The Stuff I Learned at Camp

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    Coool! Never knew that one!

    I learnt how to roast marshmellow’s with a cig lighter.


    heat up pizza with an iron



    don’t clog the 911 lines with phony calls. Next time, C”V, it can be you that really needs them and someone else that’s dialing 911 just to get a connection upstate

    on a lighter note: camp (as a camper) taught me how to maximize my time.

    Wakeup for shachris arrives- keep snoozing. Wakeup comes again- ignore. Wake up comes again- 3 minutes left to make it to shachris in time: go into emergency morning mode. Wash negel vasser, throw on cloths, socks & shoes, grab cup that holds: small water bottle, toothbrush, paste, lenses & solution (if applicable), and comb (if applicable). In between shachris and breakfast (as a camper you can’t go back to the bunkhouse) use all the stuff in your “morning” cup in the dining room bathroom. Straighten yourself out & come out like a new person. (Anyone spot that lunatic that walked into the bathroom 5 minutes ago?) In extreme emergencies, deodorant can be applied after breakfast

    Staff is another story… that’s when I learned how to be inconspicuous at night and innocent during the day 😉


    the pizza thing i learned at the dorm, but we made soup, eggs… YUM!


    hang sneaker or shoe from your bed springs- hide cell phone inside sneaker/shoe (never fails- they’ll never check there)


    How to open a locked door with a hanger!

    It took me until I was 17 (and in school) to learn how to do it with a credit card


    ames- great topic, brings back very good memories


    ha areivim! Excellent advice there!


    heimish gemacht grill: charcoal with bedsprings on top


    didn’t learn that trick yet… but maybe you’re offering courses? 😉

    Camp… wow! I spent alooong time there! What did i learn from there?

    Well firstly i would FOR SURE agree with areivimzehlazeh… Maybe not so drastic but i sure made it in just in the nick of time!

    I gained an added ‘dimension’ to Shabbos. I can’t really explain it, but Shabbasim in camp were special.

    The other thing i gained was alot of meaning to Tisha B’av. The camp i went to really made you feel as though you were in avelus… whether for the B”H or personal


    camp made me an expert in stuffing my bed to look like I was in it


    1)cans of soda will chill when placed in the toilet tank (or dragged from the canoe)

    2) Open the can of beans BEFORE you place in the campfire

    3) Lanyard can be used as a shoelace replacement (oh, the look I got from Mom when she saw me on visiting day

    Courtesy of Mogen AV

    (the list goes on, but I’ll leave some for the rest of the room. Its doubtful everything I did was original)


    I tried the back of the toilet trick with no success


    take the board from under your mattress, place it between 2 beds (each end of board is a little under each mattress), place nosh/hot peppers/grilled stuff on board, sit on floor and… eat. Man made table- sorry, no chairs

    place pants/skirt neatly between board and mattress. Sleep on it for a night or 2- voila- pressed pants/skirt


    dorm/camp life: label each end of glasses or sunglasses (whichever is applicable) fleishig and milchig. Use each side as stirs for anything that needs mixing: coffee, ketchup & mayo etc.

    I used to use teh ends of my galsses to clean my ears 😉

    frum not crum

    Black socks: they never get dirty. The longer you wear them the blacker they get.

    Sometimes I thought I should change them but something keeps telling me not yet, not yet, not yet…



    I learned how to smuggle in hacksaw blades to cut bars, as well as how to make pruno for Shabbos kiddush, in the camp I went to.

    It was one of these state sponsored camps and actually I spent three years there…


    BP Totty: cans in toilet tank lol! you too!

    YW Moderator-39: it works, only if the normal running water is cold,

    although I put it in a plastic bag before submerging it.

    I’m a clean freak that way.

    How about shampoo on the door handle for guy who did wake up.

    One time when there was no hot water erev Shabbos & it was (Mabbeling) pouring rain

    so we showered outside in bathing suits (an all boys camp)

    water was pretty warm & the water pressure was Gevaldig!

    socks dirty but dont wanna make a wash?

    just wear them in the pool for 5 min

    (tell everybody you have blisters)

    then dry them in bunk with a blowdryer.

