Wal-Mart in the Mountains

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    rosh chabura

    Raboisay, its time to recognize we have a serious nisayon for our children that takes place every summer upstate.

    This nisayon is called Wal Mart.

    My past summer experience in the mountains have been very beneficial for my family both in gashmiyus as well as ruchnius.The nice crisp air, breezy weather who can complain? But, Wal Mart is a problem. The atmosphere in Wal Mart is a big risk that parents and manchachim should be aware of. I pashut cannot take my teens there anymore. the shmoozing and R”L other things between the boys and girls that goes on there is pashut assur and leads to other aveiros that i would rather not mention in this forum. On numerous occasions i have seen teen ‘couples’ acting in a pritzusdig manner in some of the not so frequented sections of Wal Mart. Teenage boys have come over to my teenage daughters and tried talking to them with me right there! And the parking lot is even worse! Boys and girls camps need to stop bringing there staff to Wal Mart!! I know they have the rules of different days but Ive been there and I have seen boy and girls staff there at the same time. We need to put out a kol chamira banning teenagers from this Wal Mart! Or hire bouncers to stand in front and not let in teenage boys on the nights when the girls camps come and vice versa. I would love to hear other solutions to this problem so please raboisay lets discuss it. Tizku Limitzvos.


    Amen Rosh Chabura. I wouldn’t be surprised if you really were a rosh chabura. Thank you for bringing up this issue. something has to be done for the sake of our young Yiddeshe kinder! i think the bouncer idea is a good one. i would volunteer for the job. also we should try to get rid of this candy machine in the lobby that rents videos. bed rocks i think its called. we must call an askan meeting immediately because the summer is almost upon us.


    This “problem” rears it head every summer. The problem is really limited to a few camps that employ boys and girls that are simply more modern than you average “yeshivish” family. Its just that for the 1st time in 10 months, we go shopping and see people from all circles in a few mile radius.

    The other “loose cannon” is the mothers helper / bungalow colony counslor that has no one to answer to.

    By and large, our bnei and bnos yeshiva are spending their summer behaving as they should. True, my son may wear a polo or baseball cap on an off grounds trip, and true he may say hello to someone he knows from a “different” circle. And while that may seem like “there is rampant pritzus in the gaas”, its far from fact.

    2am in the walmart parking lot is a whole different story. Even I should’nt be there at that time of day (or night). But what goes on during “normal” hours is just that. Normal.

    Calm down and stop bashing our teens!


    BP Totty, I have this feeling that you’re a teen yourself!


    simple solution, ban the country excersion all together. Think of all the isues like this that can be resolved by keeping school going to Rosh chodesh Av. Think of the millions of dollars spent on the country vacation that even if half would flow back into the yeshivas and other schools how much better financing could be. Why do the kids need a 10 week total vacation? The claim that the reason to go to the country is to get away from pritzus apparently does not apply anymore according to rosh chaburah, therefore we should stay in the city.


    I can’t tell if y’all are serious about the bouncers or not. I sincerely hope not; I’m hoping this is a joke that’s gone over my head.

    No offense to BP Totty, but is there something wrong with wearing a polo shirt or a baseball cap? There were many places where I used to live in America where I would wear a baseball cap over my keepah for safety reasons. Does wearing a polo shirt or baseball cap open up problems for shidduchim?


    rescue is correct

    There are 2 historical reasons for children getting long summer vacations:

    1) Help with the harvest

    2) Hot weather makes learning in school nearly impossible

    Helping with the harvest is no longer relevant to our demographic (and may or may not be entirely irrelevant). The second argument is also irrelevant as air conditioning makes the weather outdoors a non-issue.

    The reason for leaving the city is not pritzus (though we frum people added that reason) but due to other factors such as:

    children playing outside (no school, no xbox) on city streets is unsafe and it is too hot, the city doesn’t have recreational facilities (no longer relevant, they do have), and summer air is too polluted (smog) and unsafe to breathe.

    Our air quality is much better in the city due to environmental laws, and again – with the ubiquitous air conditioner there is always a place to escape the heat. There is absolutely no reason to continue giving summers off. But it’s more likely that the Peewee league will beat the Yankees in the World Series than that summer vacation will be cut short.


    Gottit – you are now my best friend!

    No, I’m quite far from my teen years, but I was what today would be called an “at risk” teen, all becuase I did not fit the mold and had some colorful friends.

    Mind you, I did ok in yeshiva, and had some really yeshivish friends, but none of that would matter today. If you so much as cross the line (and the line is one that is very hard to clearly define) you are marked a “problem child”

    Mamashtakeh –

    The polo / baseball cap is an example of how nutty the yeshivish world can sometimes get. Is that appropriate for shachris? Maybe not. Is wearing a hat / jacket appropriate for a trip to Walmart? Depends on who you ask.

    But to tell a 17 year old, who is in camp (one, I might add, that the parents chose) and the other 9 friends are going on a camp trip in a hooded sweatshirt, that he / she needs to be in full dress uniform at all times, is, IMHO, extreme.

