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Or if it makes you more comfortable, you can look at it as though the camp is giving you a 5% discount so you can put that money toward tips.
Your original question was “Must you tip your waiter in camp?’
In all honesty it’s hard to say that you “must” do anything.
Then you procede to ask “why” a few times.
If your question is why doesnt the camp pay them,
then the answer may be because, firstly it has been the accepted thing for many years that the waiters do not get paid. The second reason may be because the camp feels that they are young and do not really have another choice.
They are usually too old to be campers and too young to be counselors. Many camps even charge the waiters to come to camp.
The job of the waiter is in fact alot of work.
If your question is “why” do they deserve it, it is because they are providing a service for you.
Same as the delivery man, or the roomservice in a hotel, or the waiter in a restaurant.
They are up early and spend the majority of the day servicing the children, and I must say, as someone who spent many a summer in staff positions, many staff members take the “tip” issue very seriously.
The staff understands that not everyone can afford the full amount but it’s simply Hakarat HaTov and will be happy even with a modest tip.
The staff do not understand how some parents can spend thousands of dollars on camp but still hold back the tip which is a fraction of the whole camp expense.
Sometimes we see campers with a seemingly endless canteen account but they still cannot give a tip to the staff members who devote most of his day for a month or two straight servicing them.
Also the tip gives the waiter an incentive to service the children. If a parent tips the waiter, it gives the waiter a feeling that he is being appreciated, and it makes the waiter want to service the kids more, but if the waiter does not get tipped than subconsiously the waiter says, “why am I working so hard if I am not being appreciated?”.
If a parent cannot afford the full amount, the staff member generally understands the situation and will appreciate whatever is affordable.
But when a staff member who is dealing with your son the entire summer, and sees him wearing expensive clothing and hears him talking about costly vacations and sees him spending alot of “canteen” money, and when the parents come on visiting day, they show up in an expensive new car, dressed in designer clothing and wearing $300 shoes does not get tipped, it can come across as a surprise and an insult.
As a side point, many staff members talk with each other about the tips that they receive and from whom they are received them.
If you are known amongst the staff to be a tipper than there is a possibility that subconciously they will treat your child better.
One summer back when I used to be a counselor, I worked in a very expensive camp. At the end of the summer it was interesting to see how some of the campers who needed very little attention, and were the easiest to deal with, sent a beautiful letter and nice tip while some of the more difficult campers sent nothing.
I must say that in a way I was surprised both ways. I was surprised that the parents of a camper who required very little attention and left camp a few weeks early sent a beautiful letter and a nice tip. I felt almost like I did not deserve it. I was also surprised that the parents of some kids who were a little more difficult, and needed more attention, sent nothing.
Looking at it now, things add up perfectly, THE FRUIT DOES NOT FALL FAR FROM THE TREE Some children are appreciative, and easy to deal with because they are brought up that way. (their parents tip and the kids don’t give a hard time) Some parents are not appreciative and the message is passed onto the kids. (the parents do not tip, the kids are hard to deal with)
While I do know that some campers were sponsored, an some got tuition breaks, How can someone spend between $4,000 and $5,500 on tuition and not have the courtesy to tip is difficult for me to understand.
I sincerely hope that this posting put you at ease with the tip situation.
Remember, weather you give a modest tip, a thoughtful tip, or a generous tip it’s the thought that counts and it is beautiful to be Makir Tov to the people who ensured that your child had a fantastic summer.
May we all be Zoche to have a safe and healthy summer of growth, in the true spirit of Torah and Mitzvot.
P.S. If you really think that the camps should pay them, and there is no other way, I am sure you can work out a deal with the camp director so they can charge you a little more tuition, (5% of 3,000 is 150) and they can divide the money amongst the people that deserve to be tipped.like the Counselor, JC, Waiter, CIT, Learning Rebbe, Lifeguard, etc.
I am glad that you can say thaat you don’t smoke. It is a beautiful thing. As you have said that you are only there since Elul, I have learned in Eretz Yisrael for 4 years and a Zman. in a 3 different Yeshivas my last 4 Zmanim I spent in the Mir. I know how it is as I have experienced it first hand, alot of my friends were smokers and I too have smoked in the past. (“Just with the boys I never bought packs exept for chossen Schmeffs when I got engaged”) Part of being in Israel is develop your sense of self and understanding of other people, in life we learn that we cannot fix the world. The Rabonim have in the past issued Kol Koreh about smoking, I also remember that one time a Chareidi Magazine or news paper had a contest who could make the best add against smoking. There was one with a Striemel being used as an ash tray, and many other ones that were simply great. There are certain places that no one ever smokes, like on a bus. The reason being is probably bacause you simply can’t walk away. I saw a previously saw a comment about the fact that you are on the internet so late at night. Which cafe do you go to? The one near Hilel? Strudel? Net games? I can attest that I think going to these places are probably worse than smoking. Images that one may see on the internet in these places (EVEN BY ACCIDENT) will remain in you for many years.
The idea that I am trying too bring out is tha we all have our personal issues and shortcommigs that we need to work on. While one persons issue may be staying up till 4 in the morning, and destroying the next day, (and his Neshama while he is at it) the other person may have a smoking issue, but at least he did not absorb all kinds of Shmutz into his brain and destroy his day of learning.
We all need to learn how to work on our own problems and not the other persons problems.
Let the Gedolim work on them.I am sure that as you meet new friends and build lasting friendships those who know that you are bothered by smoke will not do so in your presence.
The main thing is understanding, if you show a understanding to them, they will understand you. Also at times you must be firm, leave the room if need be. I am not telling you to damage yourself.
I wish you sincere success in your learning and I hope you have an amazing experience in your years in Eretz Yisrael, Both Spiritually and physically.
Feel free to reply.