Don't Call Home!

What happened to sending away your kids to camp?

Comments (12)

(12) SusanE, July 11, 2009 3:49 PM

What Happened to Taking Your Kids on Outings?

Many children especially the ones whose parents can afford it go to summer camp. Most kids have a great time and it is an enviroment that enriches their otherwise not so stimulating summer.

II've always been of the thought if you want your kid to go canoeing, take him and his friends canoeing for the day. Want him to sleep in a tent, then buy a tent and invite his friends to a nearby park. If it's computers he's into go with him to computer day classes, or sign up a friend or two. Pick a place a week in driving distance, caves, railroads, evening auto races, small town festivals, county fairs, heritage events or sports lessons. There are hundreds of things to pick from to do with your children over the summer months.. As you can see I'm not big on summer camps.

School months are regimented for children but summer is so free and is the best time to spend with your kids doing things they truly enjoy doing with you. No homework no worries, no scheduling. They need free time to explore.

Any child that is away from their parents without 24 hour access is a child in trouble. This is disturbing on so many levels. Any camp that doesn't allow 24 hour access should be crossed off your list. When a child calls home with a vague excuse about any matter, go immediately and get him or her. Children won't tell you what is wrong. At the least they are uncomfortable and need to be with you. In the extreme they have already been hurt. They need to be safe. The question today was "What happened to sending away your kids to camp? " Don't Call Home. If a boss or a friend or your husband or your mother called 2 times a day, most people would take the call. Why shouldn't our kids be given that access too? If this same child can stay at a friends home overnight or go vacationing for a few days with friends, but is calling from camp, it is a sign that all is not right. If he can't stay away on overnights, then he certainly should not be sent to camp..

(11) Avraham G., July 9, 2009 6:16 PM

Don't have them stop calling, just be frim with your own boundaries.

Kids are not talking to their parents enough these days and that is why they are going off the derech because there is not enough emotional connection. If we want our kids to be independent then be strong enough to tell them when they call you demanding you send a wardrobe to them in camp that the answer is "no." But don't have them stop calling.

(10) fred, July 9, 2009 7:11 AM

One Reason

Airfare from California camp tuition on top of already beginning to pay next year's yeshiva tuition.

(9) Anonymous, July 9, 2009 1:49 AM

They can't call me, they can't email me, and they don't even write!

Thanks. You have given me new appreciation for my childrens' camps, where I can email them, but they can't email me back; I only hear from them if they are in the infirmary, and frankly, they are too busy to write. I miss them, but they work hard all year and deserve a break from me!

(8) Anonymous, July 8, 2009 10:08 PM

To Anonymous: sometimes camp is better than home

If what you suggest is true (and, by the way, I don't think it is) -that American parents want their kids elsewhere for selfish reasons- then perhaps camp is preferable. As a kid, I learned more about my skills, my interests, my capacity for self-reliance, in 8 weeks at camp every summer than I did in the other 10 months at home every year. I also felt more loved and valued. What is definitely different between America and Israel is that in Israel all adults take an interest in all kids. Children have many examples of responsibility, humor, creativity, parenting, faith, and work -examples both attractive and unattractive- to assess and perhaps emulate. In America, except for teachers, the only significant adult models are parents - and no one parent can show a child as many options as dozens of neighbors and even strangers. In Israel, children may learn something positive about themselves in a single bus ride or walk to the makolet. In America, anyone who addresses someone else's child risks the wrath of the parent. It's my opinion that sleepaway camp is more necessary to the development of many (not all) American kids than it is to the development of most (not all) Israeli kids. And it is also my view that all kids benefit from seeing themselves as the maximum number of "others" see them.

(7) Anonymous, July 8, 2009 8:25 PM


most camps only let you call home like once a week (usually in friday) so that the kid can wish her parents good shabbos. and im going 2 sternberg this yr and were not gonna b able 2 call home at all

(6) Jacoma, July 8, 2009 5:29 PM

What Goes Around, Comes Around........

Okay, parents send their children to camps each summer to get some peace & quiet; fast forward the tape now 30 years... adult children put their parents in Nursing Homes to get some peace & quiet.

(5) Anonymous, July 8, 2009 1:51 PM

no sleep away camps in Israel

Sleepaway camp in Israel is practically non-existant. The "send the kids off to camp so I can get a break!!!!" doesn't happen here. Parents in America want the easy way out and are willing to shell out thousands of dollars each summer so that they can have some peace and quiet. This makes for bad relationship building. How much do parents really connect with their children? How often do you nod "uh huh" when your child is asking you something, and you don't even know what you agreed to? Parents, stop shipping them off. Your kids are home for the summer. BE with them. Summertime is an opportunity to connect with your kids without the stress of school.

(4) Anonymous, July 8, 2009 1:23 PM

ponder this: helicopter parents into the shidduch scene too?

Lori, I think there is a happy medium with parental interventions and most strike a balance. Kids need their homes to a certain point in life and reassurance. Some longer than others. I have observed through my years of raising a family that a lot of those hovering parents raise fine well adjusted kids. There is no magic formula. But I am very against the Federation NY camps that used to totally restrict parent calls. My oldest son did fine there but I do know kids who suffered. We have to move on with the times and if a child wants to share the latest camp bug or icky lunch, so be it. The question is not that he/she calls but the response from the parent. Always greet it with acceptance, concern and love. Question: Why didn't you refer your son to his bunk head to seek out the whites. This way you could have shown concern while keeping him in control and allowing him a level of self-determination. On another note, I believe admissions counselors deciding core courses with parents is out of the norm. Most kids have the natural tendency to say, Mom or Dad, I can take care of this but thanks for your help. May we just raise them to be honest and G-d fearing and remember, we are all a work in progress. One more thing: on this shidduch scene today, the parental support and involvement way surpasses the norm for independent well-adjusted adults. Give that some thought. This is our new reality. Thanks for your insight and reminder for improved parenting.

(3) Arthur, July 8, 2009 12:55 PM


Technology aside, we parents born in the 50's and 60's do tend to "parent" our children too much. Lori, your child's camp has phone banks because your fellow parents NEED them. Not your children. Children are adaptive. My children's camp has no phone bank. Bad news travels fast... Otherwise a quickly scrawled note from the kids in great! (Besides, letters from camp can be saved.)

(2) ruth housman, July 8, 2009 10:49 AM

hear... and... there

Hi, it does seem that with increased technology, allowing us more access from a distance, that the potential for good and the potential for abuse of such technology is a given. Life does seem to have this inbuilt paradox. And YES, you are so right about independence and how we all need to work on this. Parents need to work on their own lives, away from the children and children need to learn they can and will make decisions that grow them into responsible adults. Life is about that balancing act. We are all on the teeter totter of life, and some times we teeter, and twitter, too much, so then we must readjust. It's always a high wire act. But LOVE is very much about letting go and also holding on. A recipe that requires constant monitoring to get it, just "right".

(1) Rosen, July 5, 2009 1:23 PM

being away

I think that the reason why kids may be clingy to their parents while they're away at camp, probably has much to do with why not every child likes camp, where they were forced to go there. Kids certainly should be motivated, but not too extrinsically.


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