Bungalow Colonies / Summer Vacation Problems

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  • #591893

    kvod hatorah
    Member

    we hopefully ask our rabbi’s all of our questions so why is it that so many horrible and ossur things happen in bungalow colonies and no one seems to care!! why wont people make sure they have Rabbis in the colony to make sure everything is kosher!!!

    #690165

    AinOhdMilvado
    Participant

    Because some people some times don’t WANT to know what is mutar and what is asur!

    There was a movie (you should excuse the reference) 35 years ago, i.e. in 1975, called Hester Street. It was about two close friends, frum Yidden who came to America at the turn of the century, from Europe, and were struggling to make a life on the Lower East Side of NY. One was single, and the other married. The married one came alone, to work and save up the money to bring his wife. By the time he was able to do so, he had already gone “off the derech” and given up his frumkeit. When his wife arrived, she, of course, was frum, and his friend was still frum. In a very memorable scene, the wife turns to the friend and says (I don’t remember the actual names of the characters, but…) “Chaim, I don’t understand, what’s happened to Yakov?” The friend turns to her and says “Chana, you have to understand, many of our people, as they got on the boat in Europe to come here, looked up and said “Good bye L-rd, I’m going to America'”.

    —Now, “kvod hatorah” fast forward one hundred years… Sadly, as many Yidden hit the Thruway, they say “Good bye L-rd, I’m going to the country…”

    #690166

    bpt
    Participant

    What “horrible and ossur” things are you talking about? Am I missing something?

    I’ve been going to the catskills since 1993, and I really don’t see the 5-alarm blaze you do.

    Whats up?

    #690167

    rescue37
    Participant

    The question also is, of the things that you see, what are clear violaations of halacha according to ALL dayos, and what is a violation of your opinion.

    #690168

    bpt
    Participant

    “Good bye L-rd, I’m going to the country…”

    Huh? Not sure what colonies you’ve been to that justifies such a statement, but at my place, and most places I’ve visitied, you have daily minyonim, chavrusos, real safeguards in place to prevent tznius problems. True, I have my share of fun and games, but to say the catskills is a modern day sodom? Please.

    Moshe Rose, is this you, under a differnt name?

    #690169

    kvod hatorah
    Member

    To ainodmilvado i think that a great point and that is exactly what i really was trying to bring out and that people should keep this in mind when they head upstate. To the boropark tatty and our rescue man this that you dont see the problem is a big part of the problem and without getting into detail but the whole “chilled out” mentallity whether its with your spouses friends tznius and just tottaly forgetting about “uvelachta bedruchuv” thats what gets me and obviously and most(only) important our father in heaven very mad!!

    #690170

    kvod hatorah
    Member

    to the bp tatty’s second post: DON’T BE SO BLIND!!

    #690171

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    OK, kavod hatorah, please explain to me what the problem is.

    And, please don’t tell me I don’t see the problem — I don’t go up to the mountains so I certainly don’t (through no fault of my own).

    So, please tell me what, exactly, is the problem that you’re so worked up about.

    The Wolf

    #690172

    bpt
    Participant

    Ok, I’ll be there this weekend, and I’ll keep my eyes open for trouble.

    And FYI – just before the start of the summer season, I went to hear a Pirke Avos shiur from one of BP’s biggest machmirim, anf from all the no-nos he listed off, the only one me and Mrs. BP went afoul on is “walking for excercize”.

    He felt its ok for her to walk to the grocery or to work, but just walking for the sake of walking, that’s the red zone.

    But as rescue pointed out, not everyones idea of sin is the golden and absolute standard.

    And please, chill out! There’s a whole lotta yiddishkeit on Rt 17.. just look for it, instead of looking for the negative.

    #690173

    WIY
    Member

    There are certainly issues in certain bungalow colonies where the womens dress codes relax and people generally act in ways that they wouldnt in the city. Its a problem.It is up to the people to make strict rules because without gedarim all kinds of things can happen.

    #690174

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Why is it that some people see nothing but negative and assume things are even worse than that?

