What Should I Do?

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  • #598094

    observanteen
    Member

    I’m a counselor at camp for 13-14 year old girls. I truly love them all and care about them. There’s one girl who seems to have a pretty close relationship with a boy. At first she showed me a picture of him asking me, “Do you like him?”, I said I didn’t know him so how can I like him. “No, I mean, is he cute?” she asked. I mumbled something as I wasn’t sure how to respond. I asked her if he was her brother. She smirked and her friend told me, “No, he’s her neighbo and she loves him. I think they’re gonna marry each other.” I pushed it all to the back of my mind telling myself I’m not responsible for her actions. But today she mentioned it again, and I feel a little guilty ignoring it.

    She’s all of 13. She’s no clue what she’s getting herself into. Should I warn her? How? Is it any of my business? Should I leave it up to her parents (I know they allow their kids to do as they please)? I cannot stop thinking about it. Please offer your advice. Thanks!

    #790356

    Droid
    Member

    How do you have internet at camp?

    Is this a kiruv or camp for kids at risk?

    #790357

    I think you should talk to the head of the camp. 13 is quite young for a girl to be so into a relationship. Someone should speak to the girl or her parents about it but I don’t think it should be you. Rather, the head of the camp who is a little further removed would be better cuz’ then the girl(if she feels frustrated or upset will still be able to come over and talk to you about her feelings)

    #790358

    genuine
    Member

    Droid, from what do you infer that there is internet in this camp? Observanteen doesn’t mention the internet in her post.

    #790359

    Droid
    Member

    She said she is a counselor there, and for some reason I assumed it was a sleep-away camp. Come to think of it, it’s more likely a day camp.

    I asked about kiruv or teens at risk since it is practically unheard of a 13 year old girl in a very frum camp having to do with boys.

    #790360

    WIY
    Member

    Observanteen

    I think the best move would be to find either a head staff member or one of the morahs or mechanecheses or whatever they are called in these camps and explain the situation. I would recommend speaking to one who you think is openminded and understanding and will not try to get the kid kicked out of camp and will also be able to talk to the kid and maybe explain what’s wrong about what she is doing. The person you speak to must have a good understanding of Chinuch and be able to understand the kid and where she is coming from…

    That’s what I recommend. If you don’t think there is anyone in camp who can help her then contact someone from out of camp like Rabbi Wallerstein…

    Hatzlacha Rabbah with this situation. I respect that you care enough to want to do something about this and I hope you will be Matzliach in saving this girl from messing up her life.

    #790361

    Another name
    Participant

    Observanteen, How do you know that the girl wasn’t just “messing with you”?

    #790362

    observanteen
    Member

    Thanks to all who replied.

    It’s a day camp. There isn’t really anyone who’s qualified to reach out to her. Besides, I think she’ll be upset I went to anyone to “masser” and I’ll lose her trust in me. I don’t think she really understands the depth of this issue. To her it’s just having some fun. She’s not a bad kid who’s looking to do bad stuff (at least she seems so…). Should I allow life to teach her a lesson? After all, she’ll grow up with time. OTOH, will I be held responsible for allowing this to go on which might have a terrible ending r”l? Should I talk to her? If I do, will she even understand what I’m saying? After all, she’s still a child and acting like one. She might think I’m blowing things out of proportion.

    Thanks WIY. Amein.

    #790363

    WIY
    Member

    observanteen

    This is an important issue and unfortunately I know stories of young girls not much older than her that lost their innocence. I think you should speak to someone experienced for guidance with this matter.

    Considering that this girl made you aware of the situation and keeps bringing it up I think its a sign from Shomayim giving you an opportunity to get involved in this and possibly saving her future.

    How much are you responsible to do? I have no idea and Im not qualified to answer, but I think that you must do something (more than just asking our opinion).

    #790364

    observanteen
    Member

    Thanks WIY. I think you’re right. I’ll ask someone I trust what to do about this (as soon as I’m done on here) .

    #790365

    observanteen
    Member

    Another Name: No, this looks serious. By the look on her face I could tell she wasn’t kidding (I wish she were!).

    #790366

    WIY
    Member

    observanteen

    You are welcome, I wish you much Hatzlacha.

    #790367

    kapusta
    Participant

    Camp right now is the best place for her so its probably best not to tell any of the higher ups because they’ll just show her the door and tell whatever school shes in/going to. (Being there means she isn’t with him and probably doesn’t have contact with him -I’m assuming cell phones aren’t allowed but today you never know). I also think the fact that she mentioned it not once but twice was her saying that she knows it might be wrong but isn’t sure and wants someones approval. If its possible try to become friendly with her maybe even out of camp (what you’re able to do). At least this way she can have a solid support (even if its just for the summer). Theres a good chance that if “they’re getting married,” she isn’t doing this for a few days. If she brings it up again, try to find out if anyone in her family knows about it.

