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Forum -> Chinuch, Education & Schooling -> Summer Camps
Non-Jewish camp, chizzuk needed
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mha3484




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Jun 10 2024, 3:07 pm
amother Sienna wrote:
The responses on here are so hysterical. Where I live (pretty normal suburban tristate community) it is not at all abnormal for parents to put their kids in local art camps, nature camps, soccer camps, town rec center camps, etc. during the summer. Often the Jewish camps don't run the full summer and people supplement all the time with local camps and programs. Usually its just a week or two but it's not unheard of for a kid to go to for longer. For example, I sent my son to rock-climbing day camp for a week because he loves rock climbing. The idea that he is going to go off the derech and intermarry because he spent six hours a day for five days rock climbing with a group of six-year-olds is absolutely insane.

In my community too, there are very affordable city-run day camps in the local parks. Some are truly great and families go on waitlists to attend.

A whole summer in a non-Jewish day camp may be challenging but it entirely depends on the camp. The responses on here make it sound like OP is throwing her child out to the wolves. I assume the camp she chose is sensitive to their family's needs and will make sure dietary restrictions are met and her child is well-taken care of, included, and respected. If that's not the case, I would be concerned about the camp not because it isn't a Jewish program, but because its a bad camp.


My concerns would not be about OTD/Intermarriage related issues. I think thats a little extreme. My concerns pertain more to the insane gender garbage that at least where I am is pushed on kids at way too young an age. Pronouns, counselors being openly proud of alternative lifestyles, bathrooms and locker room related issues are real issues in certain parts of the secular world and to me and many others these goes against all my values as a frum jew. This is all stuff no one had to worry about a decade ago. Now we as parents do need to have this on our radar. If I was sending a girl it would be an even bigger no.
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amother
Vermilion


 

Post Mon, Jun 10 2024, 3:17 pm
amother Sienna wrote:
The responses on here are so hysterical. Where I live (pretty normal suburban tristate community) it is not at all abnormal for parents to put their kids in local art camps, nature camps, soccer camps, town rec center camps, etc. during the summer. Often the Jewish camps don't run the full summer and people supplement all the time with local camps and programs. Usually its just a week or two but it's not unheard of for a kid to go to for longer. For example, I sent my son to rock-climbing day camp for a week because he loves rock climbing. The idea that he is going to go off the derech and intermarry because he spent six hours a day for five days rock climbing with a group of six-year-olds is absolutely insane.

In my community too, there are very affordable city-run day camps in the local parks. Some are truly great and families go on waitlists to attend.

A whole summer in a non-Jewish day camp may be challenging but it entirely depends on the camp. The responses on here make it sound like OP is throwing her child out to the wolves. I assume the camp she chose is sensitive to their family's needs and will make sure dietary restrictions are met and her child is well-taken care of, included, and respected. If that's not the case, I would be concerned about the camp not because it isn't a Jewish program, but because its a bad camp.


a 1 week program focused on rock climbing, with other fellow rock climbing enthusiasts (btw this also implies an economic level here, to send to specialty camp) can hardly be compared to a summer experience - swimming, sports, crafts, activities etc - spent essentially in a public school setting, which seems to be what OP is implying.
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amother
DarkGray


 

Post Mon, Jun 10 2024, 4:35 pm
amother Sienna wrote:
The responses on here are so hysterical. Where I live (pretty normal suburban tristate community) it is not at all abnormal for parents to put their kids in local art camps, nature camps, soccer camps, town rec center camps, etc. during the summer. Often the Jewish camps don't run the full summer and people supplement all the time with local camps and programs. Usually its just a week or two but it's not unheard of for a kid to go to for longer. For example, I sent my son to rock-climbing day camp for a week because he loves rock climbing. The idea that he is going to go off the derech and intermarry because he spent six hours a day for five days rock climbing with a group of six-year-olds is absolutely insane.

In my community too, there are very affordable city-run day camps in the local parks. Some are truly great and families go on waitlists to attend.

A whole summer in a non-Jewish day camp may be challenging but it entirely depends on the camp. The responses on here make it sound like OP is throwing her child out to the wolves. I assume the camp she chose is sensitive to their family's needs and will make sure dietary restrictions are met and her child is well-taken care of, included, and respected. If that's not the case, I would be concerned about the camp not because it isn't a Jewish program, but because its a bad camp.


