Tipping Counselors

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  • #591779

    HIE
    Participant

    I am a counselor in a sleep away camp. Tips are always appreciated. However, there is one thing that bothers me: parents give the tips to kids to give to counselors. This causes kids to start “joking around” with the counselor about the tip, saying comments like “i have your tip”.

    As a counselor, I find this extremely annoying and uncomfortable. When I was a camper, my father would always give the tip to the office if the counselor wasn’t around. Sometimes I took as a little bit of an insult; as if my father didn’t trust me. Now I understand.

    So why can’t parents just give the tips to the office (and don’t say that camps take the tips, cause i know (at least in my camp) the few parents that did give tips to the office were given to me, sometimes in sealed envelopes)

    #686530

    hereorthere
    Member

    If a kid is not raised to have proper midos, they cannot be expected to suddenly have them at summer camp.

    I do not think that such parents will care so much about anyons embarrassment at the hand of their child.

    After all “they’re just joking around” never mind that there is no excuse for ‘jokes’ or ‘teasing’ at the expense of someone else.

    #686531

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    HIE, when I went to camp, tips were not allowed so I never dealt with this. However, as a parent, I could see wanting my child to give over the tip and say “Thank you” directly, rather than through me.

    When the time comes, I will need to think through this more deeply. I look forward to this discussion.

    #686532

    chesedname
    Participant

    if the kid does it in public, he needs attention, i would speak some extra time with him and give him some confidence and compliments. he sounds very insecure.

    if he does it privately, he doesn’t like u, work on being a better counselor, no reason a child shouldn’t like his counselor.

    #686533

    tomim tihye
    Member

    Although I’ve never had an issue with campers giving me tips, I can definitely imagine that there are kids who would use it to tease counselors.

    As a parent, I usually give the tips to my children to give, often accompanied by a thank you note from them as well as one from us. I never even thought about the possibility of them misusing the opportunity; they are usually excited to hand it to the counselors, and they feel trustworthy and responsible to be transporting the money. You have to know the individual child.

    In the spirit of the Montessori educational method, tipping is one of those “teachable moments,” if we so desire.

    #686534

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    IOW, kids can act immaturely. In other news, dog bites man.

    The Wolf

    #686535

    boredstiff
    Participant

    even if he does so in private,it does not necessarily mean he doesnt like the counselor ,It could be he doesn’t like something the counselor just said or did. He could really like the counselor just not at that minute. He uses it as a threat to get his way.

    #686536

    speaktruth
    Member

    when i was a counselor (many years ago) , i never had problems with the idea of giving it too the kids to give to the counselor. but, it should be done together with the parent in a closed envelope. i dont think its appropriate for kids to know how much their parents are tipping. i have had kids who made comments about it.

    #686537

    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    I felt very awkward giving a tip to a teenage girl at my kids’ day camp so I gave it to my kids to give to them (they are not the type of kids to hold the tip hostage).

    It also goes the other way. One summer I was going home for the weekend after visiting day so my parents didn’t come up on visiting day. My counselor mentioned to me that I should “remember to bring something back” for him. And no, he did not mean a burger from Kosher Delight.

    #686538

    speaktruth
    Member

    the reason it goes the other way is because similar to a waitress unfortunately, many camps factor in tips as part of a counsleors salary and pay them less than normal on the assumptiont that there will be tips.

    i happen to think tips should be for extra hacaros hatov for a good job and not mandatory for everyone.

    #686539

    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    speaktruth-

    I meant that just like campers shouldn’t say things that make the staff member feel uncomfortable so too the staff member shouldn’t say things that will make the campers feel uncomfortable.

    How do you think I felt? Was it my fault that my parents were tipping one week later than the other parents? It’s not as if I had my own money when I was a preteen.

    #686540

    also a day camps:

    if there’s just a counselor and junior counselor- they are doing the same exact job! one is just a year or two older – if the jc is with your child the whole summer compared to a one month counselor, shouldn’t the jc get at least the same amount as money as the 1 month counselor?

    jmpq.

    and also if we are with your child we do have a semi idea of whats going on in his/her home life. we will understand if you don’t tip as well or at all. but otherwise 🙁

    #686541

    HIE
    Participant

    DP: I’m maskim to you; counselors should never, under any circumstances, say anything to kids about tips. It’s not their fault if their father lost his job C”V, or simply can’t afford to give as much.

    To those who say that kids can do it maturely: even if you think that “YOUR” child would NEVER do such a thing. I would say think again. The kid may just say a slight comment, especially when there are other kids who are making comments. (HIE’s older bro)

    #686542

    squeak
    Participant

    I think the counselors should verify that the parents are paying full-tuition for their kids’ yeshiva educations before accepting any tips.

