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July 14, 2008 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #1236494
As we sit in the midst of the summer, it pains me to watch what has now become of summer camps for teenage boys. In my eyes sleep away camp was an integral part of Chinuch; and a part of maturity for young staff members. As a person who went to camp for many years, was a waiter, JC, and counselor for a number of years, I can say first hand that being a staff member in camp as a teenager helped me deal with many things that take place later in life. Is it so horrible for young men to take on a responsibility for 8 weeks in the summer?
Before camp, our camp would have a staff meeting, and the head-counselor, who is a very well-respected Menahel of a very large elementary school would say that without a doubt the 8 weeks in camp have more of an effect on a young impressionable child than 10 months of school. It is not even debatable. We are talking about children who spend 8 weeks in a sheltered environment; not just the hours that they are in school. No outside influences other than those who are in camp.
Many of the great Askanim or leaders in our communities, if you were to look back, were leaders in camp before they became who they are today. There are so many talents and experiences that emerge from being apart of camp; why let it fall away like it has?
Concerned & Saddened.
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