    #690176

    kvod hatorah
    Member

    i just got back from a great shabbos in the coutry and here is what i hav to say and i spoke to many people from different bungalow colonys: the talking in shul is out of hand with eveyone being more chilled out and no rabbi to keep it quiet the shuls sound like A chicken market(and yes where i daven in the city the rav makes sure its quiet)and if someone has the “chutzpa” to shush someone else he gets the “who do you think you are?” and just one more thing(there is alot ill wait to share for another day)the mingling amongst the men and woman is out of control and i dont mean teanagers but how can women shmooze endlessly with their husbands friends ? and im not even talking about yhe fact that if your snood is half off anf your shirt is fitted like a glove he is not allowed to look at you NO MATTER HOW YOU INTERPET THE LAW (AS LONG AS YOU ARE ORHODOX)!!!!!!

    #690178

    bpt
    Participant

    Happy to report, all was well over the weekend in the mountains. If there was any “horrible and ossur” things going on, it was discrete. My guess is, the problem lies in defining “ossur”. My wife may not go to Walmart in sandals, but if yours does, its not ossur, its just that we have different ideas of what’s ok and what’s not.

    But I do have a juicy story to relate: This past week, 3 boys were spotted smoozing in walmart;

    Boy A = tzitzis out, payos behind the ear, white shirt. Cookie cutter yeshiva buy

    Boy B = 3 button polo, bulging biceps, smaller yarmulka than that of boy A

    Boy C = shorts, sandals, and a “yechi” yarmulka (no, he is not Chabad; he also wears Na-Na yarmukas, whatever strikes his fancy)

    So? Do we have a “teen crisis”? Is Boy A “at risk”? Is Boy A “hanging out with the wrong crowd”?It would sure seem that way!

    Until you know the facts. Because Boy A is my son, his mother was 2 asiles away, Boy B was a former neihgbor, who just happens to be a touch more modern, and Boy C is a classmate’s sibling, who just happens to be a character. Not a crack head, not a drug dealer, not a mechalel shabbos. And while Boy B many not plug away at the gemorrah as many hours as Boy A does, he is still a very good boy and a huge baal tovah and baal middos.

    Moral of the story? If you knew the facts, you’d see things a little differently!

    #690179

    dunno
    Member

    So true BP Totty. I know of someone involved in kiruv who was judged by his peers for walking the streets with someone who didn’t look like the typical yeshiva guy on shabbos. How sad…

    #690180

    d a
    Member

    About Asking Your Rov Upstate, see this thread and use it if you need!:

    Answering Your Summer Shailos in the Mountains

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/answering-your-summer-shailos-in-the-mountains

    Enjoy your safe and TORAHDIK summer! Whether your upstate or in the city!

    #690181

    kvod hatorah
    Member

    i dont understand what judging kids and having bungalow colonys where there is a CHILLED OUT attitute which many times lead to sin have in common also to make you informed a boy i know was in the bungalow last week where a girl his age came into his bungalow and told him that she would love to get to know him better and made it very inticing for him all because they shared apaper thin wall!!

    #690182

    bpt
    Participant

    Having spent close to 20 years in the bungalow scene, I find your senario very hard to accept at face value for lots of reasons:

    1 – was this girl a child of a resident or a mothers helper?

    2 – what was the age of these 2 kids? are we talking teens?

    3 – the girl is rarely the agressor,so the whole story seems fishy

    4 – my unit’s walls are so thin, I can hear my neighbor shirt hangars scrape across the pole from my side. Know how many instances our place has had of foul play? ZERO. Know why? Because we set up hardline gedarim (guidelines) to make sure nothing goes wrong.

    Now, were you to tell me that this happy couple met in the bowling alley at 1:00am, that I would believe, but what were they doing out at 1:00am?

    Of course, it COULD have happened, but I somehow doubt it played out the way you describe it. Good bochurim are rarely stalked like this.

    #690183

    apushatayid
    Participant

    I always seem to be in the wrong place. My shul never has any of those over the top, guys smashed on 12 types of liquor types of kiddushim, I never get invited to the over the top simchos where the women dress as its a night club, I always seem to miss all the mingling of the genders at Walmart (or I’m shopping at the wrong one?) and I can never seem to end up in a bungalow colony where my friends wives are shmoozing all day with other men with their snoods half off, and the davenings are one big talkfest.