    :-X

    #686543

    d a
    Member

    whatelseislef, the difference in Counselor and JC is that the counselor is responsible for the bunk. The JC’s job is to HELP the Counselor. If something happens to a camper it is the Counselor who is responsible for what is happening. The full weight of the bunk is on the Counselor. The JC is only a helper. I am not saying that JCs are nothing. The past summer I had the 2 BEST JCs I could of asked for. They were always ready and wiling to do what had to be done and I really could not of had such a great. Summer without them. But still, the bunk was mine and my responsibility. If a Counselor only stays one half, then you may think about giving the JC a bigger tip. But again, the Counselor is still in charge of the bun. First half and second half. Then there are times when you may feel that the JC is doing more then the Counselor. In a case like that, you must find out, and NOT from your child, what is happening throughout the day. A camper can come home everyday complaining that his Counselor bothers him and the JC is his best friend. Maybe its true or maybe the camper is mis behaving and the Counselor is trying to help the camper by discipling him (in a good way) and the JC doesn’t want to bother and let’s the kid do whatever he wants (the same is true vice-versa). Find out. Call the camp, speak to the Head Counselor or Division Head. They will try to help you. And yes, there are Counselors and JCs who sit around and play games all day. I would think twice before tipping them (except into the pool)

    #686544

    oomis
    Participant

    I always handed the tips to the counselors on visiting day and in a sealed envelope with a thank you note inside.

    #686545

    d a
    Member

    And squeak, as a Counselor, I disagree! And I don’t think its my business…

    #686546

    Yenem
    Member

    “I think the counselors should verify that the parents are paying full-tuition for their kids’ yeshiva educations before accepting any tips.”

    Any parent whose paying a couple thousand dollars to send their child to camp should be able to tip the counselor the twenty bucks they deserve.

    #686547

    Kasha
    Member

    “Any parent whose paying a couple thousand dollars to send their child to camp should be able to tip the counselor the twenty bucks they deserve.”

    $20!? No problemo, IF that’s all it cost.

    #686548

    d a
    Member

    Kasha, give me 20 and I’ll be happy. What is the point of a tip? To show your appreciation to the staff for all that s/he did for your child over the summer. Yes, if you give me $50 I would take it but you should give what you can afford. And if not money, even a simple Thank You note written on a plain piece of paper shows you appreciate all the effort we put into your child. Money has value for a short time period. A thank you will always be remembered.

    #686549

    Kasha
    Member

    d a, you’re a city day camp counselor (if I remember correctly), which has a big difference in tipping recommendations than sleep-away camps.

    I do agree with your comment.

    #686550

    d a
    Member

    Yes, I am a city day camp clownsler… As an example of what I was saying before, I mentioned to my sister that one part of me can’t wait for camp to start and another part is nervous. She asked me why I should be nervous. I asked her if she is not nervous having to watch over 17-20 kids (as a pre-school counselor). She said no, it is nothing. Then I realized that she is not IN CHARGE of those children. She has a Morah on top of her who is responsible for the bunk/class.

    #686551

    hereorthere
    Member

    As long as people have the attitude that “well kids do this, what do you expect”.

    The chutzpa will not only continue but grow and get worse.

    If such attitudes were expressed regarding kids stealing money out of their mothers purses or fathers wallets, that would be a daily occurence, as well.

    #686552

    I don’t want to say anything about tipping day camp counselors but sleep away counselors I think can and should be tipped by the camper if they are old enough. From my experience as a camper, my counselor was lousy one year and I explained that to my parents and therefore made it quite clear to the counselor why I chose not to tip them. However, the jc that year was great and I did tip them. After that, I never had lousy counselors and I gave the amount that the camp suggested. If the parents get involved when the kid is young, fine. But once the kid is in 7th or 8th grade I think they should give it. It’s only sincere that way.

    #686553

    hodulashem
    Participant

    I was never a counselor but i’ve been in camp as a staff member and my close friends were counselors and so i understand the relationship between counselor and camper and I think that I would probably feel more comfortable taking the money from the parents… (that was such a run-on lol) i feel that it’s easier to accept money from a stranger than from someone you are close to… even if you don’t feel particularly “close” to your camper, if you’ve been living with your campers for two weeks- sharing a room, eating meals together, and cheering for the same things, you kind of feel connected, no? you watch them grow, give them all you’ve got, make them feel better when they need comforting and make them smile- and i think that if the camper hands you money in middle of all of this, you kind of feel like it’s a business deal rather than a wonderful summer experience and a chance to give to someone and understand what it feels like to be a nurturer for a bit… The parents, on the other hand, meet you one random sunday and say thank you for looking after my child- here is a token of appreciation… and that feels ok because you are receiving a gift from somebody and don’t have to feel like the child is rewarding you for giving to them… Do I make any sense??? lol

    #686554

    tomim tihye
    Member

    I don’t agree with the “tipping on visiting day” policy because it causes negios; I think tips should be given on the last day of the trip.

