The Running of the Jews – Camp Visiting Day

It’s funny, in all the years that friends of mine have been speaking about visiting day I wasn’t really paying attention. Now that this is Zach’s first year at camp, I have certainly been listening!

First of all, when I was a kid at sleep away, my parents came up, brought me some candy, etc. We spent the day doing what? I don’t remember and they left. When I started talking about visiting day with my friends I began to hear nightmare things that went on. I just kept thinking thank god this does not go on at Zach’s camp. I don’t think I could deal. I am not equipped for the madness. I’m just not. It is not that I was raised on a farm. I went to camp, I went to Syracuse, I lived in the city, I live in THAT town. BUT I still can’t deal with the things I am going to discuss.

Second of all if this does go on at Zach’s camp (as I have no idea what to expect), I may take him home upon arrival (ok, not really).

I know this has been going on for years. I know. But I didn’t have a kid going to sleep away then so I never thought about it. UNTIL  – I heard about “The Running of the Jews”. Parents who never exercised a day in their life  are now all of a sudden marathon runners. Full out SPRINTING to their kids.



Can’t you hear the song “Chariots of Fire” playing in the background. How much time do you think they spent stretching before they took off?  Watch below:

(I apologize in advance if you are in this video, I tried to pick something from several years ago because I found a video with someone I knew and I was like I CANNOT post this! I will have 300 calls tomorrow and thrown out of Livingston). This little video is just an EXAMPLE of the “Running of the Jews”. SEVERAL other camps do this and while I completely understand the feeling and the determination of wanting to see your kid, this just goes beyond any level. Does it not look they are running FROM The Blob, A Walking Dead Character, the diseased in World War Z? The scariest mother – f**ker ever!  I am surprised nobody has been killed yet! By the way, in the video did you hear the woman say “GET OUT THE BLANKET”! LOL. I mean is someone going to steal her spot? Isn’t the camp HUGE? I feel like it’s opening day at the beach and everyone is bolting to see who can get the closest spot to the water. Did you see the guy with the cart? I do know that it’s hot and people need shade so they want the a shady area but is it worth killing someone? Okay one more… this one may even be better! (I love all my friends who send their kids to this camp – I mean NO disrespect but you have to laugh!)


All the parents run with coolers, Baked By Melissa boxes, bagels from their local bagel shop, Chinese Food, Greek Food, etc. You name it’s there. Cookie Cakes, Dylan’s Candy packages, Candy Bunks.  It is a full gourmet Plaza Food Hall. (I do love it there though  – have you been? – Todd English, Plaza Hotel. OMG GO!) But at CAMP? down and dirty camp?!









I mean, look, of course I am bringing my kid some candy. The kid hasn’t had candy in 4 weeks, YES 4 weeks! Do you think he is going to make it? I just think the amount of candy that is brought to camp is beyond anything I have heard before. These kids have ONE day to eat candy. ONE DAY. Do you really think they are going to eat a candy tower the size of Mt. Everest in one day  even if they share it with their bunk?! I do not want my kid throwing up before I leave him.

I do know that at my son’s camp they give us lunch of fried chicken and chocolate chip cookies which I will happily eat (even though I would prefer a lobster roll if I am going all the way up to Maine) but at least the camp prepares us lunch. I think if I pulled out a container of Nana’s Tuna I would be banned. I guess if the food is so terrible and I really do not want to wait in a line for an hour for food I would consider bringing something with me. But I just don’t see myself driving to Molyvos for a Greek Salad before my departure.

I also heard that some camps actually have this…READY? Parents bring tents and chairs and set up for the day. TENTS? Are they tailgating? Isn’t the point to spend the day with your kid, go to the waterfront, see the bunk, meet their friends, counselors, etc. If I am going to travel x amount of miles to camp “BEST CAMP EVER”  than there better as hell be a place for me to plant my ass. I will not be required to bring a tent and a chair and scout out the “best place to sit”. This is not a Dave Matthews Concert. For real! (unless of course it’s a heat wave, 110 degrees outside and there is not a shady part in the camp).

Like I said before, I truly understand the feeling of wanting to see your child. Three – four weeks is a long time.  A very long time.  I will be ecstatic to my son. As I was perusing the web for a visiting day I think is more my speed, I came across this one. Let me just tell you, this is an all girls camp. I have no allegiance to them (I HAVE ALL BOYS, LOL) OR do I even know a kid who goes here. I just watched it and I thought I hope this is what will go on when I get up to Maine next weekend.



There is something about the kids  making their way to their parents, seems a little more civilized, ya know?  I am not sure how your camp does it. I do not think there is a right way or a wrong way. I just think the hysteria of 1000 parents sprinting to their kids, setting up camp with Luger’s and Barney Greengrass has gone too far. Right?