    #690185

    WIY
    Member

    apushatayid:

    Baruch Hashem! Good for you that Hashem shelters you, or you are just oblivious.

    #690186

    bpt
    Participant

    Me neither. All I see in my place is kvetchy housewifes in snoods down to the ears / eyebrows, and laundry hanging from the clothesline strung between two trees.

    As far as blowout kiddashim, if you call sponge cake on a styrofoam platter, then my shul is party central!

    Ok, Kovod Hatorah, all kidding aside. I’m just being sarastic, because its my nature. I do know that you mean well by alerting us to the bad things that go on in our community. But is it really that bad? That widespread? Not the circles that I (and likley the CR crowd as a whole) travel in. Do we need to be mindful? Of course. Do we need to stay home? No. Its somewhere in the middle, but there is way more good than bad in our midst.

    #690187

    apushatayid
    Participant

    I wonder why you didnt choose the option presented below.

    The “problem” is not as pervasive as we are being led to believe. It is possible “that so many horrible and ossur things happen in bungalow colonies”, but not in the vast majority of bungalow colonies. Perhaps Mr. Kavod Hatorah is the one who is in the wrong colony and should reevaluate where he spends his summers.

    #690188

    bpt
    Participant

    Or perhaps the idea of women just sitting in public is KH’s idea of assur. In our place, there have been times when people took issue to girls / women playing ball. Not mixed with men, just the idea of ball playing period. Therefore, our place is not mean for that level of frumkeit. On the other hand, I have friends in colonies that forbid grilling, and no one over the age of 9 can sit in front of the bungalow.

    Clearly, that’s not a place I want to be. Nor do I want to be in a place where the pool is mixed. SO I (like KH) chooses a place that suits my comfort level. Like so many other distintions, its matter of definition and who’s doing the defining.

    #690189

    myfriend
    Member

    BPTotty: Its a matter of what level of frumkeit Hashem wants. It isn’t – or shouldn’t be – really a matter of choosing or choice or comfort level.

    #690190

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Here we go again…..

    #690191

    yechezkel89
    Member

    tell me my friend what is the level of frumkeit that Hashem wants

    #690192

    LBK
    Participant

    I don’t necessarily agree that there is a pervasive problem in the catskills, when it comes to tznius, etc. However, in general, the rules during the summer shouldn’t be more relaxed than they are in the city during the rest of the year. I do have a question though – what is wrong with “walking for excersize” if it doesn’t involve immodest dress? I can see why girls and women playing ball in the presence of men could be problematic, but why shouldn’t women be allowed to excersize?

    #690193

    smartcookie
    Member

    Walking for excercise is viewed wrong by some, because when you walk quick, your whole body is shaking and moving and every part of you just shows.

    #690195

    WIY
    Member

    smartcookie:

    I would think it depends on if the person is walking or jogging, also what they are wearing would make a big difference. I would love to know if any respectable Rav poskened on this. Obviously a woman can be machmir on herself but mitzad hadin I dont think its an issue as long as the woman isnt dressed immodestly and she is just brisk walking.

    #690196

    WIY
    Member

    I do agree with some KH. First of all the bungalow colonies are terrible for teenage boys and girls. There are always big problems because the boys and girls are bored stiff and they see each other all the time. It starts with some shmoozing and takes for from there. Many bf gf relationships started from the bungalow colony.

    Additionally, in the summer people are more relaxed and chilled and there is lots of mingling in bungalow colonies between men and women and people tend to be more “heimish” with their friends spouses. My experience is with regular places. I never attended a very frummie bungalow colony so dont know but im speaking for regular run of the mill places that typical Brooklyn people would go to.

    #690197

    bpt
    Participant

    Our place has no “rules” about boys and girls but the general trend is once they hit 10 they start to separate. My teen sons will say hello to someone they knew as an 8 year old, but not join them at the table in the pizza store. As far as adults, if your spouse is there, you can join the circle. If not (or if the spouse needs to leave) you leave. Its not rude, its just the gedarim we set up to make sure no accidents happen.

    Its called using your judgement. We use it, kids use it.

    #690198

    imnotsaying
    Member

    BP Totty, are you saying that it’s ok for someone to be shmoozing to one’s friend’s wife?

