(Found) letters from camp story, bad boys sent to die


New Member
Apr 17, 2020
Trying to find a story I read years ago - surely no later than the 1980s, it could have been decades older though, in an anthology or other collection.

The framing device was a boy writing letters from summer camp to his parents. It is made clear from the beginning that he is a very bad boy getting in to all kinds of trouble, and so are all the other boys there. They are thrilled that they can get away with basically anything at this camp. But as the letters go on, the mood changes as there seem to be boys missing every day. He likes it less and less, and gets scared, and wants to come home. Then he's absolutely certain someone or something is picking off boys, and they're all afraid to go anywhere or to be alone.

The final letter from the boy has him hiding out in the woods, terrified that the (robot?) camp counselors will find him soon.

The final letter of the story is from the camp management, pleased to inform the parents that their son has completed the program satisfactorily, and they hope the parents enjoy their much better behaved new replacement child (or something like that). I.e., it's clarified that the parents sent the boy there because the camp management promised to kill the boys sent there.

I don't remember author or collection title. the story *migh* have been titled "letters from camp" or something like that.

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