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Share Your Thoughts

  1. Lisa


    Your writing is awesome… love reading your blog. Good luck at visiting day! My kids are older and this is the first year I do not have to go.. Rather then running we always set a scheduled place to meet our kids. It can be really overwhelming for a small child to see all of those parents and children running, screaming, crying and colliding (just a suggestion). Seemed to work well for us. Have fun and enjoy your day! Keep up the great writing. I love reading it!

    July 8, 2013 • 12:45 pm •
  2. loved your article! It was hysterical! The girl camp at the end is Camp Vega, I recognized it right away 🙂 I went there when I was little. Keep up the great work.

    July 8, 2013 • 1:32 pm •
  3. merle

    Right on gf! My boys didn’t go to a “fancy Camp” but this still went on. How about “Bunk Gifts.” Seriously, u buy every kid in the bunk a gift???? and I dont mean a candy bag. No I mean:: sheatshirts, sweatpants, hats, etc…. By SENDING them to camp, isnt that a privilege(Gift) in of itself and not a right! UGh! Also, when the boys were younger we did not sit and chill. We walked around and Tod (naturally) played with them. I believe the sitting around is more for veteran campers and those who dont have younger siblings. Last summer brought an end to my visiting day career 🙁 at which point once we dropped off lunch and $$$$$$ he was ready to see us roll. Zach doesnt need ANY of that stuff. By just sending him, you are providing him with everything money and things can’t buy: everlasting friendships, experiencing independence, increasing problem solving and decision making skills, and happiness. In reality does anything else matter!!! Wishing him a wonderful, positive experience.!!!

    July 8, 2013 • 2:19 pm •
  4. D

    My first visiting day nobody told us we were suppose to make a sign – a large sign – with our daughter’s name on it so she could find us the the crowd. The next year I made a sign and then everyone else had balloons and candy sculptures with their kid’s names (we don’t live in one of “those” towns and are actually seen as weird for sending our kids to camp). Now that we are on our 7th summer – we wait for the list of necessities from our daughter, we pre arrange a meeting spot and we hang in the back of the crowd and let the new parents have the front of the line…. Actually our children go to two different camps (thankfully this summer with 2 different visiting days)- our son’s camp is much more laid back. The kids stay at their bunks and you just go and find them…no bugles, not charges…much more civilized. But there is nothing better than seeing your teenager running toward you and jumping in your arms – even if it is only for a brief moment before they ask “What did you bring me?”

    July 8, 2013 • 2:22 pm •
  5. merle

    Just a side note. I don’t know how your camp works it, but Drew’s first year we made the mistake of allowing him to walk us to the car when it was time to leave…BIG MISTAKE!!!! Then he had to walk back to the bunk alone! Obviously the next yr. we left him at the cabin with his buddies….MUCH BETTER.

    July 8, 2013 • 2:23 pm •
  6. Jess

    I LOVEEEEE READING ANYTHING U WRITE!!! Biggest fan!!! And yes… Yrs ago at my camp … It def was …”The running of the Jews” lol. Xo.

    July 8, 2013 • 2:24 pm •
  7. Jonny B

    i guess you did not hear about the year that I personally witnessed a family bring a generator (placed under their tent of course) so that they could microwave some of their kids favorite goodies… and yes, you also forgot to mention the marathon moms sprinting through camp in their healies… no, not the roller ones… the 6 inch ones…

    in all fairness, i have the luxury of having a wife who works at camp so i get to see my kids more often, and also get to watch from the inside out… and the truth is… overdone as it may be… it’s nice to know that families actually do miss each other when they are away!!!

    July 8, 2013 • 2:33 pm •
  8. Jill

    OMG – This article is hysterical! I love it!

    July 8, 2013 • 2:59 pm •
  9. Genius. From one blogger to another…you have GOT to edit “Chariots of fire” into that video. I went to Tripp Lake growing up now my kids are at camp. I peed in my pants from the first picture alone. By the way – I’ll take one of those fabulous goody baskets – I have to get a hip replaced next week and it will cheer me up.

    July 8, 2013 • 3:20 pm •
  10. Amy

    Lol! I thought about it! I think I will!! Hilarious! Sorry about your hip! Feel better 🙂

    July 8, 2013 • 3:21 pm •
  11. Amy

    Thanks Jill!

    July 8, 2013 • 3:35 pm •
  12. Amy

    Lol!!! We should have spoke before I posted it!! Hilarious!!

    July 8, 2013 • 3:36 pm •
  13. Amy

    Ha! Great response. I have no idea what to expect, bring etc. I’m sure I will be the only one who didn’t bring X!

    July 8, 2013 • 3:38 pm •
  14. Amy

    Thanks Jen!

