July 5, 2023 3:34 pm at 3:34 pm #2205876call me rabbi jParticipant
The amount these sleep away camps charge is absurd. With all the other expenses through the year, why do camps have to charge these insane amounts ???July 5, 2023 6:39 pm at 6:39 pm #2205918AviraDeArahParticipant
Because they need to stay afloat.
Most camps don’t make a lot of money, especially the learning onesJuly 5, 2023 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #2205920
you can always send the kid to the TROLL camp run by the TROLL MosdosJuly 5, 2023 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #2205921
quite simply it is the high cost of doing business. Housing and watching/entertaining and feeding the children 24/7. Maintaining the premises, liability insurance for places that have swimming can be astronomical.
When I went to camp in 1965 it was $204 for each month. Now the charge exceeds that per day.
I have written that the CTL children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. do (have not gone off) go to camp, Instead we invested on an inground swimming pool, tennis, basketball, ball fields, etc in the compound. The children get to spend the entire summer with their extended family under the watchful eyes of family members, not overworked, underpaid teenagers. Over the past 40 years we have, as a family saved untold thousands keeping the children here and not shipping them off to camp.
I am not against camping. The late Mrs. CTL and I went to summer camp. My parents met at summer camp in the early 1930s. BUT times have changed and I am not comfortable with my extended offspring living in a cabin with 20 children and 1 or 2 teenagers as the supervision. Too much can and does go wrong.
How many of these camps are firetraps, built in hamlets without true building codes and enforcement. Yesterday I already saw the story in YWN of a camp fire this season in a girls camp.
BTW>>>>>>the expenses you have during the rest of the year has absolutely no bearing on the cost of running a summer camp and how much must be charged to break even.July 5, 2023 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #2205923lakewhutParticipant
Prices of everything have gone up.July 5, 2023 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #2205930
Food and board for startersJuly 5, 2023 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm #2205955hujuParticipant
Supply and demand set price. All the jive about costs affects profitability.July 5, 2023 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm #2205978Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
There are 2 ways to deal with this – thru avdut and thru herut.
Thru avdut: sign up as a rebbe to the camp to get a discount for your kids
Thru herut: take your spouse and your kids and enjoy the time together.July 5, 2023 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm #2205991
“When I went to camp in 1965 it was $204 for each month. Now the charge exceeds that per day.”
This can’t possibly be true, right? Over 204 per day would make summer camp cost more than school tuition for an entire year, wouldn’t it?
Also, I just checked, and $204 in 1965 is the equivalent of around $2000 today. So, two months of camp would cost 4000 after indexing for inflation. Is that really that much less than today?July 5, 2023 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm #2206001RockyParticipant
The short answer is because then can. Most are run as a for-profit business and they do that very well. The same for girl’s seminaries, matza and esrogim. If people did not pay it they would charge less.
An additional factor here is that each camp feels pressure to out do each other in lavishness of the trips. Remember when a trip outside of camp was a hike or at most a bus trip to Woodburn for pizza (bought at the camper expense)? Now if a traveling camp does not fly to exotic places like Alaska it is a nebach. This does not answer everything but it all comes back to the level of materialism that WE create puts pressure on the weakest.
When it comes to camps and seminaries it is worse. You try explaining to your kid why Mom and Dad think it is insane to pay for a month of camp close to what they pay for a years worth of tuition. Let me know how it goes.July 6, 2023 2:59 am at 2:59 am #2206004RockyParticipant
Avirah- Really? Learning camps have high expenses? Is it because kids who learn most of the day eat more? Maybe they need more supervision? Explain.July 6, 2023 10:04 am at 10:04 am #2206064
@Rocky, The high end camps like Kol Ree Nah always took fancy major trips like Florida in 1977, if anything the style of the major trips went down, I remember going to Lake George, Hershy, Niagara Falls, Washington DC etc. for major trips and this was not a high end camp, just your typical mainstream chasidisher camp in the mid to late 70sJuly 6, 2023 10:05 am at 10:05 am #2206067
@Rocky, our minor trip was always to the Orange County fair, where we would meet all the other camps, the memories the car stunt shows, demo derby, farm equipment, country music and rides will stay with me forever, I doubt the vaad of the camps today will ever permit this, yet we all grew up and raised yiddisher doros.