    #686555

    tomim tihye
    Member

    d a- Did you mention which camp you work at? I’ve got to get my son into your bunk! It’s great that you feel the responsibility of being in charge of the kids.

    #686556

    d a
    Member

    tomim tihye, I would love to have to have your son in my bunk! It would be an honor and privilege!

    No place like CHAIM DAY CAMP!!

    #686557

    HIE
    Participant

    Another thing about tipping: a note says sooooooooooooooo much!!!!!

    #686558

    HIE
    Participant

    I had a camper this past summer who had some issues and needed a lot of extra attention. The parents were very supportive and thankful ($$$$$$$$-way above the suggested, which they DID NOT have to do). More importantly, they gave me a very nice letter which I still have.

    #686559

    tomim tihye
    Member

    d a- I’m saving up already for your tip!

    Seriously, I think we should exchange screen names (though I’m not sure what shaychos YOURS has to ME)!

    #686560

    d a
    Member

    HIE, you are so right. In my room I have a little letter a camper gave me. I didn’t hang up the few dollars that I got.

    #686561

    HIE
    Participant

    d a: I didn’t say i hung the money; that money is probably long gone

    #686562

    d a
    Member

    No, I was making a point that the money is secondary. The notes and letters mean a lot more. (Belive me, I’ll still take the money)

    #686563

    squeak
    Participant

    If I had known that counselors hang their tip money on the wall, I would have written checks.

    #686564

    d a
    Member

    squeak, LOL!

    #686565

    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    Slight tangent-

    A friend on mine was telling me how annoyed he was that he barely got any tips. He was thrilled when a mother dropping off her son said, “Hey Moishy, do you want to come here for a second- I have a tip for you?”.

    He hurried over and she then lifted up her sons shirt, pointed to his back and said “If I ever forget to send suntan lotion again please let him wear his undershirt for swimming”.

    Back to the main topic…

    #686566

    squeak
    Participant

    Dr. P-

    Revenge is best served cold. Your friend should bide his time until Mrs. X is looking for shidduchim. Then when he sees her he can say, “Hey Mrs. X, do you want to come here for a second- I have a name for you?”.

    When she hurries over he can say, “Tightwad”.

    #686567

    with such a mother i woudldnt’ be surprised that the kids tease counselors about the tips.

    I never thought it was a problem to give tips to kids to give the counselors. I never saw anyone teasing the counselors about ti. now that it’s been brought up i guess it can happen, but on the most part i think it’s good for the kids to perosnally show hakaras hatov. The counselors work really hard in certain places and get paid bubkis.

    EDITED

    #686568

    d a
    Member

    sofdavarhakolnishma

    with such a mother i woudldnt’ be surprised that the kids tease counselors about the tips.

    I don’t think the mother was trying to be mean in any way. She probably did not realize that Moishy didn’t get too many tips and that he was waiting for some. She was trying to protect her son from getting burnt. Nothing wrong with that (I hope!)

    #686569

    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    Squeak & sofdavarhakolnishma,

    When she said the word “tip” she meant “advice”, he thought she meant good old Ben Franklin. I don’t think she was trying to tease him.

    #686570

    squeak
    Participant

    Obviously. I wasn’t seriously suggesting revenge either.

    BTW, you further confuse the issue by bringing in old Uncle Ben. He was very fond of giving advice….

    #686571

    oomis
    Participant

    Dr. Pepper, if that story was true – not nice. I tend to suspect ti was a joke.

    I don’t think kids should be entrusted with tipping. They are notoriously careless, and may not even realize how important the tip is to the counselor. If the parents want to wait until the last day of camp to give out tips, they should give in sealed envelopes with their name and bunk on them, to the office with instructions for it to be handed to the counselor that last day after the kids board the buses. Each counselor could have a cubby for his envelopes and pick it up after camp.

    #686572

    oomis – it really matters how old the kids are, and how responsible the individual child is. I think it’s good chinuch.

    Dr pepper – it didn’t even dawn on me that that’s the type of “tip” she was refering to. That’s a scare for me, i should work on being don lekaf zechus. however, in the context it didnt sound like that at all.

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