You do you but honestly as a parent killing myself to give my children a torah education what the heck is the point if im putting him with gentiles in the summer? I am literally undoing a huge part of their education. Most of us arent sending to jewish schools for the steller education. We send so our children are with other jewish children and maintain our basic values. I dont see how camp is any different.
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B'Syata D'Shmya




 
 
    
 

Post Yesterday at 12:20 am
amother OP wrote:
OP here - a few things I need to clarify:
-This is day camp, not overnight. He is not ready for overnight.
-He is 100% strong in his yiddishkeit, baruch hashem. This is not the issue. Respectfully, my post is ONLY about dealing with antisemitism.
-No other camp can come close to matching the price, we have explored all the avenues, this is not going to change. I appreciate the generosity of people who have offered to help but it is too late to change plans and even if it weren't we would need to raise an enormous amount of money.
-This is not about priorities. I can't make my medical bills and rent bills and tuition bills go away. We live extremely frugally.

Thank you to those kind women who have reassured me. I didn't want to put in my original post but my husband and I are both BT, the insinuation that being around non-Jews is not ok is really hurtful.


Perhaps the best thing to do is nip this in the bud and express your concerns with the camp director to instruct the counselors that your child is indeed Jewish but as an 8 yr old, not politically affiliated and going to camp, you want to ensure a healthy camp environment without any anti anything. Same as a child of two same-gender parents etc.
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amother
Petunia


 

Post Yesterday at 1:08 am
amother Sienna wrote:
The responses on here are so hysterical. Where I live (pretty normal suburban tristate community) it is not at all abnormal for parents to put their kids in local art camps, nature camps, soccer camps, town rec center camps, etc. during the summer. Often the Jewish camps don't run the full summer and people supplement all the time with local camps and programs. Usually its just a week or two but it's not unheard of for a kid to go to for longer. For example, I sent my son to rock-climbing day camp for a week because he loves rock climbing. The idea that he is going to go off the derech and intermarry because he spent six hours a day for five days rock climbing with a group of six-year-olds is absolutely insane.

In my community too, there are very affordable city-run day camps in the local parks. Some are truly great and families go on waitlists to attend.

A whole summer in a non-Jewish day camp may be challenging but it entirely depends on the camp. The responses on here make it sound like OP is throwing her child out to the wolves. I assume the camp she chose is sensitive to their family's needs and will make sure dietary restrictions are met and her child is well-taken care of, included, and respected. If that's not the case, I would be concerned about the camp not because it isn't a Jewish program, but because its a bad camp.


💯 this
My kids go to day camps - some specialist ones like dance /tennis etc. And some general ones. I think after a full year of isolation in a Jewish only environment it is good for them to experience other people we live alongside. The camps are upper middle class so tend to have a more refined group of parents and children if that means anything. We talk about it all.
I was anxious this year about potential antisemitism but many of thr counsellors are jewish (not nec frum) and quite a few other families we know are sending so there will be a group of kids which is a protective element and have very communicative kids who will tell me if anything happens so I could just pull them out if needed.
I'm not in thr US so no culture of sleepaway camps like you guys have. It is pretty niche to the American frum world.
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Ruchel




 
 
    
 

Post Yesterday at 3:13 am
Many Jews plus chosen public isn't the same
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notshanarishona




 
 
    
 

Post Yesterday at 3:22 am
I wouldn’t worry about antisemitism as much as him coming home all confused. He might learn things you will never be able to unteach, eat not kosher food, or worse. Personally I would sooner forgo camp and pay a babysitter (should come out relatively similar). You can get a young teen with him being 8 already.
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
    
 

Post Yesterday at 8:17 am
Cheiny wrote:
I’d sooner keep my child home than send to a non Jewish camp. That is a disaster waiting to happen, on so many levels. Please reconsider and do whatever you have to do to not proceed with that plan.

And if both parents work? Its not always an option to keep kids home. 🤔🤦‍♀️
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
    
 

Post Yesterday at 8:19 am
Cheiny wrote:
Would you say the same about Yeshiva vs. public school? Why, or why not?

whats the same, in the op's situatuon her kids cant stay home
How is that the same as yeshiva vs ps?
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
    
 

Post Yesterday at 8:24 am
amother DarkViolet wrote:
I’m sorry OP this is the wrong place for chizzuk. Perhaps a non religious forum will get you the chizzuk you need. Imamothers are acutely aware that sending a preteen to a non Jewish camp all summer is rolling the dice that he will stay in the fold when he matures.

There is no way that a healthy mature boy does not become influenced by the standards, morals, beliefs, and values of his peers and especially his role models, the non Jewish counselors.

If I sent my son to be an alter boy in the local church because I had no other way to occupy him on Sunday I would not come to Imamother for chizzuk.

You aren’t making the decision for one summer. You are deciding what the next seventy years of your sons life will look like. Who he will marry. His belief system, His family. What HIS children will look like. Good luck making the right decision.