Another cost factor that is greater today in the chadishisher velt [with the exception of stoliner camp] is that until 20 years ago they hired bucherim as counselors, now they hire kollel yingerlate who they have to pay a decent salary and fringe, and frankly I think kollel ppl are much less devoted to the campers.July 6, 2023 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm #2206104midwesternerParticipant
CA: Grammar police here. You probably meant room and board. Food is board.July 6, 2023 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm #2206124AviraDeArahParticipant
Rocky, what i meant is that learning camps have campers who can’t afford tuition and don’t turn them away.July 6, 2023 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #2206135bja613Participant
As long as camp is the subject- here is a thought to ponder.I never understood how parents who keep a watchful chinuch eye on their children all year, hand them over to a 19 year old to be the mechanech for 2 months. Does the director really know if the counselor is 100% mentally stable? And even if he is, I know I have invested a lot in knowing how to speak in a way that builds a child etc. and ways to nurture in a positive way his yiddishkeit. Why would I want that to be absent 1/6 of the year or possibly even be destructive. That everyone is doing it and it all seems to work out- usually, is not a sufficient answer when dealing with our most important investment.
I can specifically remember a horrifying experience that occurred with the OD and my bunk when the OD was ensuring we were going to sleep. That was 40+ years ago and the generation has worsened in a way that such an incident is not hard to imagine happening these days.
Any thoughts?July 6, 2023 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #2206188GadolhadorahParticipant
“I never understood how parents who keep a watchful chinuch eye on their children all year, hand them over to a 19 year old to be the mechanech for 2 months. Does the director really know if the counselor is 100% mentally stable?
Yidden have been shipping their yinglach to summer camp for at least 70-80 years and I’m not sure I recall any cases of a 19yo counselor attacking the kids in his bunk and cutting off their peyos with a chainsaw. Indeed, I suspect that in many cases, the counselors are more mentally stable than the parents (at least judging by my recollections of parental behavior on visiting day).July 6, 2023 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #2206243
The camp I went to in 1965 now charges $1500 per week and only runs for a 6 week season.
In their email alumni newsletter and fundraising pitch I received this week there are approx 225 campers this year.
Then again, in 1965 my father paid about $3300 for his Lincoln 4dr full sized sedan, the last Lincoln I bought for Mrs. CTL (just before Covid) was more than $50,000.
Camp 7 times as expensive, auto 17 times as expensiveJuly 6, 2023 8:20 pm at 8:20 pm #2206253
And the Bureau of Labor statistics seems to be suggesting inflation went up by a magnitude of about 10 since 1965 based on what their calculator gave me when I put in $204. If anything, that’s a conservative estimate; as you pointed out, car prices have gone up more than that, and you could do the same with houses, candy bars, gasoline as well probably.
In any case, if the camp now costs $6000 a month (1500 * 4), and it used to cost ~200 a month, that would be 30 times more expensive, not 7. If that’s all correct, then that would way exceed anyone’s estimate for inflation.July 7, 2023 8:37 am at 8:37 am #2206274
Sorry, my math and concentration was great affected by the fast.
When I was a camper in 1965, there were the expected sports, swimming, boating, arts and crafts, color war and a couple of plays. We didn’t go on trips.
Now the camp not only has a computer lab, photography and video production studio, but this year added a 1/2 $Million Robotics building.
What ever happened to spending hours outdoors playing ball?
The dining hall now offers a salad bar as well as both vegetarian and vegan options. I remember lots of Government surplus pasta, canned fruits, peanut butter and butter.
Then we good get one treat each weekday from the canteen. All packages arriving by mail had to be opened in front of the head counselor and if you got a box of candy sent by a relative it had to be shared with the entire bunk.
Now Amazon trucks drop more than 100 packages a day. Some campers bring mini refrigerators, all have done electronics.
It is a different worldJuly 7, 2023 8:41 am at 8:41 am #2206282
“I never understood how parents who keep a watchful chinuch eye on their children all year, hand them over to a 19 year old to be the mechanech for 2 months”
You have 19 yr old soldiers in IDF and USA with guns, you have 19 yr old dropping bombs, you have 19 yr olds driving cars, I am lot less afraid of entrusting my kids with a screened 19 yr old in a supervised setting then I am with any of the prior mentioned cases.July 7, 2023 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm #2206404anonymous JewParticipant
Bja613, by the time your watchful chinuch eye discovers that your child’s new rebbe or morah has no clue on how to teach children, it is usually too late and has caused more damage than a summer counselor can causeJuly 8, 2023 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm #2206548bja613Participant
“Yidden have been shipping their yinglach to summer camp for at least 70-80 years ….”