    So to answer your question, the cap / polo may shut a few doors, but that will only protect you from the folks you would not be happy with in any event, if you’re the polo kind of person.

    If on the other hand, you are the hat/jacket to Walmart kind of person, Kol Hakovod! (and I have lots of friends like that).

    But don’t make it sound like a bochur who wears a Tommy dress shirt untucked (yes, that’s also against the “rules”) is probably doing drugs and eating traif. And, no, its not even on the path to that.

    Again, lets stay calm. Our kids are good kids and they should be treated as such.

    And finally Rescue and Squeak –

    I would love nothing more than to see the end of the July / Aug vacation months. Many places have school year round and a week off every so often. A much more manageable time slot to fill, and one that does not necessarily mean you need to leave town for each week off.

    But the liklyhood of that happening? Zero. So its off to Walmart we go! (and please be sure to look for me on Sunday night, crawling along the 17.. I’ll be the one with the look on my face that says, “why am I doing this to myself?”)


    BP Totty- is that ignorance or what? You really don’t know what goes on upstate between our HEIMISHE(yes yeshivish and chassidishe) teens?

    Go visit woodridge/woodbourne town one motzei shbbs and see the hangouts there for yourself.

    What a disgrace.

    Yes, baseball caps are ok, but hanging out with opposite gender teens is NOT.


    If the teens are in camp then it shouldn’t be a problem. Most camps have rules regarding leaving grounds and unless you are staff then it’s quite difficult to get permission to leave for no good reason. Even staff can have a difficulty leaving camp. If they are in a bungalow colony then it’s quite easy to get away for the night which tends to lead to all this stuff.


    Smart cookie –

    Of course I know what goes on there. I’m only a few miles from there, and know all too well what goes on in the parking lot of Center 1. I also know what goes on at the tail end of Broadway in Montecello (a block or so past the courthouse). Ditto for the bowling alley.

    I also know about the parties that take place in bungalows that get rented in non-frum colonies by frum teens. Yes, I know all of that, so clearly, I’m not ignorant

    But I also know that you are talking about 20-30, max 50 kids.

    Now, weigh that against the fact that we have HUNDREDS of yeshiva kids that spend the summer doing NOTHING wrong. Where the hue and cry goes out is in this senario:

    Mr. or Ms. Yeshiva Bochur / BY Girl is in walmart (gasp!) buying a box of cheerios, and sees an ex-classmate or neighbor (who is no longer in the mainstream)in aisle 5. And they stop for a minute to exchange small talk.

    While this is going on, Reb Hat / Jacket at all time sees Bochur / BY girl talking to someone who is OBVOIULSY doing drugs and l-ord know what else (but could not tell you how this is known) and comes to the wrong (but definitve) conclusion that Yeshiva bocher / BY girl is only a few steps away from buying a cheeseburger.

    Think I’m exaggerating? I’ve heard this dozens of times. I’m the parent of 3 teens, so I hear things from both the parent / yeshiva end as well as the teen end.

    As far as the “opposite gender”, my boys would say hello to a family friend in public. That does not mean they are one step away from the unthinkable. It means they have mentchlechkiet. And they go to a very good yeshiva

    Do bad things happen in the mountains? Sure they do. Is it the epidemic that the “askonim” make it out to be?

    No way. Like I said, we need to stop bashing our teens. They are good kids and like everyone else, need to relax every now and then. Relaxing does not mean they are going off the derech.


    Our young people’s behavior at mal-mart in the summer is reflective of the chillul Hashem behavior of their parents at this location.


    BP Totty, I really like you in this thread!


    SJSinNYC: I totally agree!


    This topic just gets me so upset. It hurts that all these things are going on – not only in the catskills, but all over. However like BP Totty said – we should realize that there is a very large percentage (i don’t think 30-50 kids who are doing inappropriate stuff is even close, i think it’s more) who ARE on the right path- Who go through their summers the way the summer should be spent. To rejuvenate for the coming year… listening to shiurim, haveing a set learning seder etc.



    and what about ADULT BEHAVIOR in Walmart? Pushing to the front of the line?

    Going on an express line with more then the correct amount of items?

    Buying an air conditioner or some other appliance- USING IT ALL SUMMER – and then returning it!

    You are worrying about a MIYUT! These kids would find a way even if there is no walmart – even f they are in the City.




    Cherry – Halevaie all of klal yisroel should have the midos and mannersims of the CR membership.

    Unless by “this locaton” you meant Wal-Mart, as Shtusim pointed out. In that case, I agree with you. Many of the NYC people come up the the mountains, treat the locals with disdain and act in a manner that is not the best example.

    But the topic of this thread was teen behavior, so we need to stick to that. (But you are both right; we should mind our manners when upstate.

    Sofdavar – I never dia headcount, but this is how the numbers usually rack up:

    Reuvain sees 10 kids at the bowling alley

    Shimon sees 8 kids at the mall,

    Levi sees 6 people in the Walmart parking lot. = 24 kids

    The problem is, these same 24 kids are seen by 20-30 adults, so all of a sudden, we have HUNDREDS of kids hanging out because it seems like they are everywhere. And yes, I know of all the bad stuff that goes on in Bklyn, but are the numbers really off the charts? NO. We are (like shtusim says) talking about a small percentage of trouble makers, and that is no reason to slam our kids for being a little looser over July and Aug.