    July 8, 2013 • 3:38 pm •
  15. Gigi S

    This is my daughter’s first year at sleepaway camp. they don’t have visiting day. only 1 1/2 weeks left and I miss her so much.
    I have a feeling I’ll be running like those parents on pick up day.

    July 8, 2013 • 4:30 pm •
  16. Debbi

    OMG – you are seriously freaking me out!!! – and I have 2 weeks to think about this!!! Didn’t realize I had to start working out before visiting day!

    July 8, 2013 • 4:42 pm •
  17. Amy


    July 8, 2013 • 4:45 pm •
  18. Segree

    As a mother of two campers who has been through this, it is disgusting that the parents are engaged in a competition to prove they love their kids the most by getting there early and by bringing the most stuff.

    July 8, 2013 • 5:14 pm •
  19. alexis

    OMG – the memories!!! I remember my parents running up this enormous hill at Pine Forest to get to me!!! HYSTERICAL to watch then and even better to remember!

    July 8, 2013 • 5:16 pm •
  20. Anonymous

    This was hysterical!!! I loved reading this!!! My children go to sleep away camp and YES PARENTS RUN!!! It is crazy!!!!! All the other stuff you wrote is also so true!!! NOW can you write an article on how Bar/Bat mitzvahs are out of control?!?!!

    July 8, 2013 • 5:39 pm •
  21. When my parents visited me at sleep away camp they brought a salami–I was the hit of the bunk. But the running part, I do not remember. My kids went to camp in Northern California. Yes, there were Jews there, but we did not run–very civilized…well, more civilized. And the days were spent on the waterfront. This is straight out of a Woody Allen movie! Too funny!

    July 8, 2013 • 5:40 pm •
  22. Amy

    The bar / bat mitzvah article is def coming!!

    July 8, 2013 • 5:41 pm •
  23. jodi Turk

    OMG someone may get really hurt!!
    This is nuts, first year for me, getting my Lulu Lemon sportswear out!

    July 8, 2013 • 5:51 pm •
  24. Amy

    Lol Jodi!

    July 8, 2013 • 5:51 pm •
  25. Fern

    Your article was soooo funny,and so true. At my older daughters camp which was coed we had to run up a hill to get to the girls side.I always ran schlepping this BIg styrofoam cooler which was filled with candy called bunk junk..Now my daughter just graduated from college.Boy I miss those visiting days…,

    July 8, 2013 • 6:00 pm •
  26. Amy
    I LOVE it
    this is so funny and so true. This is our first after 13 years, of not being at visiting day and we are so sad. Although its only something we can understand, it is the best thing ever. All 3 of my girls loved their camp as did I love mine. Im still friends with my camp friends 40 years later. I love them.

    And i Love that ive given this to my girls. best 1 gazillion dollars Ive ever. spent.

    I used to feel like this every summer:
    June: spend whole month buying all the crap they need in this fancy uniform camp where they are not supposed to bring anything “extra”.

    July: Spend the entire month preparing all of my visiting day stuff. Just what each one likes and wants. need a cosigner for some of their lists. (and our camp BTW was in the NYTimes for best food) so what could they want? diet food that we have in ou house?? seriously.

    August: spend the entire month buying stuff for their return.

    3 girls = manis and pedis before camp and after. after is understandable for sure. but before? how did that start? they are clean when they leave here.

    Amy, keep writing. and enjoy the first of your visiting day. Its great. Have fun.

    July 8, 2013 • 6:30 pm •
  27. Nancy

    This article is hilarious! I went to Lake Bryn Mawr Camp. I remember visiting day exactly as you describe it. I’m almost 40 and I don’t have kids of my own, but every single time I tell my non-Jew friends about sleep away camp and this holy visiting day, I end up in tears. I cannot explain it. I don’t know where it comes from. But something about this memory is incredibly emotional. Hopefully your kids will remember it too. Fondly.

    July 8, 2013 • 6:43 pm •
  28. Lefty

    Every party has a pooper, and this party’s pooper is you.

    July 8, 2013 • 7:03 pm •
  29. Amy

    Lol! I am far from a party pooper!!

    July 8, 2013 • 7:04 pm •
  30. Dave

    Very funny. Ran as a kid @ Echo Lake and as a parent @ Starlight. Loved doing both!

    July 8, 2013 • 8:10 pm •
  31. OMG. I am so glad my kid’s camp doesn’t permit this. You drive in, at a normal speed, park, and then WALK to your kid. OK, yes, there may be a bit of hustling to get one of the picnic tables, but wow.

    We do bring up familiar foods, but after seeing this, I think it makes sense to scale it back. Perspective.

