June 15, 2024
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June 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

At summer camp this year, there will be no visiting day. Campers will have to brave the storm of their own independence as they navigate through seven weeks of virtually no parental supervision. This will be challenging for some campers, especially the perennial kvetchers who heavily rely on visiting day to get them over the hump of homesickness.

For some parents, however, the lack of a visiting day might be a welcomed change. The truth is that visiting day can be stressful and even unenjoyable, particularly when your children openly and melodramatically divulge their unhappiness. Here are some hypothetical examples of such conversations between parents and their children during summer camp visiting day:

Example #1

Child: “I am miserable this summer.”

Parent: “Why? What happened?”

Child: “I didn’t make the basketball team.”

Parent: “Did you try out?”

Child: “No.”

Parent: “Well then, how did you expect to make it?”

Child: “I didn’t think I had too. I thought that me making the team was a given.”

Parent: “Nothing in life is a given.”

Child: “That’s not true. What about Dad snoring during his shabbos naps and your hatred of his snoring?”

Parent: “Ok, you got a point.”

Example #2

Child: “I think my counselor hates me.”

Parent: “What makes you think that?”

Child: He gave me an unflattering nickname?

Parent: “I’m sure it’s not that bad. What’s the nickname?”

Child: “Dr. Klutz.”

Parent: “Why would he call you that?”

Child: “Because I accidentally set his bed on fire.”

Parent: “So, it was an accident?”

Child: “Yes.”

Parent: “Well then, your counselor really should be more forgiving.”

Child: “He was in his bed at the time.”

Parent: “Nice going, Dr. Klutz.”

Example #3

Child: “I do not want to stay for second session?”

Parent: “Why not?”

Child: “I hate it here.”

Parent: “Well, that’s too bad because we already paid in full for second session and it’s not refundable. So, you’re staying.”

Child: “If you already paid for it, then what’s the difference whether I stay or not? Either way, the money is gone.”

Parent: “But if you stay, at least we’ll get our bang for the buck.”

Child: “Is money really more important to you than my happiness?”

Parent: “Do you really want me to answer that question?”

Example #4

Child: “I want to go to a different camp next year.”

Parent: “How come?”

Child: “I don’t have any friends here.”

Parent: “What about the kids in your bunk?”

Child: “Let’s just say that they are not my biggest fans.”

Parent: “Is there a reason for that?”

Child: “Yes. I told our counselor about a late-night raid they were planning and they all got into big trouble.”

Parent: “Why did you do that?”

Child: “Because the intended target of the raid was me.”

Example #5

Child: “The food at this camp is absolutely horrible!”

Parent: “What makes it so bad?”

Child: “It tastes exactly like your cooking.”

Example #6

Child: “I abhor every activity at camp, except Arts & Crafts.”

Parent: “Really? That is so surprising. You always like sports and, frankly, I didn’t think that you had an artistic bone in your body.”

Child: “I don’t.”

Parent: “So why do you like Arts & Crafts?”

Child: “Because it’s actually a discussion about NFL owners Art Modell and Robert Kraft, hence ‘Arts and Krafts.’”

Example #7

Child: “Please take me home with you”

Parent: “Why do you want to leave camp now?”

Child: “I’m dreading Color War.”

Parent: “Why do you dread it?”

Child: “Because when it comes to any war, even a Color War, I am a conscientious objector.”

Parent: “But Color War is not a real war. There are no weapons or casualties. There isn’t even any PTSD.”

Child: “Oh yeah, tell that to the kid who last year forgot the words to his solo during the song portion of the big finale. He totally blanked and it cost his team the victory. Now, he refuses to sing in public or private. He won’t even sing his mother the ‘Happy Birthday’ song.”

Parent: “That is awful. His mother must be devastated for him.”

Child: “Actually, she hates admitting her age so she’s the only one who’s happy about this.”

Example #8

Child: “I want to go home.”

Parent: “How come?”

Child: “Because I hate this camp.”

Parent: “What happened?”

Child: “They keep forcing us to play football.”

Parent: “What’s wrong with playing football?”

Child: “They keep assigning me the same position.”

Parent: “What position?”

Child: “The goalpost… My arms are so sore!”

Final thought: What happened to the claim that summer camp lodging is harmful? It was de“bunk”ed.

By Jonathan Kranz


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