    I have several friends whose kids are “off line” in the context of the rest of their family. Know what? So was I.. as were 90% of of in our teen years. But to say that being a kid is akin to being a drug addict? Or a Greenwich Village Punk? Please. Give our kids more credit than that.

    And finally, SJS and Dunno –

    the reason I’m so outspoken about this topic is becuase I too was painted with a broad paintbrush, and although it was a bunch of years ago, I still remember how it hurt to be tossed in the same bucket with the sinners.

    And yes, in one of last weeks threads I was accused of “generalization”. And while that tactic may be OK when discussing things that being wrong has little consequence, when it comes to our kids, we need to do more than just shoot from the hip. They are individuals, and need to be seen as such.


    Places that become hangouts have to be banned. If it prevents one boy from talking to a girl then its worth the inconvenence to the rest of the teens for the tzibur.


    One more set of kudos to BP Totty, for a seicheldig and non-hysterical attitude.


    We cannot close our eyes to what’s happening right in front of our noses especially in the summer. To do so is at our, and our children’s great peril. We need to shelter our children from running into these loose situations.


    I would like to know why camps have to go to walmart? Camps bring busloads of kids to shpatzir around the store. Aside from all the points brought out in the above posts, it is annoying to the customers who are there to shop. I was there one year on July 3. It was maybe the first week of camp and already they were bringing the kids. the store was very crowded with summer people buying necessities to set up their bungalows and locals getting ready to celebrate the July 4th holiday. The girls were shrieking and clogging up the aisles inconveniencing those of us who wanted to shop. The locals were understandable annoyed. I think campers can survive until visiting day to go shopping. If the camps insist on bringing the campers there, they should try to go at less busy times.


    “But the topic of this thread was teen behavior”

    Teen behavior does not just happen; it is a direct result of our own conduct.

    Hefkeirus and lack of yiras shamayim by adults in some areas will breed hefkeirus in and lack of yiras shamayim by youngsters in other areas.

    A kol korei only works if it’s a “lo plug”, no exceptions. Are you ready to give up wal-mart? If not, don’t expect the kids to.


    It’s interesting, but this situation is indicative of some of the struggling that I’ve done as a parent over the years.

    While we don’t go upstate for the summer and therefore have never been to the WalMart in question, I find a lot of the sentiments expressed here hitting home.

    My kids are all teenagers now. As teens, they are struggling to find and assert their own identities. As a parent, I often find myself asking myself how much to “crack down” on them and how much to simply allow them to be kids. Of course, there are lines not to be crossed, but OTOH, you can’t pounce on a kid for every infraction either. It’s finding that balancing point that has been, I believe, one of the major challenges of being a parent.

    A lot of that, I find, is being expressed here in this thread. Of course, it’s for each parent to decide for their kids where the “do not cross” line is. For some, it’ll be physical activity with the other gender. For others, it might be conversations. Others, obviously, take *any* interaction as a line not to be crossed. I’m not going to judge any individual parent’s choices in this matter — they know their kids better than I do. But if you’re going to have “do not cross” lines (wherever they may be), then you have to relax a bit on the other side of that line. If you push the line too far to one side (where nothing is forbidden) you wind up with kids with no rules. If you push the line too far the other way (where your kids have to be perfect, or else) is just as bad.

    But if your line is somewhere in the middle (as it is for most of us parents), then that means that (by definition) you have to allow the kids some leeway on those infractions that are not over that line.

    The Wolf


    Cherry – you are right; I don’t want my kids to live by diifernt standards than I do. Of course, I can drive a car, and my 15 year old cannot; there are certain things that are age appropriate. Can socializing / time off / time to chill out is one of them. Does a teen need the same ammount of down time as his parents do? Probably not. But they surely need time to unwind, and a change of scenery is part of that unwinding process. We fully understand the need for limits; speed limits, deadlines, expiration dates,ect. Teens know this too. But testing those limits is what helps them grow to be self disiplined. I cannot shadow my boys every step of the way. But I do hope they have a little bit of me in them, so they can choose wisely (or go to plan b, when plan a fails!)

    Wolf – welcome to my (and many CR members) world! Parenting teens was described to be as crossing a frozen river; you need to step very carfully, becuase one wrong move and you both wind up in the water. Stopping (or not crossing) is not an option; you and your teen need to move forward. Both of you want to accomplish the same goal; but as a parent, you need to be the voice of reason (Although from your posts, you seem to have things under control 🙂


    Simple solution: Parents should be responsible for their own children, not the camp. If you feel your child needs supervision, don’t send it to a camp away from you.


    (Although from your posts, you seem to have things under control 🙂

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. Some days I do have things under control. Others, well… that’s how it is with teens. 🙂

    The Wolf


    ” If you feel your child needs supervision, don’t send it to a camp away from you.”

    when you think of your kids as “its” i think the parent needs supervision as well

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