Wow, talk about taking things WAY WAY out of proportion.
Sending a kid to a non jewish summer camp is in NO WAY anything like sending them to a church activity. And if you think it is, you have to figure out your issue. They are not remotely the same.
It is just a summer. Nobody said he cant still play with his jewish friends or thst possibly other jewish kids are also going.
I know quiet a few kids that went to the local toemwn camp. They are all still frum. You are way over thinking this.
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Ruchel




 
 
    
 

Post Yesterday at 9:05 am
Not the same at school
School is longer and actively teaches and nowadays it's not teaching how it used to
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amother
Ivory


 

Post Yesterday at 9:14 am
shabbatiscoming wrote:
Wow, talk about taking things WAY WAY out of proportion.
Sending a kid to a non jewish summer camp is in NO WAY anything like sending them to a church activity. And if you think it is, you have to figure out your issue. They are not remotely the same.
It is just a summer. Nobody said he cant still play with his jewish friends or thst possibly other jewish kids are also going.
I know quiet a few kids that went to the local toemwn camp. They are all still frum. You are way over thinking this.


There kids you know probably haven’t gone in the last 5 years. Is a completely different environment than it used to be, so saying “well they Went and are still frum” really doesn’t talk to what’s going on today.

Besides, OP says it’s due to a Jewish camp being prohibitively expensive, and people here are willing to contribute.
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amother
Petunia


 

Post Yesterday at 9:38 am
Why would you all think the children will be force fed treif food?
My kids are quite capable of refusing all other food and do because of allergies and kashrus. I trust them, and the camps don't give them food, it is all brought from home
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amother
Eggshell


 

Post Yesterday at 9:52 am
I'm not judging, nor am I trying to impose my beliefs on you. I think you've gotten enough of that.

I read through most of the responses, and just wanted to ad, since you asked.

If it were me, I'd be more worried about the LGBTQ+ Nonsense that's out there these days, more so then antisemitism, given the age. But, you can think how you'd handle that should it come up..?

Some on here are saying that where thwy live, a lot of the jews are sending to non Jewish camps... is that the case by you? Will there be any other Jewish kids in his group at camp?

It will be a different experience in my opinion, depending on if there is or not.
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Cheiny




 
 
    
 

Post Yesterday at 10:08 am
shabbatiscoming wrote:
And if both parents work? Its not always an option to keep kids home. 🤔🤦‍♀️


There are options. If there’s a will there’s a way.
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Cheiny




 
 
    
 

Post Yesterday at 10:10 am
shabbatiscoming wrote:
whats the same, in the op's situatuon her kids cant stay home
How is that the same as yeshiva vs ps?


Same idea. The same way public school isn’t a good idea because of what they’d be hearing, learning, whom they’d be mingling with, there are similar dangers in camp, even if it’s only for 2 months.

And let’s not forget kids have an innate desire to want to “fit in” and be accepted by their peers. It exists in the summer too…
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NotInNJMommy




 
 
    
 

Post Yesterday at 12:18 pm
OP, if this is a professional camp, they probably don’t allow sharing food. Plenty of kids have special diets so you can be up front about your child’s diet. Also many camps ask about family religious or cultural backgrounds/observances that they should know about.

It’s all hashgachah pratis. If you do your hishtadlus, it’s exactly where Hashem wants your kids to be.

I’ve also had to send to secular Jewish or non Jewish daycamps and public school at times. It doesn’t help my kids to be living in a homeless shelter or in the foster system. I’d also 100% prioritize school tuition over camp fees.

I had a lot of promises of help too throughout the years and lots of folks just telling me to quit my job as a single mom. The “pledges” are usually not true/viable.

I do my hishtadlus. Hashem does the rest.

Plenty of frum programs can turn kids off frumkeit as much or worse than secular programs. Only Hashem knows.
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giftedmom




 
 
    
 

Post Yesterday at 2:54 pm
Kosher food is literally the least of concerns here. That is only one aspect of being a Frum Jew. What use is it if he’s eating kosher food but consuming non-kosher ideas?
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amother
DarkViolet


 

Post Yesterday at 3:19 pm
If OP’s only viable option to pay the bills was to take in a teen minority boy with a rap sheet just out of rehab into her home for pay something tells me she would go to the end of the earth to figure out other options. Immersing her frum child in a non Jewish environment obviously doesn’t have the same urgency to her. It should.
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NotInNJMommy




 
 
    
 

Post Yesterday at 3:24 pm
amother DarkViolet wrote:
If OP’s only viable option to pay the bills was to take in a teen minority boy with a rap sheet just out of rehab into her home for pay something tells me she would go to the end of the earth to figure out other options. Immersing her frum child in a non Jewish environment obviously doesn’t have the same urgency to her. It should.
I’m assuming OP is in the US where we Jews are a minority.

Also sending to a non Jewish camp is not anything like inviting a criminal in recovery from addiction into one’s home…(and btw there are yidden with rap sheets who have been or should be in rehab)

Many frum day camps and youth programs aren’t actually following labor laws or doing any required criminal background checks.


Last edited by NotInNJMommy on Tue, Jun 11 2024, 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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