    But thats just my (not-very-experienced-and-not-very-smart) talking. The other part is that I really think you should contact Rabbi Wallerstein from Ohr Naava. He deals with this stuff every day (sadly) and he can probably tell you what to do. (The number is 718-OHR-NAAV(A) and the website is ohrnaava.net. It looks like theres a way to contact him through the site.)

    Lots of Hatzlacha

    *kapusta*

    #790368

    adorable
    Participant

    first of all, I’m so impressed that you are able to come out and talk about it. It shows a lot about the fact that you didnt just brush it all under the carpet. I would assume that she feels like she can talk to you abotu it and might want you to bring it up and explain her why its wrong. she might just be looking for some love and att. from you. I have no clue. But I would suggest that you talk to someone who deals with these types of situations- try Rabbi Wallerstein (mentioned by another poster but hes amazing I can tell you from personal experience). I dont think you should tell her to contact someone but I think you should get advice on how to guide her.

    #790369

    observanteen
    Member

    Thank you kapusta and adorable.

    I’ve been advised by someone I trust that I speak to her. I did today. Looks like my words had an impact on her (she was unusually quiet the rest of the day). I am friendly with her since the begining of the summer (which is probably why she wanted to discuss this with me and get my att.). I told her I didn’t come to give her mussar but rather warn her as a friend. She seemed to accept what I said (eyes downcast, blushing…). I gave her my phone # and told her she can call anytime she needs some support. I made it clear that I’m willing and ready to help her get over this.

    I think I’ll contact Rabbi Wallerstein for guidance. Thanks to all for your advice. Hope things will turn out for the best. Meanwhile, I daven that she should get the courage to do what’s right.

    #790370

    adorable
    Participant

    do u need rabbi wallerstein email address? i think its the best way to get thru to him. i have it or his cell number. u can have the mods contact me

    #790371

    Bagel Boy
    Participant

    sounds like you handled it perfectly, very well done.

    #790374

    basket of radishes
    Participant

    This means I am committed to “first do no harm”.

    #790375

    basket of radishes
    Participant

    Thanks moderators,

    What I am saying to this counselor is that he should regard his job as strengthing and improving the intelligence of his young camper. He can not control what she may carry with her or her proclivities which will likely be lifelong until she really finds some true repentance for her commentary, but that said, at 13 these children are going to be so marginal in their interests and their activities that we can only hope to be a good guide. To make her want to be ashamed is really not going to be productive, but ideally you might want to make her think of Hashem and make her try to think of considering what G-d wants for her rather than how she thinks she sees the world. If you can help her in this way, you have been very successful. But I dont think you are going to need to contact her parents over a photograph although I will say that her conduct is slightly overly free and that her thoughts are slightly in the flirty nature. She is a young kid and your job is to guide her and answer her with a leadership and G-dly interest rather than scorn and make her feel poor and inappropriate. If she is egregiously impolite or inapproptiate, deal with it by discussin it with an upper level counselor or advisor. There is always the “chain of command”.

    #790376

    basket of radishes
    Participant

    Hmm. I have no idea why you did not post that last commentary but in doing so, my previous comment about “doing no harm” makes no sense at all.

    #790377

    observanteen
    Member

    adorable: Thanks. I tried calling him but he didn’t answer the phone. I left a message, but I guess e-mailing him is a better idea.

    Mods, can you please contact adorable and send the info to me? Thanks.

    #790378

    fix-it-up
    Member

    Observeteen-having dealt with these problems myself numerous times being in kiruv krovim and having had to steer at least 10 girls away from bad boy friends, I’ll tell you that you were def right to talk to her. She trusts you, and is tellling this to you for a reaction. that is a. Be calm with her, build up her self esteem, and my advice is to tell her to listen to Rabbi Wallersteins shiur on Torahanytime.com called the magic touch. It is unbelievably powerful. Maybe just suggest it and let her toy with the idea.

    13 is a scary age for someone to be used already. Good for you that you are oding something about it.

    #790379

    adorable
    Participant

    mods can i send you his email address?

    its “Rabbi Z Wallerstein” <Rebbewallerstein@ohrnaava.com>,

    #790380

    observanteen
    Member

    Thanks, bagel boy and fix-it-up.

    Adorable, thanks loads. I greatly appreciate it.

    #790381

    popcorn
    Member

    Observanteen:

    It could be that she’s not actually involved with the boy but simply has a crush on him and obtained a picture as well.

    This could be a very dreamy teen who is hoping that the neighbor will notice her. It’s very likely the boy has no idea that his neighbor has a crush on him or even has his picture.

    Hatzlocha Rabba!

    #790382

    Not that his constructive to the conversation, but I thought Rabbi Wallerstein doesn’t use email. At least that’s what I thought he said in one of his Shuirs….

    #790383

    adorable
    Participant

    he responded to my emails but to every single one…. Its very very hard to get through to him so good luck!

    I’m so upset because I still never got to talk to him and I would love to but Im not chasing him anymore. If you speak to him….. think of me.

