June 23, 2024
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June 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Because I’m the Mommy

Every year, I print a camp newsletter one week instead of my usual column, and I feel like I’ve been neglecting a very special kind of camp—Mommy Camp. So here goes:

Wow! Yet another exciting week here at Camp S’dei Home! Between all the games, trips, crafts, laundry, and bugging the kids to spend some time learning, Counselor Mommy didn’t actually get a moment to herself! Yet Mommy still managed to make supper every night and crank out a newsletter for the Shabbat table. And what did Totty do? He went to work?! What did he do at work? I don’t see a newsletter.

Down to a T

On the first day of camp this week, everyone got new T-shirts! Well, new to them. Devorah got Moishy’s old shirt, Moishy got Chaim’s old shirt, and so on. In case any totties out there are wondering where their old sleeping T-shirt went.

We Had a Field Day!

Monday was Field Day, and we got to compete in things that Mommy would normally yell at us for, such as walking briskly while balancing a raw egg on a spoon, sticking our feet in a bucket of ice cubes, and a really loud singing competition. There was also a toilet-paper-mummy race until Mommy found out. Then we had a respooling race.

Field Day Field Trips

Also on Monday, we took a surprise field trip to the dentist, where whoever was good the entire time got to win valuable prizes, such as those tiny treasure chests that you keep teeth in! (NOTE: None of the kids actually lost any teeth. They just wanted the chests.) Then we took a field trip to the pet store, which, FYI, the kids no longer believe is a zoo. And that’s how we ended up with a lizard.

Backyard “Eating”

For lunch on Monday, we had a picnic, because it turns out that eating outside is more fun if you call it a picnic. But Moishy kept collecting the ants in his tooth chest to, quote, “feed the lizard,” Miriam started swinging the food bag around, and when Mommy got up to deal with that, some birds helped themselves to the egg salad.

It was no picnic.

Disappearing Like Magic!

On Tuesday morning, Counselor Mommy announced that the camp was having a surprise visitor. It was Savta! Who had not been told that she was stepping into the middle of a camp day! The kids kept asking her to do magic tricks and entertain them, and long story short, she did not stick around for supper. You’re welcome.

It Was in Tents

Also on Tuesday, we had an overnight in the backyard! Well, actually, no one was brave enough to do an overnight, because of the possums, so we did an overday instead. We set up tents and had hot cocoa and Mommy told everyone a scary story and put us to bed. No one was able to fall asleep. It could have been the scary story, or it could have been the fact that it was broad daylight. It’s also possible that our hot cocoa has caffeine.

Long Story Short

When we came back inside, we spent hours working on a single massive Cheerios necklace, using an entire spool of thread and a huge box of Cheerios Mommy bought at Costco. We also played “We Pass the Baby Around” for a solid half hour, at which point the baby threw up. The person holding her was “out.”

Teaming Up

Wednesday we had Color War! It all began when Mommy woke up and realized that the Cocoa Club had colored on the walls. In both red and blue markers. So Mommy was upset, and no one would admit who did it, and the kids were chanting, “Color War breakout! Color War breakout!” So that’s what we called it. But there was definitely a lot of yelling, and the kids were wearing clothes colored with their team colors, and then there was a race where the kids ran and Mommy ran after them … In short, everybody had to spend the day scrubbing marker off the walls. Nobody won Color War.

In other Wednesday news, the baby ate the entire Cheerios necklace, including the string.

Wet n’ Wild

On Thursday, the kids had a water bomb fight using wet sponges! In the kitchen! Well, it started in the kitchen, while Mommy was upstairs. It ended in Totty’s home office.

Let’s Go Shopping!

By Thursday, the canteen had run out of food, so we took a special field trip to the supermarket. But first, we had to go to the bank. When we got there, everyone sang, “2! 4! 6! 8! Who do we appreciate? The driver! The driver! Yay … the driver!” Mommy was not amused.

We also played several fun games in the supermarket, such as Food Bingo, Beat the Clock (which turned into shopping-cart races), What Does It Weigh? and Let’s Ask the People Around Us What They Weigh. On the way home, we played a game called, “Let’s See Who Could Be Quiet in the Car the Longest!” And the winner was Mommy. Congratulations, Mommy! You get to keep the lizard!

Rolling in Dough

On Friday, all the campers helped make challah! And fish, and kugel, and cholent, and potato salad … Later, we played a game in which there were toys all over the living room floor, and whoever could clean up the most would win! As of the writing of this newsletter, the game is still ongoing.

Every Little Bit

As this exciting summer is winding to a close, tips will be appreciated. We’ve enclosed a handy chart of suggested amounts. Note that if your child’s counselor, Morah, JC and lunch person are all the same staff member, you can combine the totals and put them in one envelope. You’re Welcome!


Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia and other magazines. He has also published seven books and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

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