    EDITED

    #690199

    apushatayid
    Participant

    I dont see where BP said that.

    #690200

    bpt
    Participant

    Here are 3 typical scence at our colony:

    1 – I, my wife, 3 neighbors and their spouses will sit in front of our units and shmooze. All present, all accoounted for. If one spouse leaves (and does not intend on returning in a minute or so), the other leaves too.

    2 – my family will be invited to a meal at a neighbor. We do not sit a separate tables, but we do sit “round-robin” so no one is sitting next to someone of another gender, not of thier family

    3 – there are 2 couples, and another 5 men, I’ll join the conversation. Standing only, so its not going to take root. Its a passing conversaion, usually after shul on Shabbos or to discuss where people are going that day / visiting day logistics, rides home, ect.

    So do I “talk to my friends wife”? Yes. Would I “shmooze” with her for an extended period of time? No.

    #690202

    aries2756
    Participant

    Most people do not do what they don’t normally do at home. However bungalow colonies are a business and if there are empty bungalows the owner will rent it and not ask too many questions or give too many rules. You can always wind up with a crowd that is not 100% but rather mixed with different levels of hashkafa and tznius. So if everyone is not following the same rules it can cause a huge problem. The best thing is to stick to your beliefs and be strong about it. If the owner of the place rents to people who don’t follow the rules, then let him know that he will lose the crowd that he already has if he doesn’t respect and accommodate the crowd with similar tenants.

    Another issue arises when units are owned and then rented out. If there are no specific rules in the association book about who can rent the units, there can be the same type of situation and the board will have to figure out a solution.

    People who usually let their guard down in the country usually go to the same colonies as others who believe in doing the same. WE have spoken too many times about judging others and not being able to change others. We can’t control what others do, we can only be the best role models we can be. WE will give OUR din v’cheshbon after 120 and they will do the same. Nothing is hidden from Hashem. There really is no point in talking about it because WE can’t change what others do.

    I stay in Miami Beach for 3 months in the winter and I can tell you that there are so many frum, yeshivish and Chasidish people who have no clue that Hashem is in their hearts, minds, bodies and souls and it doesn’t matter where they are, where they live and where they travel to. He is with them wherever they go. Never mind that there is no mechitza around the pool, not only do they jump in the pool mixed company or not, but they go in without a cover-up just in a bathing suit. Some women with hair covered and some not, but their bodies are not covered with anything more than a bathing suit. And men are jumping in with long beard and payos whether women are in the pool or not. How do we explain that to the 4 and 5 year olds at the pool? And we are concerned about men and women conversing in the country.

    #690203

    WIY
    Member

    aries2756:

    The Hashem isnt with me on vacation problem is truly a machlah. I know otherwise frum people that when it comes to honeymoon, or stam vacations go to beaches and such. Theres no Heter and many people are just living a double life. What happens in Miami stays in Miami or anywhere else for that matter. And people are shocked when terrible tragedies happen in the community. Keep the Torah and you wont have problems!

    #690204

    smartcookie
    Member

    I was in a hotel lately with an outdoor pool. There well HEIMISHE ladies swim there with bathing suits. I was horrified.

    The place was swarming with men but those few ladies had no problem swimming half naked….

    Sometimes I feel like those ladies that trangress tznius rules have no sense in their heads…

    How low have we fallen?

    #690205

    missme
    Member

    smartcookie, you’re point is well taken and unfortunately all too correct. One additional aspect you seem to have overlooked, is how could YOU even be in that treifa hotel??? It is assur for your husband to see those prutzas.

    #690206

    i thank Hashem a million times that i’m from OOT and don’t have to deal with bungalows. For one summer i worked as a full time mothers helper in a yeshivish bungalow colony. (at least i think its considered yeshivish) I couldn’t get over it. For a few months after i couldn’t stop talking about my experience. Forget about the inappropriate gender mixing, which b”h wasn’t too bad. (on shabbos it was at its worst when the women would have a shiur together, husbands come from shul to get their wives… and you know the rest, shmoozing casually with…) A very elementary basic concept in yiddishkeit was missing – PRIVACY. I could tell you the shalom bayis of each bungalow on either side and even a few bungalows down. If you have any shidduchim inqueries, i could tell you which mother never ever screamed and which kids ALWAYS fought… This was the hardest for me to get over. Isn’t that what Bilaam unwillingly praised klal yisroel for “?? ???? ????? ????” ? what is going on?