    July 8, 2013 • 8:17 pm •
  32. Anonymous

    Well said. We have a great time in visiting day. An afternoon to see my daughter in her happy place. I hope you get a wonderful visiting day with your son. People have lost perspective. Camp is the gift. They are not deprived for for the summer. They are enriched. They are in a beautiful bubble where they are not measured by their stuff, they have ess social pressure, less material competition and a place where they have to figure stuff out without cell phones or mom and dad. ((parents bring up their kids phones so they can check on whats going on!!!!! Nooooooo! You will pop the bubble!!)
    I look forward to the moment when my daughters find us and run into our arms happy to see us!! Good luck. And thanks!!

    July 8, 2013 • 8:43 pm •
  33. Yael

    Loved your piece, and happy to say I have not experienced the “running of the Jews.” However, last year at our daughter’s visiting day with 1000 parents in 106 degree weather, a few kids vomiting from over eating, no shade, kids crying when the parents came and crying when they left, I turned to my husband and said, “whoever came up with visitor’s day and thought it was a good idea, never sent a kid to sleep away camp.” Keep writing!

    July 8, 2013 • 8:57 pm •
  34. Jay B.

    My wife runs every year I walk I get the second hug. It works for me!

    July 8, 2013 • 9:03 pm •
  35. Ronie

    This was extremely well done. Very funny!!! I went to Camp Fernwood in Oxford, Maine…it was quite civilized and wonderful. Visiting day was a lobster clambake, s’mores and cakes from a master baker for campers and visitors. …I was a counselor in a camp in Pa…visiting day was White House hoagies( which I admit if you are going to eat a hoagie, they are the best), Philly pretzels (don’t get it), and tons of bad desserts (not from NYC). At which camp, do you think I experienced “the running of the Jews”? There are all levels in life…both left me with quite different experiences. And though I can do with out the running and the shrilling “put the blanket down”…camp is a great thing for children no matter where they can go according to their situation. They are all very lucky as was I. keep writing!!!!

    July 8, 2013 • 9:17 pm •
  36. Anonymous

    I was laughing so hard I was crying… you nailed it on the head….This year I cleaned out my daughters entire room and I am packing up some of the stuff she already had:) Last year I could not find a place in her room for all the “camp stuff ” that came home

    July 8, 2013 • 9:22 pm •
  37. Last year was the first time I ever went to visting day. I had no idea what to expect. Visting starts at 11:30, so I figured if we get there by 10:00, we should be ok. By 10, I think line of cars was 10 miles long. By the time we saw our son, he was in tears because he thought we weren’t coming!

    July 8, 2013 • 9:44 pm •
  38. Jane

    Hysterical!! Every year I baked for three days before I ran up the hill!!! Miss those Camp Westmont visiting days!

    July 8, 2013 • 9:52 pm •
  39. Stephanie

    Great article that put a big SMILE on my face!! The smiles on our four kids’ faces as they have run into our arms as we pick them up at their bunks for the last 11 years is a feeling that is just as special each and every time. The problem was always which ones to go to first!! Now that our kids are on staff we get to watch them taking over the parenting role with their campers – more great Hallmark moments!! And yes, now we are also dealing with college “Visiting Weekends”….
    Great times that we wouldn’t trade for anything!!

    July 8, 2013 • 9:54 pm •
  40. Sue

    Truer words were never spoken!!! Ran as a kid at Robindel and as a parent at Summit…..loved the article!!

    July 8, 2013 • 9:55 pm •
  41. Linda Epstein

    Thank you- I’m in tears. I am happy to say that the camp I went to from 1975-1982, a Jewish camp in fact, did exactly as you have in the last video.


    July 8, 2013 • 10:14 pm •
  42. leslie

    This was hysterical. My kids have long finished but they also went to Maine camps. Sounds like you are heading to Cedar where visiting is alot more civilized. The Hackers are quite relaxed and you just wander in, Prepare to have an emotional wonderful day. You will understand as you drive in that morning how this could happen. Enjoy every minute . Thanks for the laughs.

    July 8, 2013 • 10:28 pm •
  43. Abby Irish

    reminds me of my days as a camper back in the 60’s and 70’s….and then again as a parent in the 90’s through 2003, however I was not one of the ‘runners’….lol.

    I also am a writer (romantic-comedy) and this just reminds me that I need to write a book about … what else…. camp!

    July 8, 2013 • 10:36 pm •
  44. Harriet Dorfman

    thanks for the chuckles…can’t wait to visit our daughter. This is her 12th summer at this camp and she is now a counselor having started at 7. She loves camp so much she has chosen to be a teacher so she can spend her summers at camp forever….it is the best experience.

    July 8, 2013 • 11:01 pm •
  45. Alissa

    OMG…too funny! I am now the parent of kids at sleep away and former camper myself. I actually think the run in this video is more for a coveted spot on the lawn then a race to see the kids. At my kids camp parents line up and at exactly 9:30 they cut the rope and the parents rush in just like your video. But they are defiantly running for a spot on the grass because once they plop their stuff down then they have to go to a main tent to have their kids called down via walkie talkie from their bunks! Hysterical!!! Thanks for a great post!