    #790384

    WIY
    Member

    adorable

    Rabbi Wallerstein is an EXTREMELY busy Rabbi who dedicates an unbelievable amount of time and energy to suffering young people. If you have somethingto discuss with him that you think only he can help you with I would say you should email him and mention that in the email and ask if he feels you should call him and when you should call. If your intent to call him is just to talk to him because he is “Rabbi Wallerstein” that’s unfair to him and he doesn’t like being thought of as a celebrity. He’s there to help those who need it.

    #790385

    adorable
    Participant

    WIY- thank you for your post, you are 100% correct. I’m sorry if it came across that way but i really did have something to discuss with him and its something that I know he can guide me through but Im not sure many other people can. I emailed him and told him my whole story and he told me to call him on his cell. I tried him on the day that he told me to which I did but he didnt pick up. He told me that if he misses my call, hell try and call me back but I did not leave a message as I didnt want to inconvenience him. so maybe its my fault that i didnt speak to him…

    #790386

    Can I just say……….

    one picture and a 13 yr old’s comment about loving a boy does not mean she is doing something terrible with this boy or even that it might end badly!! Geez!!! Haven’t any of you had a crush on somebody??????? When I was 13 yrs old I had a “boyfriend”. His mom (O”H) used to take us out for ice cream. It was all so innocent!!! I would have been so humiliated if somebody had made us stop spending time together. Nothing came of the friendship. We both grew up and married other people. But for a year or so we each had a friend.

    #790387

    kapusta
    Participant

    smiley-

    A boyfriend is different than a friend who happens to be a boy. Second, even if some people might come out of a bf/gf relationship “OK”, (and I’m not sure about that,) there is still a huge potential for risk. Because shes 13 and not 18 and might not even know what shes feeling doesn’t help much either.

    She has a picture of him, (on her, not just sitting in her drawer) and that sorta scares me a little too.

    *kapusta*

    #790389

    WIY
    Member

    adorable

    You are welcome. If you think he can help you and he told you to call then leave a message. He will be glad to talk to you, he doesn’t always answer on the first try. I had the same experience a while back, but don’t stop trying to get through and you can’t lose from leaving a message. Make sure you reference your email in the message so he knows who you are.

    Hatzlacha!

    #790390

    adorable
    Participant

    I didnt want him to feel like I was burdening him and leaving him a message so he HAS to call me back…

    #790391

    observanteen
    Member

    This girl doesn’t discuss any of this anymore, and is still friendly with me. I’m not sure whether or not she did something about it. I don’t want to be overbearing, and besides, I’m busy with my private life.Is there still anything I should do?

    (BTW, I e-mailed Rabbi Wallerstien on Thurs. night and never got a reply…Is this usual?)

    #790392

    adorable
    Participant

    yes very typical. hes very very busy and did not respond to my emails for months. until i emailed him enough times to get him really nervous.

    #790393

    WIY
    Member

    Adorable

    He is there to help and if you have a genuine problem that he can help you with, then that’s what he does, he makes himself available for people who need his help. Trust me, I know that there are plenty of people that have taken up his time on unimportant matters. If your issue is real then don’t worry, he will be glad to talk to you and he will not see you as a burden. He’s just hard to reach don’t see that as a reason to give up.

    #790394

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Speak to the parents. If they are OK with it, have them get married at 14.

    ??? ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ??????? ?????? ??? ??? ?????? ???????

    ??? ????? ???? ???? ??????

    Keddushin 30a-b

    LOL.

    On second thought, the girl who said something is probably just making fun of the first girl, and there is no shaychus.

    #790395

    adorable
    Participant

    WIY- I know that hes very busy and Im sure there are people who take major advantage of the fact that hes so accessible but I really have to talk to him. Whats going to happen if i dont? nothing. but I just wish I would be able to. I just dont feel comfortable chasing him.

    #790396

    yid4life
    Member

    adorable-

    I had the exact same thing. I would email him and no response and I would go to his shuirim weekly and one week I waited afterwards and asked him if he ever gets his emails- he told me that he has a secretary who screens his emails and prints the ones that aren’t spam or innapropriate (that should answer mikehalls concern about R’ Wallerstein using email)(also he said not to worry that she doesnt read them.. she just prints them and makes sure they arent bad) and he told me that mine must have got mixed up somewhere and I should email him again. So I did, and still no response. I understand completely that he is really busy , so I am not taking offense nor do I think that he is wrong for not answering me.. many times he doesnt get the emails..

    But, since I really needed to speak to him, I went to another one of his shuirs and I waited until everyone left (about 45 min wait) and he saw that I was waiting there the whole time so he felt bad even though it was already really late.. and we sat down and spoke for 20 minutes and he helped me with everything. (BH he didnt have to go anywhere after the shuir..) My advice to you if you need to speak to him, then if you live in NY and can get to any of his shuirs, you should do what I did… He is really helpful and amazing and totally worth waiting for so long.

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