    Second complaint also really major. When i went down to the pool, i was really in for a shock. Women WITH THEIR LITTLE KIDS SOMETIMES INCLUDING BOYS would lay out totally in bathing suits and sometimes very very low cut untznius ones basically naked (a bathing suit itself is untznius, but you know what i mean) this was way beyond my comprehension. Now if you want to go swimming, get into a bathing suit and GO SWIMMING. if you want to tan and relax GET DRESSED!!!!! i couldn’t believe that their was such a level of un-sensitivity, (excuse the grammar) how can we expect our little boys to grow up to be gedolay olam if this is how they grow up?

    in short i really don’t know waht i would do if i lived in NY where the whether is scorching – (i pitty you all in the city now!)i would somehow find a solution to make it work. and im sure there are bungalow colonies that are more private and hopefully have better rules (if there’s such a thing) on how to come dressed to the pool.

    i once heard that years ago, in a bungalow colony they caught boys who climbed onto trees to look into the pool area when it was woman’s hours. After that they built it better so that you cant see in even from such a position. I’m sure today they’re more careful with that too.

    #690207

    smartcookie
    Member

    We obviously stayed away from that area. But I still couldn’t believe that OUR ladies will be in there without being fully clothed.

    #690208

    smartcookie – you wouldn’t lie but i’m having a really hard time believing that story. and if it’s takeh true, tisha b’av is coming up and it’s another one of “al eileh ani bochiya” it’s simply too painful to be true.

    #690209

    smartcookie
    Member

    Saf davar- sadly, it is all true. I’m shocked myself.

    #690210

    oomis
    Participant

    I’m not certain I understand – these women were out by a pool where MEN could see them? There was no privacy area? Why on earth would a frum Bungalow colony situate their pool in such a way? As to the boys – – well, how OLD were those little boys? If under five, then what is your problem? If they were old enough to be bothered by the sight of their mothers in a bathing suit, then they should not be at the pool at ALL (which then begs the problem – what are the moms supposed to do with their SONS, especially if the husbands are in the City?).

    Little kids are innocent, and unless a woman is not wearing any type of bathing suit(even if it is only a two piece thing) she is covered. If it is not covering the basics, then maybe there should be some type of rule about appropriate bathing attire posted. I totally agree though that NO women in such a frum colony should be in bathing suits where any men can see them.

    #690211

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    i thank Hashem a million times that i’m from OOT and don’t have to deal with bungalows.

    I know that this will forever brand me as an apikorus, but I’m from in-town and I don’t deal with bungalows either.

    Frankly, while I don’t begrudge others their lifestyle choices, I could never see the fascination with being separated from my wife for four or five days of every week in the summer. I like to spend time with her and enjoy her company.

    (Just waiting for a poster or two to quote Avos “Al Tarbeh…” and berate me for wanting to spend time with my wife…)

    The Wolf

    #690212

    I’m from out of town and dont know anything about bungalow colonies. but i thought the families went there together. you mean just the men go?

    #690213

    smartcookie
    Member

    The wolf- you’re losing all your self esteem in this CR.

    You’re not THAT bad!!

    #690214

    smartcookie
    Member

    Mod, it’s a sick style where the ladies and kids go.

    The men stay in the city free to do what they want, and go where they want.

    They stay here and enjoy the scenes on the street with all untznius ladies.

    Many gedolim are against going to the country.

    #690215

    Max Well
    Member

    In fairness, it is imperitive that it be pointed out we are talking about a small minority, regarding the above described reprehensible behavior.

    #690216

    thanks sc

    i dont think i like that idea

    #690217

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Wolf: Somewhere else (more than once) I posted if it would be a gezairah to go to bungalows, the gedolim would have Asifas and Tehillim gatherings trying to break the terrible decree to seperate spouses during the summer, except for weekends.

    But some people do so willingly.

    SC: any specific M’arre Mekomos?

    #690218

    Max Well
    Member

    What smartcookie describes is a problem affecting some, but not most.

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