    July 8, 2013 • 11:23 pm •
  46. Becca

    This was hilarious!!! I remember my daughter’s first year at camp and showing up to visiting day with a basket of yarn for knitting! haha :)! The camp handbook had read “no candy care packages allowed.” I was obviously completely clueless. The amount of junk that arrived to her cabin from all of the other parents was insane. The girls were squeezing icing into their mouths and a huge donut cake arrived that I had never even seen before. The next summer we did bring a few bags of candy and chips but our daughter didn’t really seem to care (my husband ate most of it :). She started at 6 years old and is now 20 and still going to camp–now as a counselor. I guess the yarn didn’t scar her. This is our first summer not visiting our kids at camp (our son was a senior last summer and our daughter would rather hang with her friends)…. I will miss it! Obviously, we were the parents that always arrived late, no blankets, no coolers, and never ran but still enjoyed our hugs, meeting the other parents and jumping in the lake with our kids!

    July 9, 2013 • 12:04 am •
  47. Great read!!! I grew up at a summer camp where there was no “visiting day” but more like a week, where they encouraged/invited parents to come check out the camp, and hang with their kid. There was a welcome table set up outside of the office and parents were welcome to spend time with their kid. We still had candy sent and even hidden inside of a stuffed animal. Camp eventually cracked down on incoming candy and no food in the cabin to keep animals out. I miss summer camp even though i worked their until a few years ago. Thank you Amy!

    July 9, 2013 • 1:18 am •
  48. LIsa

    My daughter’s camp in Maine has a strict policy of not bringing any candy or junk food for the campers. They sent countless emails pleading with parents not to come with an arsenal of goodies. Apparently, I was the only one who adhered to these instructions for visiting day. The entire bunk consisted of beds piled high with bags of junk. As a result, I had a livid camper. So much for a joyful reunion. It didn’t help that I hadn’t gotten her letter in which she gave me a list of non-edible items she needed, which I also failed to bring. I got there after the mass entrance, and it was quite civilized. No racing around like psychotics.

    July 9, 2013 • 1:43 am •
  49. NYC camp mom

    This is both hysterical and pathetic. I wonder if this over indulgence is particular to the uber JAP camps, such as Vega or more widespread. For your kid’s sake, I hope you selected a camp that is not populated by spoiled, entitled kids who’s parents never miss an opportunity to show their love by showering them with excessive gifts. I hope you selected a camp that is focused on developing lifelong friendships and where moms don’t think of visiting day as shopping and show-off day. There are camps, such as Androscoggin and Fernwood that attract great kids, from families with solid values. You will not find Mom’s with heels, nor generators and microwaves at those camps.
    I wish you the best of luck.

    July 9, 2013 • 2:16 am •
  50. DT

    Crazy that this actually goes on at some camps. Never happened at Anawana and does not happen at CGL. Thank goodness!

    July 9, 2013 • 6:25 am •
  51. ND

    Great article, but I am now completely panic stricken because I just enrolled my oldest at the first camp pictured for summer 2014!! My heart is pounding and I’m stressing about visiting day next year! LOL…not so much, but omg that’s no joke! I’m hoping things have changed. I’ll have my little ones with me and I hope they don’t get trampled in the chaos. Scary!

    July 9, 2013 • 6:43 am •
  52. thebalancedJew (maybe?)

    i always do the head tilt when i see the tower of candy with the camps name splashed all over it when it appears on my Facebook feed or elsewhere– do the children not know where they are? I am still greatly affected by the first visiting day when I felt like it was the high holidays gone wild with the showing of who had on the better clothing and baubles (i didn’t get the memo as JCrew and Birkenstocks was what I threw on)
    I do indeed do the bunk gifts, the candy and i change out my daughter’s clothing as she enjoys and looks forward to it all and the focus being on that —she enjoys it all. I also leave it for her to unpack and share/go through.
    As far as the 7 1/2 hours that we get mid summer on visiting day with her we visit her bunk and I now really do look forward to catching up with the families but we head out for lunch choosing to spend the time with just our nuclear family. We then head back at the tail end for a swim. I will indeed remember to pick up my bunk photo and put down my deposit for the following year 😉

    ps. i like the suggestion that someone made of having a meeting spot much more civilized and going to use that if I can get a message to her via homing pigeon

    July 9, 2013 • 6:46 am •
  53. Steve

    You should be ashamed of yourself. Camp and Vday are happy places in our lives. Where did you even get these vids anyway – they are on private web-sites arent they ?

