Mentoring The Next Generation of Philatelists

If you’re not here by accident, chances are you have been bitten by the philatelic bug. Some of you remember fondly the countless hours that you have spent over the years, sorting, mounting, trading and well and, well, just staring at your collection. As children, these delightful little pieces of paper beckoned you to far off places and times long past, to tell you stories of great men and women and their accomplishments. As you grew older, you want to share that love, to pass that torch to a new generation. But how? And more importantly, why would a generation of children who have never known the joy of a receiving a hand written letter care about stamps?

For The Love of Collecting

It’s in the nature of children to love collecting. They collect not just baseball cards, action figures, Legos and such but even simpler things as bottle caps and sea shells. Stamps are much easier to collect and enjoy. So turning them on to stamps may be just a matter of showing them your collection.

For The Love of Learning

Collecting teaches children to organize things, to be responsible for things, to read, to count, to save, to share and so on. And what a wonderful way to sneak in some truly wonderful lessons to many who would swear that learning is boring. Perhaps you can persuade your children’s school to introduce philately as a class project.

For The Love of History

Stamps are a treasure trove of history. They depict events of historical import and celebrate great people. Stamps are a great way to introduce historical topics. Asking them to describe what is picture on a stamp and then tie it to other events and people could bring an otherwise boring history lesson alive for them. The history of the postal system itself is a great topic to explore.

For The Community

Joining a philatelic club could be a great way for children to meet other children and make new friends. Admiring each others collections, trading, buying, selling could all provide many hours of wholesome fun. Some of these friendships formed out of sharing a mutual interest could last well into adulthood. There are many philatelic clubs in the U.S. The American Philatelic Society has the All Star Stamp Club which is a philatelic club for children in grades 3 through grade 7. The APS website lists the All Star Stamp Clubs around the country:

Find All Star Stamp Clubs Near You

For Advocacy

Don’t be shy. Call your local schools and offer a presentation to the classes or clubs on stamp collecting. Show them some of your albums. Talk about how to get started, what supplies they need, where they can find it. Pick up some old stamps at the local flea market in small zip lock bags to give away. Its a great start.

With he advent of email and home printed stamps, there is a decline in the production of new stamps around the world. Knowledgeable philatelists must speak up for this wonderful hobby so that new generations can learn about it and continue to enjoy the pleasure of stamp collecting