Frum Camps & Water Parks

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    Hundreds of young elementary age children from multiple camps converge into a water park designed for teenagers basically unsupervised. My son went with his school and walked around aimlessly after being left to himself by his counselor. This is what is posted on a water park website:

    “Children under 13 years of age are required to be accompanied by an adult for safety and supervision. “. ” is concerned for the welfare of all younger children.”

    One 16 year old boy is not adequate supervision for 25 8 year olds in a water park meant for teenagers. The lifeguards are not trained to deal with so many kids at once, many of whom don’t even know how to swim.

    It’s a fun & cheap thrill to overload a water park with kids but it’s putting young lives in danger. We need to develop safety guidelines for all camps to follow & be held accountable for.
    Let’s learn from the tragedies that happened this summer how to prevent them from reoccurring bisyata Dishmaya.

    ☕️coffee addict

    “The lifeguards are not trained to deal with so many kids at once, many of whom don’t even know how to swim.“

    That’s the problem, camps should teach kids how to swim before taking them to a water park


    It is also true that the “Three Weeks” is not the best time for a trip to a water park.


    Parents should go along to the park.

    Amil Zola

    Again I’m surprised that the chaperones didn’t do regular counts of their charges. This holds true for the lost hiker as well. I’ve chaperoned class trips to our local small time waterpark. There were 6 kids to every chaperone. The chaperones all had to have CPR certificates and each child had to have a buddy. All chaperones had to be able to read English since the signs in the park were all in English. If a child had to leave the water to use the loo all the kids assigned to that chaperone were pulled from the pool and dragged along to the loo. It wasn’t discovered that this child was missing until they did a count on the bus!!

    This is so sad, I hope at some point the camps learn from these tragedies. I hope too, that parents of campers learn about the necessary safety precautions that should be observed and ask the camps about their compliance before they send their kids off.

    I post this with the disclaimer that your “facts” are not verified and, as in the last tragedy, may not be correct.


    While the dying of a child is a terrible tragedy, I don’t think it’s possible to have a society in which no accidents happen.
    We should take into account the many thousands of children that go to water parks and come back ok. Statistically it’s probably %99.99, and while improvements should be made, I don’t think it’s smart to overthink it.
    Again my heart goes out to the family and the boys friends, but we can’t lose ourselves.

    Uncle Ben

    Yeah Shadybiz, just run of the mill collateral damage. No big deal.
    והלכתם עמי בקרי!

    Amil Zola

    I don’t understand which ‘last’ tragedy you are referring to? This weeks dead child or the man who drowned at the beach? Or are your referring to the hiker? Be that as it may. YWN reported that the child at the water park wasn’t noticed to be missing until the kids returned to their busses. I’m aware that there are other versions in other news outlets. But since I was posting on YWN I referred to their version of the events.

    Regardless, the buddy system hasn’t gone out of style for class trips or even some family’s outings. And counting ones charges be they kids you are chaperoning or your own at any type of amusement park is just good sense.


    “YWN reported that the child at the water park wasn’t noticed to be missing until the kids returned to their busses.”

    I see nothing of the sort on this site Misaskim reports they were still poolside and saw him in the water. Claiming they were on the buses gives a false sense of negligence (as in your last retelling of facts) which breeds motzei Shem rah. Perhaps it is inadvertent , in which case I apologize.


    My two granddaughters are camp counselors at the same camp. I cautioned them both at the beginning of the summer to watch their campers like a hawk, do frequent head counts, & make sure everything and everyone is safe, no matter where they are. I can’t imagine the pain this child’s counselor & the entire camp are going through. It is a terrible, horrific tragedy that no one should have to experience. My heart bleeds for the child’s family & friends, I can’t imagine anything more horrible than to lose a precious child.

    Moving forward, I think there should be more specialized training for camp counselors. They do their very best but they aren’t safety mavens. They need to attend a proper safety course given by experts, including CPR. and pass some kind of test. Recognizing abuse & bullying clearly isn’t enough.


    Nobody who posted here was there and even if you were there, you likely dont know all the facts

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Haimy- are you pretending to know anything about this or is this just another one of your posts where you post assumptions as fact and spread negativity? And why on top of a tragedy? And why does it get approved?

    If the mods feel it is appropriate to discuss the dangers of the events that have resulted in tragedy, can they at least make the effort not to post the ones that contain misinformation, and/or misrepresentation of the facts that leave a negative and irresponsible impression of those who planned it or staffed it?

    I don’t get why this is appropriate in the hours after lives are lost. I’m sure a call to tehillim would be more useful than these “public service announcements”


    “I don’t get why this is appropriate in the hours after lives are lost.”

    now is when it is most appropriate.
    Try convincing people that smoke detectors are important, it isnt easy. After a tragedy occurred a few years ago, there were lines for smoke detectors . That is a great thing (not the tragedy obviously, but people learning from it) some wrong headed people said “now isnt the time” But that is exactly wrong. Now is absolutely 100% the time to reevaluate, reassess, and change if necessary our current practice in regard to pool safety, exactly while the wound is fresh

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Ubiq- I totally agree. I’m talking about the additional step of adding what the specific people involved “did wrong”. And not bothering with truth as well. For example, regarding the smoke detectors, you are right that it is the best time to drive home the point that smoke detectors save lives and are crucial. There is no excuse for adding (for example) “if only they had put in working smoke detectors closer to their bedrooms” or “too bad they had 8 kids crowded into one bedroom as I have seen so many Frum people in that neighborhood do”.