    July 9, 2013 • 8:22 am •
  54. I am an aged grandmother who is about to d0 the run for the fifth time this week end. DREADthat is the only way to describe how one feels when they are caught in this Jewish marathon.Everynone for herself and god help those who gets in the way.The tradition at camp is to see who signs up for special activities and who looks for the shadiest spot and is it near the ice water and do I really want to get my white capri’s grass stained? Yes i love and adore my grandchild and want her to get all that life can offer but does it really have to come at such a cost? I hope you all have a great summer and will have many things to laugh about after this looooog day is over !

    July 9, 2013 • 8:40 am •
  55. Camp mom

    My camp does not do this.. I did jog a little to my daughters bunk last year. A light jog. My biggest concern was which of my daughters to greet first. My husband and I split up.. This year we will switch the order lol. You spoke the truth.. People def go overboard.

    July 9, 2013 • 8:42 am •
  56. Older Mom

    I am a proud Jew but you could not have written a story that better illustrates what goes on at these camps. Between my children, I experienced three different Maine camps (which initially I was told were the more low key camps Ha!). I so looked forward to seeing my children but year after year visiting day was beyond stressful. and you could not have described it better. I do miss the days when the kids were young but never will I miss those visiting day weekends. Thanks for making me laugh out loud and for real you should persue comedy writing!

    July 9, 2013 • 9:26 am •
  57. JAMIEE

    I have never read your blog before-a friend, horrified by the title of this piece, forwarded it to me. For the last nine summers my three children have attended a boys camp in Maine and the visiting day there does not resemble, at any level, what you describe I am thankful for this. I do know that what you describe exists and though parts of the post are funny (and sad, truth be told), I implore you to change the title of the post–there is enough hatred against Jews in the world. Do we need to make it worse for ourselves?

    July 9, 2013 • 9:56 am •
  58. Steve

    This is a funny article! When we visited you, this certainly didn’t happen! If it did, mom & I would have been laughing our asses off!

    July 9, 2013 • 10:04 am •
  59. Amy

    I am writing this short blurb to ensure that we are all clear on my intentions of this post. I send my kids to sleep away and I don’t think the camp I sent them to is any better or worse than another, just the right camp for my family.

    I mean no harm or disrespect to any camp or family that attends a particular camp.

    If this was a Seinfeld episode we would all be laughing!

    July 9, 2013 • 10:15 am •
  60. Sam

    My parents barely stopped the car when they dropped me off for camp.

    July 9, 2013 • 11:14 am •
  61. Jen

    Hysterical and to Mindy above I too got a salami!!! There was also squeeze cheese and tuna but the Hebrew National salami!! So these parents celebrate when the kids leave and then run to see them. Hilarious! My kids camp is much more civilized and no bunk gifts but GREAT article!!

    July 9, 2013 • 11:17 am •
  62. OMG THE SALAMI! My first year (at Vega) in 1986, Mom and Dad TOTALLY brought me a Hebrew National BOLOGNA. Like… The WHOLE THING. Mindy and Jen, great memory I’d forgotten about! Thank you!

    As for the “Running”… Vega didn’t do it, in fact, they kept the girls way back from the parking cars to avoid accidents. I’d never even heard of such a concept… But MAN! Those videos are FUNNY! (And scary. Kinda sad.)

    Lastly, LMFAO @ “NYC Camp Mom” insulting us Vega Girls, calling us “JAPs” and accusing Vega of being “overindulgent”… since that last, calm, toned down, CLASSY video is actually Vega in 2011!

    Thanks Amy, for bringing back so many Summer Camp Memories. I still love and cherish all 7 years I spent at Camp Vega. And I’m glad we never experienced “The Running of the Jews” there.

    July 9, 2013 • 11:58 am •
  63. Mindy

    So true and funny. The best part of reading was that it brought back nothing but great memories of my own days at camp and my son and daughters camp years too. Inspite of the crazy visiting thing, i certainly miss those days. Thanks for sharing. i just learned about your blog, it is the first i have subscribed to, and look forward to following you.

    July 9, 2013 • 12:43 pm •
  64. Jen From Atlanta

    This is so funny and actually brought tears to my eyes ( from laughing and because I miss my kids!) Our first visiting day is in a week and a half. I didn’t even start to prepare- I didn’t know I need anything! We are flying to Maine so it’s difficult to bring a lot of stuff from home. And almost no one from Atlanta sends their kids to a 7 week sleep away camp so no one here can make suggestions. I too went to an all girls camp in the Adirondack Mountains. I remember them “cutting the rope” to let the parents in and I remember crying as a waved to my parents at the end of the day. All good memories! Thanks for the blog Amy- keep it up!

    July 9, 2013 • 1:21 pm •
  65. M

    I am crying from laughing so hard! You nailed it! Thank you for my belly laugh of the day.

