Reply To: Out Of The Mailbag: (Who Are Our Camp Counselors?)

Home Forums Summer & Camp Issues Out Of The Mailbag: (Who Are Our Camp Counselors?) Reply To: Out Of The Mailbag: (Who Are Our Camp Counselors?)


After reading some of the posts I feel the need to add more to what I said before.

I think that we have to look at the big picture here and put it in perspective. Most camps provide a well structured, frum environment, that puts an emphasis on Torah, Midos and social/fun activities. With all the negative influences to be found in the city (movies, television, tzinus on the streets, etc) the camp environment still creates a safe haven for our children to attend. There are many people from whom our children will learn from (and not just the counselor) and I personally don’t think that we are near any sort of crisis situation.

So lets take one post who almost threw up when he found out that his brother’s counselor slept through shacharis. (plus was that really necessary to phrase it like that? ) We all can agree that is was a wrong thing to do, and yes now these 8-10 boys have been exposed to the concept that there are people out there who don’t daven with a minyan. Plus one can question where were the camp’s administration when all of this went on. But, does this mean that all counselors are bad now? Are we now worried that because of this, we now have 8-10 new boys who are now at risk? Not at all. This is now an opportunity for a parent (or older brother) to sit down with their children about the real world. (Things that can be said to your child, “Yes davening in a minyan is a must, but now you can see that it is hard for some people and they have a srtuggle to fight thier Yetzer Horah.” Now it is easier, but might get harder for you in the future, what are some of the things that we can do now, to make sure that this doesn’t happen to us.” ….or even, “I’m glad that this bothers you. You now see that not everyone can make the right choice. I’m sure we will all have our challenges in life, but if you come to me when they come up we can find good ways of making good choices. And so on….)

Next we have to think what does go on in camp…….good question. For the harsh reality, it’s a mokom teeming with teenagers who have been given a little more independence then in Yeshiva. Being that they are teens, they will act silly, be unrefined and not always make the best choices. There will be some who on their off day, do things that we frown about. However, there will be a mojority of teens who will rise up to the challenge. While maybe one or two will miss a tefilah, they will see the rest of the counselors who did not. They will see the structure that the camp provides and the emphasis they put on good midos, bentching by meals, daily set time for learning, sportsmanship and any other area that the camp takes on. Yes we should ask for the best possible individual for our children, but we don’t have to be frantic if all our expectations are not met all the time.