    Do you see the difference?


    I want to explain where I’m coming from before responding (not just to your post, but to the others here).
    – completely agree that reevaluating/reassessing/changing is necessary, and when the ‘wound is fresh’ is indeed OFTEN an appropriate time
    – am in general solidly in the ‘hishtadlus’ camp, and get very very annoyed when people make every single thing into only a hashgacha-prati thing & ignore common sense (similarly, get infuriated when people profess to know the spiritual flaw/sin/gap that is the ‘real’ reason for a tragedy through their implied ‘ruach hakodesh’.. probably you’re of a similar mindset on that…)
    – so basically, am coming from fairly down to earth perspective (at least in my mind, i hope it’s true)
    – just wanted to get all of the out there, before I completely contradict myself.

    Since the start of Taamuz this year, we have had 2 giant tragedies involving camping & water.
    For sure everything is preventable after the fact, and everything can be improved.
    But dude, come on – in your own daily life, is everything really done safely/responsibly/perfectly?
    What if any time you messed anything up, or anything went wrong – there was an instant chat room set up with people discussing theories of how it should have been handled differently, etc.
    (Ok – to be fair, that entire thing happens in my head almost every time i mess something up, but that’s NOT a good thing generally 🙂 Point is, hishtadlus is for sure important – and we should do it. But if you insist on a level of hishtadlus from others which is waaay above what is likely your own… then that isn’t entirely fair (i’m not judging any of you, but feel there’s a fair likelihood of that).

    Much more importantly – my intuition of reading these discussions is that there are 3 types of people who write ‘well they need to start doing X differently so that Y shouldn’t happen’
    1. trolling for sick reason (probably no one in this chat, but for sure have seen in other chats here)
    2. a legitimate strong knowledge of this problem & sincere desire to raise awareness of solution (i.e. this is something you have expert knowledge of & didn’t just develop this strong opinion after learning about the tragedy & a bit of airmchair analysis/googling)
    3. (and I think #3 is the vast majority) – <b>The tragedy that happened is not possible to emotionally grasp or intellectually comprehend, and taking thoughts to their logical conclusions – would lead you to admit that you don’t really understand how hashem runs the world, and therefore on a deep level you do not really have any real control/safety – and that is scary (emotionally, physically). Human beings (jew & nonjew alike) have a strong need to predict/control their environment – and if you believe in hashem (as I assume everyone here does their best to) then this is creates a very uncomfortable feeling. There is a very very comfortable way out of that zone – which is to focus on what could have been done to prevent said tragedy & shift control back to us (humans) so if we do a,b,c then x will not happen (or will happen much much less). That type of thinking isn’t wrong, but it is also a often an escape from facing (spiritual) reality – and I am speaking from experience</b>

    Now if in your case I’m wrong and you belong to category #2 – then you have my utmost respect. But if you’re solidly in #3 (where I find myself most of the time) then I don’t have any real advice – but want to share a few thoughts that I’ve thought this week about this…

    – On Tisha B’Av we read in Kinnos that Hashem is answering our lists of terrible tragedies that befell us, with: You talk about <X> but what about <Y> that you have done? You talk about but what about <B> that you have done – that you don’t talk about! There are so so so many ways in which I literally spit in Hashem’s face daily, and cause tremendous pain to the Shechina. I speak for myself, but I’m sure others here can relate. So yes this is an unimaginable tragedy that I can’t comprehend, but what we (I) do to the Shechina daily & the overal Matzaav of Golus (which we haven’t earned an exodus from yet) is also a horrible tragedy. Maybe if we treated it & felt about emotionally – as a true Tragedy, Moshiach would be here already. (I don’t want to elaborate, or do some sort of stupid meta-ruach hakodesh nonsense that I’m unqualified for – but on a personal level, the fact that the negative aspect of water is generally associated with pritzus, hasn’t escaped me, and I definitely feel there’s plenty of things to correct there. speaking just for myself)

    (I was going to write some more, but this is already ridiculously long. If I wrote another 3 paragraphs, they would be about how it would be better for us all to do a cheshbon hanefesh & take things on in the neshama’s zchus. some of those could be safety imporovements – but many should be in middos/ruchnius mitzvos/etc. Anyways, i’ll stop here)



    “Do you see the difference?”

    Oh totally. I agree completely
    I’m sorry for misunderstanding your post.


    As a former day camp counselor who worked at a camp (admittedly, 40 years ago) that had its on pool, we had 2 lifeguards and depending how many groups were in the pool at once, determined how many people were on duty to assist the lifeguards. The counselor or junior counselor of each group was patrolling the pool perimeter while the other was actually in the pool. Every swimmer had to have a buddy and every few minutes we did a “buddy call” each counselor was responsible to find his campers and make sure all the “buddies” were accounted for. There were three sections to the pool and one had to qualify to swim in the two deeper sections (tests were administered by the lifeguards). And all this was done prior to any official safety courses being given.

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