    July 9, 2013 • 2:49 pm •
  66. Liz

    As a Jew who went to a fancyish camp in the late 70s, I am appalled by this behavior. This did not go on at my camp back then, but I’m sure it does now. I can’t understand why affluent Northeastern Jews feel compelled to constantly compete, show off, and, as a result, feed into stereotypes and breed spoiled, entitled children. My husband and I deliberately chose a Y with a “c” camp that has kids from a diversity of religions and races and offers scholarships. There are times when I wonder if I’m being too reactionary–my child’s camp has no electricity in the cabins, no phone calls, and photos posted once a week–but this piece reinforces our decision.

    July 9, 2013 • 4:05 pm •
  67. I recognized the camp in the last video instantly–Camp Vega in Maine. I went there a gajillion years ago. Happiest days of my childhood.

    July 9, 2013 • 4:16 pm •
  68. David99

    I am so glad that you as a Jewish person have shown that you hate your people. You are no different than Jessie Jackson calling NYC Himie Town. You must be so proud.

    July 9, 2013 • 4:23 pm •
  69. Jon

    “i guess you did not hear about the year that I personally witnessed a family bring a generator (placed under their tent of course) so that they could microwave some of their kids favorite goodies…”

    hilarious. maybe i should bring our generator this year and set up a big flat screen and xbox so my son and I can play halo in a tent

    July 9, 2013 • 5:24 pm •
  70. Our camp doesn’t have a visiting day (what can I say – it’s California) but I laughed so hard reading this I started to tear up. Thanks for sharing the joy. My boys have yet to leave but I always miss them much more than they miss us!

    July 9, 2013 • 5:28 pm •
  71. Amela…let me first congratulate you-your blog has made the rounds in Great Neck already…amazing!!
    Let me tell you that camp is the ‘happy place’ for both of my boys-or should I say the happiest place…Still, after all these years I am still in shock by the boatloads of junk, food, worthless crap that parents bring up-Our camp considered ‘down and dirty’ still gets the moms who are bringing brand new wardrobes from say a ‘lesters’ store. Really???? It is really mad exodus and you hit it right on the nose. Can’t wait to hear you reporting on it! Hope all is well with you and the boys. XOXO

    July 9, 2013 • 5:55 pm •
  72. Jill

    Very insulting…not what you say about the parents; my kid’s camp never had visiting day at camp; but the fact that you label this the Running of the Jews! Rather prejudicial don’t you think?
    Do you really think this applies to only Jewish parents…It think not. Sleep away camps were not invented by, nor solely attended by Jewish kids. They were actually a function of the boarding school Boston Brahmins who could not conceive of their young darlings being with them for the entire summer and came up with another place to send them.

    July 9, 2013 • 6:14 pm •
  73. Amy

    Thanks Miriam!! I heard it hit the LI circuit, love it! Can’t wait to see the boys!! Loved your response. Thank you 🙂

    July 9, 2013 • 6:22 pm •
  74. PPPlkhM

    Yep, this most be a recent phenomenon because I never saw this at Anawana. Thank god!

    July 9, 2013 • 6:35 pm •
  75. Liz

    I don’t run. Even if I were being chased by a bear, I wouldn’t run. I guess I”ll have to send my kid to Camp Mymomsafatass.

    July 9, 2013 • 6:44 pm •
  76. Susan

    I went to camp….a Y camp….I’m Jewish and I grew up in Virginia. My kids went to one of “those” camps and had a phenomenal experience but really, the first visiting day should come with a warning. My husband and I have still not recovered and they haven’t gone to camp in at least 3 years. We literally stood in amazement and watched and in good company. The wait staff. I knew that my boys were tough enough to wait the extra 8 minutes it took to let the running of the other parents take place. i look at it as saving the best for last! Thanks for the entertainment!

    July 9, 2013 • 7:30 pm •
  77. Tamara

    I went to sleep away camp, worked at sleep away camp and now my children go to sleep away camp. I’ve seen all types of behaviour from all types of parents…all I can say is that your article is hilarious!

    I do not feel that anything you’ve written portrays Jewish people poorly.
    And although it is not my way, I think there is something sweet about parents missing their children so much that they have to run because they can’t wait another moment to see them.

    Enjoy visiting day with your son!

    July 9, 2013 • 8:24 pm •
  78. Amy

    Thank you Tamara. You made my day! I appreciate everything you said and you are 100% correct! Spot on. Thank you again!

    July 9, 2013 • 8:27 pm •
  79. Abby Irish

    I agree with Tamara and Amy……….. loved camp as a kid; counselor; working staff; and parent. Saw all sorts of peculiar behavior when it came to visiting day. I say, “To each his own” … and let the race begin!!! It’s all in fun and if you can’t have fun, then you aren’t living.

    July 9, 2013 • 8:30 pm •
  80. Amy

    Agree Abbey!! Thanks!

