In last week’s Jewish Link, there was an article about day camp tipping (“A New Approach to Day Camp Tipping?” July 28, 2022). Yehudit Robinson wrote a very detailed article with lots of ideas and opinions. As a former Camp Regesh counselor for four years, I have to say that yes, tips are appreciated and wanted, but they should never be expected. Every summer, camp gives “suggested” tip charts... the keyword being “suggested.” The definition of the word “tip” is a sum of money as a reward for someone’s services.
As was mentioned, these teen counselors are not sitting at home watching Netflix, but they are at camp trying to “spark joy and make magic happen.” Something every counselor should have on their mind for the summer months is how to stand out and be present and memorable to their campers. The ideal scenario is that the camper comes home and says to their parents, “Counselor X is great! We had the best day today.” Advice I was given my first year working as a bus counselor was to bring
donuts each Friday, so that the campers end their week with excitement, which I extended to my bunk as well.
I found the information regarding electronic tips and communication, given by Ms. Robinson, to be current with our modern world and should be implemented by all camps. Electronic tips would be guaranteed to go straight to the counselors, should parents choose to tip. This takes away the stress of cash and envelopes, and also the nerves parents have of sending their young children off to camp with money and not knowing if it will make it there.
I personally loved the idea of the counselor bios and pictures. I think this concept would be beneficial to parents and counselors. By sending out this information, parents are getting a brief snapshot and visual of who will be caring for their children during the summer, and this would create a connection and humanize the counselors to those families.
Counselors of summer 2022, keep your chin up and continue smiling.David Bodner