If the children in our generation are getting better or are even the same as 70 years ago then you have presented a good argument. However we all agree that that is not the case. I am not suggesting that this is the problem of our generation – but the rapid decline in the quality of the children of the last generations may in fact be affected by the lack of parental continuity during the summer. It will be hard to prove otherwise so the fact that this hefker has been going on for 70 years does not prove anything.July 9, 2023 10:40 am at 10:40 am #2206656
@bja, you did not answer the other comments.
PS I think more damage was done by fellow campers then by the 19–21-year-old counselors.
@CTL, the taste and smell of the fish franks from the camp kitchen still makes me cringe, almost all the food of gvmt. surplus, you were allowed off premises once a week for a hike, and color war brought out hidden talents that no one knew that person had.July 9, 2023 11:01 am at 11:01 am #2206686
“It will be hard to prove otherwise”
I can offer just as much proof as you have for your argument: none at all.
Just because it’s popular in baby boomer circles to talk about the “decline of youth” doesn’t mean there’s actually any truth to it. The old have always complained about the young since the dawn of time.July 9, 2023 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm #2206746
Anyway while we’re on the topic of camps
Which overnight camp did you go to when you were younger
I went to Naarim and Ohr ShragaJuly 9, 2023 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm #2206745
“CA: Grammar police here. You probably meant room and board. Food is board.“
So a boarder is someone that eats your food? I thought he/she is a boarder because they live in your house
And a boarding school is where they sleep thereJuly 9, 2023 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #2206785
The difference between boarding and lodging is that a boarder receives food as well as sleeping accommodations.
Reminds me of a Fyvush Finkel Song
Ikh Bin a “Boarder” bay Mayn VaybJuly 10, 2023 11:08 am at 11:08 am #2207074
I spoke to quite a few people who went to camp from 1960s- 1990s and the focus was to enable to children to escape the city not to get rich on yinnem chesben, one person told me the camp charged 650 dollars for 5 kids payable over the year [his father was delivery truck driver].
There were federation camps like Mogen Av and Sternberg that charged next to nothing, if you were borderline frum or dirt poor the Lubavitcher camps took you in at next to no cost. The administration consisted of survivors or children of survivors and hence totally different focus on the why they have the camp in the first place.July 10, 2023 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm #2207120Yserbius123Participant
So nu? Go to day camps. Summer camps these days fulfill a very different need than they used to. One that many would argue is contrived. It’s a special opportunity and shouldn’t be seen as a necessity that has to happen every year from age 9 through 18.July 13, 2023 2:42 pm at 2:42 pm #2208169
One of my memories is the collect calling telephone call codes, I remember the day before visiting day a boy called collect and say his name was brang hoyzin, and the operator said in gotches dafts de nisht
I stopped using postcards to send home after one of the boys in the bunk wrote home that the counselor is a behaymer and retard and the head cnlr. asked him why he wrote that.
Most of the staff worked for tips and gave it all, much more devoted back then.July 13, 2023 3:50 pm at 3:50 pm #2208203Yserbius123Participant
@common-saychel Everyone had EconoPhone/Presto cards to call home. One year the waiters got fed up from not collecting any tips in first half or visiting day, so they ganged up on all the kids making them call home and beg their parents to tip the waiter $25.July 13, 2023 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm #2208213
@Yser, i am talking about the 70s and 80s. calling card were not around then.July 14, 2023 12:33 am at 12:33 am #2208316GadolhadorahParticipant
“The rapid decline in the quality of the children of the last generations may in fact be affected by the lack of parental continuity during the summer. It will be hard to prove otherwise so the fact that this hefker has been going on for 70 years does not prove anything…”
I respectfully disagree with your point about the “rapid decline” of kids in the most recent generation. While there are issues unique to each generation, I think today’s kids are much more comfortable with their yiddishkeit and more capable of functioning in a world full of challenges than the post-War generation in which many of us grew up
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