        Um. No. It’s not yet filled to capacity. Far from…

  2. Howdy.. summer is almost over, but it has been full and fun or fun and full – I am glad we came across each other a few years back. It was the ’19’ post you did about Tech and The Giver, which is my favorite book. I HAD A BLAST writing the postcards and the letter. I have also been enjoying all of the letters written to Tech, they are treasures. I have been sending postcards to my family for years when we are away, or when I am on a trip.. it is fun and my kids, W and O, just roll their eyes when we pass a postcard shop….. thanks for making my day!

    1. Hi Clay. I thought it was The Giver post that brought you to me, but I wasn’t positive. Whatever the reason, I’m so glad we’ve become cyber-friends. Thanks for the time you spent orchestrating Tech’s letter. I enjoyed reading about your adventures, too!

  3. I love these!! What a great idea you had to have us write Tech. It’s been so much fun to do it and to see other’s creative pieces of art. You are a genius! I’m sure you are missing him, but he’ll be home soon. Summer is coming to an end, (Nooooooooooooo!) xo

    1. Hi Maria! I’ve been surprised by how much I’m missing him this year. Seven weeks feels very different when compared to four: when he comes home, summer will be over and he’ll have to go straight to his high school orientation. Hard to believe how fast summer is flying by!

  4. I think you’re onto something here. Letters to kids at camp. How about letters of advice for kids who don’t listen to their parents? 😉

    Your son is one lucky guy to have such a creative and thoughtful mom. What a fun way to connect at summer camp. And think of retelling this story in 30 years!

  5. Great letters! I LOVE The Giver! And My Side Of The Mountain is awesome too – I actually like it better than Hatchet. But only by a smidge. These letters to camp posts have been a lot of fun! Part of it for me is just seeing where their minds went with the letter writing. You get a little peek into each person’s personality. I hope Tech is enjoying it 🙂

  6. I’ve been short on comment time, Renée, but you can bet I have still been popping in to read your wonderful posts. Loved, loved, loved these letters to Tech. Your brilliance continues. Summer is almost over and I haven’t made it to Rochester – damn! Perhaps a Florida rendezvous will work. I won’t give up!

  7. Thank you for sharing a snippet of my letter! ’twas fun. And now I can say I’ve been published ????. A first for me. -Ange

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