    This I actually learned in Israel.

    Want to cook a hard boiled egg but no pot?

    or dont wanna do dishes.

    No problem! Use an empty pickle can.

    Just fill with water & put on electric stove, wait & presto! Hard boiled eggs.

    (in theory this can work for scrambled eggs too)

    you just have to keep on stirring.


    I’ve learned many things in camp. ONe thing that i resent is having mealtimes that are so long. They tell everyone to stand up and make noise and chant. IT IS such A waste of TIME. And then when they take attendance and your not there they want to throw you out. IT IS CRAZY!!!


    A meal should not be more than 1/2 hour. And they shouldn’t tell a camp of 650 kids (which this year has 100 empty beds first half.) to get up and chant “Get on your feet and make some noise, we’re the … boys

    YW Moderator-72

    when i last went to camp it was visiting day a few years ago. I learned that my daughter HATED camp.


    mod, did she go to a different camp the next year?

    YW Moderator-72

    1 time camper and she scared off the rest of my kids from going…


    I loved camp! I went to Sternberg and it was awesome!

    I learnt how to hike in really unsafe areas…without getting caught 🙂

    I learnt how to drive my councelor crazy by claiming that she hated me and giving examples and having her try to convince me that she didn’t hate me. It was too fun 🙂


    Mod 39 –

    Maybe the water in your camp was not as cold. MA was in Livingson Manor (very cold!)

    P.S. – At the risk of being nailed for hijacking a thread, I think this could be expanded to “things I learned how to when the 80% of your kitchen (and 100% of your wife) is in the mountains”.

    Did you know you could bake hamburgers on a cookie sheet?

    Did you know that carrots /poatatoes can be eaten without being peeled?

    Did you know that NOTHING can open cans besides a can opener (not screwdivers, not pliers)

    Ahh, summertime!


    I tried the toilet tank trick in the Poconos


    The one year I went to sleep away camp, I was the “Computers Counselor” For 3 hours a day I had to make sure the 286’s and 386’s were playing the games and reboot / reload when necessary. We had a decent sized dehumdifier to keep the room dry and cool. Instead of emptying the water collector, we would fill our super-soakers with it. It was much easier than trying to put a super-soaker water tank under the faucet of a tiny bathroom sink. I also learned that when you have an assistant you are his babysitter, especially when he’s related to head staff.



    Re: cooling stuff off in a toilet tank:

    Most toilets that have tanks use a ballcock that is designed to allow a very small trickle of water to constantly go into the bowl to avoid having the water stagnate.

    As long as the water is coming from a cool source (i.e. an underground well) this will keep the water in the tank somewhat cool, even if the toilet is not being flushed (and much cooler if it is flushed frequently).

    I would never put food or drink into a toilet tank because:

    1) If the top of the bowl is above the bottom of the tank, you can get water from the bowl going back into the tank (this setup is uncommon, except for fancy one-piece units).


    It works for cooling beer, which is all that matters. Re ICOT’s attempt to dissuade this practice, please note that the toilet is not being used for any other purpose, based on the rule “ma’alin bakodesh…”. If there are no other toilets to be used for mundane purposes, there’s always the grocery store or the neighbors. But soda???


    “Most toilets that have tanks use a ballcock that is designed to allow a very small trickle of water to constantly go into the bowl to avoid having the water stagnate.”

    water goes back into the bowl after a flush at the same time the tank is filling.

    once the ballcock shuts off, both outflows are stopped completely, unless you have a malfunctioning toilet.

    that is for the common ballcock setup. perhaps there are some models that allow a constant trickle continuously but i highly doubt it. that would generally be referred to as a “leak”. a setup like that, which ive never seen, would run counter to most local water conservation codes.


    i hope we dont have a toilet controversy here in the coffee room.

    if it looks like its turning into an overflow of controversy i would be willing to backup on my opinion.


    EEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!! That is my one and only comment on the toilet stuff.


    Well, sometimes people would come around at night and try ‘painting’ the sleeping campers’ faces. I always made sure to have ‘ammunition’ next to my bed. Like toothpaste, hair spray… (I’d wake up from the noise usually)


    Btw, toothpaste (mint in particular) b-u-r-n-s when applied to the face.

    We would also safety-pin roommates to their sheets while they slept. (This works very well cuz one person can work on the person at a time and it doesn’t make too much noise)




    In loo of looking up that factoid, I erroneously relied on what I was told many years ago.

    Thank you for the correction.


    not sure what else i learnt from camp, but dorm life (yeshiva/ seminary)i sure did!


    You are just a running font of information today, aren’t you, ICOT!!!!! 😉


    So ambush, share them with us!


    ICOT, I assure you I am no Brit. No milk in my tea, no crumpets, and certainly no warm beer. I’m not averse to hot toddies, providing that there is no water and no sugar added 🙂



    Very good!


    How about Thomas’s English Muffins?

    (I like ’em, but unfortunately they’re cholov stam and therefore off-limits to a large number of posters)

    anon for this

    ICOT, there are pareve english muffins on the market, at least on the east coast. I’ve only seen these sold as store brands, at Shoprite & local dollar stores, with a kof-k.


    anon for this-

    I’ve had parave English muffins from (IIRC) Freihofer’s and others in the past.

    While they are decent, nothing compares to a well-toasted Thomas’s with lots of melted butter and salt –or– grilled cheese.

    I will substitute cholov Yisroel or parave if comparable, but in this case it’s not even close.


    I learnt in camp… How to make my bed, and sleep in such a position, that when I got up, with one quick swoooosh I was out of bed with my bed perfectly made! All in a span of three seconds!

    YW Moderator-42

    I learned that it is important to take a shower at least once a month – whether you need it or not


    Well, if you go swimming every single day, you DEFINITELY dont need a shower!



    i learned that bears also like the filling of oreo cookies better than the cookie part 🙂


    you can toast bread & rolls with an iron.


    this is more a traveling tip, but when i travel on vac etc..

    & no fridge in room, I pump up ac full blast & leave food next to

    vent. It’s really common sense. 🙂

    I also have a rotation where I ask front desk for soap n shampoo(at 4 star)

    with cap & sunglasses, then w/o, then housekeeping.

    Then I use them when I stay at cheaper hotel stays.

    I’m in therapy for that!


    On the subject of irons, it is clear to me from their shape and operating temperature that they were originally designed to heat pizza. But then, men realized that they already had an invention that forces their wives to cook for them (called the oven), so there was no need for a second such invention. Therefore, they found an alternate use for the invention that would force their wives to do more laundry work, and marketed it so.


    i learned that noone really like color war


    What I Learned In Camp:

    The no-frills frum girls camp I went to, taught me so much about myself, other people and life, things I use till today.

    The importance of self-esteem. Seeing the positive in others. Beleiving in G-d. Beleiving in yourself. Transcending materialism to see other people’s essence.

    And daily life skills like:

    How to build a fire.

    Sleep in a tent in the woods.

    Scare away bears or calmly walk away from a close encounter.

    Bear proof your nosh so you dont find muddy paw prints leading to your stash…..

    Go mudsliding after the rain.

    Cut down trees and lash together a useable structure.

    Learn to swim.

    Blaze a trail. Use a compass.

    Find my way in the forest. Build a shelter in the woods.

    Sleep under the stars.

    Hike up a cliff, through a river and scramble rocks.

    Slither through a dark, cold, muddy cave and do 100 jumping jacks to prevent hypothermia.

    Roast marshmallows in bed

    Make fireworks with steel wool and lighter

    Hide your beer

    Light up deoderant, mousse and nail polish remover – put em all together and BAM!!! Just be careful not to singe your eyebrows and hairline or catch your hands on fire:)

    oh, the nostalgia.

    That was so cathartic.

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