The Canteen is a tribute to all things Jewish sleepaway camp. Hosted by the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC), this blog is written by campers, alumni, parents, and camp professionals and is a place to talk about parenting, camp fun, projects, crafts, recipes, and more – all tied back to Jewish holidays, traditions and, of course, camp!
By now, you have read our post “Why I Hate the Photographer at Camp” but parents still seem to be pouring over the thousands of camp pictures posted everyday with intense scrutiny (yes, we are guilty as charged!). They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Before you pick up the phone to call the camp director, take a step back and be careful you are not putting words into your kid’s mouth this summer. Be grateful for the smiles, the glimpses of the back of heads and the one time you may actually see siblings together. Here are some re-interpretations of the worst case scenario running through your head while hitting refresh, refresh, refresh.
IN THE 407th PICTURE POSTED YESTERDAY, MY KID LOOKS PAINED. CAN’T YOU SEE HIM? HE IS BEHIND 17 OTHER KIDS WHO ARE ALL SMILING.
Yup, he probably just missed a jump shot or he is debating who is going to win the World Series with someone not in the picture. Not every kid is going to be smiling every second of the day. You sent him to camp to gain independence. That means figuring out the bad stuff with the good.
THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY DAUGHTER’S LEGS. SHE IS WEARING JEANS AND SHE NEVER EVER WEARS JEANS. I DIDN’T EVEN PACK ANY!
She just got back from a morning hike, and was required to wear jeans (you know, to protect her from the wilds). Don’t fret, she saw the sunrise over the lake from a mountain top and made breakfast over a campfire. The best morning ever. Or her friends were all wearing jeans so she borrowed a pair for the skit they are doing in the talent show that night.
WE PACKED 10 BASEBALL HATS AND MY SON IS WEARING THE SAME ONE EVERYDAY!
Obviously this hat is the favorite. And when he is running out of the bunk, eager to start the day, he grabs what is easiest, the one on top from yesterday.
MY DAUGHTER LOVES TENNIS. IT IS HER LIFE. BUT I NEVER SEE PICTURES OF HER PLAYING AT CAMP! She is at camp to try new things. There are probably a bazillion pictures of her doing stuff she can’t do at home. Now that’s pretty cool.
MY KID ISN’T WEARING HIS OWN SHIRT/PANTS/SWEATSHIRT. WHY??
Instead of freaking out that he hasn’t unpacked or can’t find his cubby, think how awesome it is that he has a friend that he can borrow from. You sent him to camp to build lifelong friendships – sometimes that starts with borrowing a t-shirt. Most likely, he was supposed to wear a certain color for a team something and his bunkmates t-shirt was just that much cooler.
ALL MY DAUGHTER’S FRIENDS ARE IN THE PICTURES ON THE LAKE, WHERE IS MY KID?!?!? It was probably her turn to waterski – she learned a 360 that day. She may have had to go to the bathroom or decided to be buddies with her little sister that day. How proud are you now?
I SENT 17 TOWELS FOR SWIM AND 10 FOR SHOWERING, AND HE IS USING THE SAME ONE FOR BOTH… EVERYDAY! Yeah, this one is annoying and that towel probably does smell terrible. Be glad that you are not the one that has to wash it. It will probably get lost before it comes home.
IT’S SHABBAT AND MY KID IS NOT SINGING. DIDN’T THEY TEACHER HIM THE WORDS. OMG, SHE MUST FEEL LEFT OUT. Have you ever experienced Shabbat at camp? It is pretty powerful. Look around him – the scenery, the guitars – he is just taking in the moment. A pause in a hectic week. And if he doesn’t know the words the first week, he will by next Shabbat.
MY KID IS ON THE END OF THE GROUP PICTURE. DOESN’T SHE HAVE ANY FRIENDS? I DON’T RECOGNIZE THE KIDS SHE IS WITH. You told her to jump in any picture she could, didn’t you?
Feel any better? No? Me neither, I guess I’ll just sit on my hands so I can’t call camp. I promised my husband I wouldn’t be “that mom”…
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.