Letter: Summer camp

To my fellow Lakewooders,

I know this may sound a bit extreme, but with all the talk and hype already going on for Summer camp 2019, I wanted to bring up a point.

There are B”H many organizations in Lakewood that do wonderful things. But while speaking to some other parents, I realized there are many who lack the funds to send their children to camp.

Now before you jump on me, let me explain. According to many Mechanchim and camp directors and staff I’ve spoke to over the years, it has become clear that some children gain even more from the few weeks in camp than they do from a whole year in school. In fact, some have had extremely successful years in school based on their camp experiences.

Perhaps an organization to fund camps for the less fortunate could be launched in Lakewood.

Just a thought.


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  1. It already exists and has for many many years.
    It’s called: SCHOLARSHIPS.
    Some go through camps or the institution itself. Some come from outside third parties.


  3. B’H for camps like Ruach Chaim and B’nos Ruach Chaim that provide the sleep away experience in a frum, yeshivish environment at a very reasonable price.

    Thank you Rabbi Perlstein for spearheading the effort to make summers affordable again.

  4. Completely agree with father of girls. the camps are way over the top. I just saw an advertisement for a camp that is going to have a pre-camp major trip in March. Really??? As if the competition during the summer isnt enough, now we have to charge parents more for the summer so that we can continue being over the top during the year??
    I already pay for school and while it is not my child’s camp that advertised this, it is only a matter of time before all the camps in Lakewood follow suit.

    When do we say ad kan?

  5. The girls camps all met recently and decided together that they’re all raising their prices….if they’d give the kids some wholesome old fashioned Fun instead of feeding them over the top insanity they’d be able to make money and not need to raise the already exorbitant prices! When these little girls get a bit older and go to sleepaway camp they’re sorely dissapointed and let down after years of day Camps craziness. They forget how to just have a good time!

  6. One would have to be out of his mind to accept such a scholarship. The first thing they ask if you need a break on tuition is, “do you send your children to camp?” If you answer yes, even if someone else is helping you, they want to know why you can pay or raise money for camp but not to pay their astronomical tuition. This sounds like a trap. Don’t fall for it. If you cannot afford it just don’t send them.

  7. The over the top summer trips that push up the price of camp are no longer enough. Now the camps are offering winter snow tubing/ indoor water park trips in the winter with registration. How about a normal camp experience from 15 years ago for half the price?

  8. My kids never went to camp and we could barely afford tuition either. In the summer I took them on trips and picnics in the park and they went swimming and bike riding. They grew up just fine. Why do day camps have to spend money on promotional materials? If a camp is really good they shouldn’t need all that hype.

  9. You are all nuts. The blame lies solely with the parents and with us as a community. Chill out with the new homes, new cars, 88 herrings and dips on Shabbos, Pesach in Florida, etc. and then ask your girls to be happy spending the day baking cookies with mommy. Come on already! The camps are trying to make money just like everyone else in the world. They are offering what they are being asked for by the community. And if your answer is that the community is out of hand, I agree. But you aren’t going to change that. So either grow up and deal with it or move.

  10. A fund would be nice excel most Lakewood families can barely pay. To take care of their own families. Paying for another child’s camp although maybe necessary seems like a waste of money. Most ppl would rather pay for their supper.
    Secondly to those that said to live in your mess many if not most ppl that send to camp in the summer do so in order to work to pay for basic necessities. We don’t have a choice but to send to these insanely expensive camps!

  11. One of the reasons some of us send our children to camp is that we work! I hardly ever went to daycamp and I never went to sleepaway camp as a kid, but my mother was home.

    I wish the camps weren’t so over the top. We struggle to live on my salary and I have no choice but to send my child to the camps as they are. They have progressively gotten more shticky.

  12. There’s also alternatives!
    I never sent my kids to overpriced camps,you can do merry go rounds if your schedule allows it or send to back yard camp run by very devoted high school girls for half the price! Kids are happy and occupied without camp bags,the tshirts and over the top trips!!
    Crafts,baking,singing,swimming everyday and even small trips weekly!!
    Great for the kids and great for high school girls! give them a chance to keep busy,make money & gain experience !
    If you have the money, you can send to the overpriced camps!(but that should only be after you pay full tuition!)

  13. Lakewood mom that works for the little kids. What abt my 13 year old son or 12 and 10 year old daughters? I’m not sending to sleep away camp but they need to go somewhere. Even my 7 year old it’s not so simple to find backyard for

  14. I’ve sent 10 and 12 yrs old to back yard camps, there are some!
    There will be more if there’s demand for it!!
    So many high school girls are looking for jobs!

  15. i think its absolutely a disgrace that society has sunk so low that we need to raise money for camps. I am very involved in tzedaka around town helping people putting basic bread on their tables. And we are talking about people you would never believe cant do that. And now its a “mitzvah” and “tzedakah” to pay for camps??? Camps are a luxury. I happen not to be on the receiving end and i encourage my children and they do take jobs in the summer.. Its all the parents responsibility on how they present it to their children. My children are bh extremely happy children and are thrilled to do this. It also teaches them responsibility and they always make new friends on the job and have fun! Shame on todays generations parents who could even fathom something like this. I do agree that there are situations where a kid needs to go away from home or… but in general a normal functioning home where the parents cant afford camp- there should be no camp. The extra money people have should go to feed these hungry kids.

  16. Who do you think would be funding these scholarships? The same people who are helping your children’s schools stay afloat and funding all the various organizations in the community. They are already trying their best to help the bnei torah and anyone else that needs. Its time that some people live within their means.
    Unfortunately, Lakewood follows a herd mentality, which is especially apparent in purchases. People have to accept the fact that some people can afford fancy cars, expensive clothes and lavish vacations. They give plenty of tzedakah to help the community, but don’t have to live the same way a struggling kollel couple does. If the less fortunate parents are so busy trying too keep up, why wouldn’t their children act the same?
    I’m not saying kids shouldn’t be able to go to camp. I know life is really expensive,
    I’m addressing the fact that people are always asking for scholarships and new tzedakah ideas, without realizing the supporters are doing so much already. Perhaps there is a way that some can spend less trying to fit in, so they don’t have to accept as much help.

  17. Yes, the Lakewood day camps are over the top! Why does a little first grader need a fancy trip bag, custom songs with motions every day, fancy expensive crafts, and major trips every week?! back in our days, we had one camp song (which I still remember), and our trips were roller skating and bowling! We didn’t even have underground swimming every day and certainly not on premises. We send to camp so we can work but don’t earn enough to pay these prices. So we spend all year paying when there are so many other expenses! The camps are OVER THE TOP!

  18. If they can call get together to agree on something.l, why does it need to be to raise the price?! They can all agree to cut down on whatever is costing them so much!!

    • We all need money! I know personally someone straight out of yeshiva who opened a camp (which is b”h very successful today) and that is his IKUR parnassah throughout the year!

      They will not lower the standards until they are clearly nullified by the “powers at be” Until that happens YES they will drive our kids crazy and make a killing off of us!!

  19. “it has become clear that some children gain even more from the few weeks in camp than they do from a whole year in school”:
    Many people also say that for many kids, camp “undoes” all that they gained that entire year in school.
    Let’s just be honest with ourselves…

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