    July 9, 2013 • 8:31 pm •
  81. Abby Irish

    Amy, If you ever want to collaborate on writing a book about summer camps, let me know. I also write romantic-comedy. Check out my books on Amazon: “THERE’S ALWAYS CHOCOLATE,” and “CHOCOLATE THERAPY,” and as a matter of fact, my main character’s name is AMY!

    July 9, 2013 • 8:34 pm •
  82. Amy

    Lol really!!! Ok I will check it out !

    July 9, 2013 • 8:35 pm •
  83. Abby Irish

    I am serious about the writing collaberation….. let me know by sending me an email with your name (last helps) and we can begin talking about it….if you aren interested. I have been putting off this in place of other activities but would really like a push in this direction.

    July 9, 2013 • 8:38 pm •
  84. Older Mom

    Those of you who were insulted by the title or contents of this piece should get a sense of humor and laugh at yourselves. Really? You could read this and not laugh out loud?

    July 9, 2013 • 8:38 pm •
  85. That was so fun to read! Heading to my first visiting day (as a parent!) this Sunday. NOT wearing running shoes, or worse, heels!
    But likely bringing too much food…no candy towers though!
    Thanks for the chuckle!

    July 9, 2013 • 9:35 pm •
  86. elana

    I went to an all girls camp in PA and sent my girls there too- first time in 11 years we are not there. Visiting day meant getting on the car line by 10am for 11:30 Opening- we parked- the girls wait at the bunks- sisters wait together in one bunk- no running, but lots of candy. Have you checked the price of Vega for the summer- people who pay that much don’t run- they glide.

    July 9, 2013 • 10:06 pm •
  87. Amy

    I don’t have kids of my own, but as a former camper and counselor, I can’t imagine the insanity that must ensue at camps where parents run to their kids on visiting day! At my camp, all the campers waited on the basketball court while the parents were calmly directed to parking spots on the field. Counselors stopped campers from running out into the “parking lot” so that no one got run over. Of course, my mom always lined up around 7am to be one of the first parents in when the gates opened at 9:30, so there was a little crazy going on. Certainly from a counselor’s perspective though, you’re still responsible for all your campers even on visiting day, especially the camper whose parent shows up late or, unfortunately, not at all, and you know that if the parents are running towards the kids, the kids are also running towards the parents. As for the candy and tents – it never happened to the extreme that you’ve described, but camp cookout was not that exciting, so many parents would bring lunch food to set up under the large tent provided by my camp. The last visiting day my mom attended – I was a counselor and my brother was a last-year camper – we sent her off camp to get sandwiches at the local deli, and then ice cream in the afternoon. At that point, she knew camp as well as we did, plus I was working, so it was just the right amount of time to spend with her!

    July 10, 2013 • 9:42 am •
  88. I can’t say that I remember lots of parents or kids running when I was a camper or counselor at Androscoggin, but perhaps that’s just selective memory. When picking up my kid on Visiting Day in Maine this year (first session camper only), I will try to keep my wife from running. Fortunately, because we’re picking up, we don’t have to bring any food, we can just wait until we’re back home.

    July 10, 2013 • 10:05 am •
  89. Scott

    Imagine our disappointment when we ran to greet our kids (okay, lightly jogged) and they couldn’t have been less enthused to see us. As the years went on, they even asked us to skip coming because camp was THEIR environment, not our’s. One part of me envies those families where the kids jump into the parents’ arms, but our relationship with them must be different. Not enough candy?

    July 10, 2013 • 10:36 am •
  90. Cindy

    Sent the link to your story to my now 21 year old daughter. Here’s what she had to say:
    This is wonderful! I remember one summer you must have been at the back of the mob and I was one of the last in my bunk to see parents and I was so upset. Bad Jew! You obviously needed to practice your stampede run

    July 10, 2013 • 12:43 pm •
  91. MorMor

    Visiting Day was not an important date on my parents’ calendar. One year, they did not come at all. While my bunkmates were out picnicking with their folks, I sat inside and read. One of my bunkmates was actually a local farm girl. She and her parents came in to get something, saw me sitting alone, and invited me to join them. I did . . . and everything I learned about successful parenting I learned from that farm family: sharing responsibility . . . pausing to express gratitude . . . setting limits in a soft voice . . .etc. It was the Silver Lining for sure.

    July 10, 2013 • 1:20 pm •
  92. Chris

    Absolutely hysterical Amy, truth is funnier than fiction. Best Idea: cancel all visiting days and let the kids enjoy 7 weeks away from home. And not get in the way of my golf game.

    July 10, 2013 • 1:41 pm •
  93. Andrew

    I was a counsellor for 8 years and learnt a few things from the other side. The kids want to see their parents for about 15 minutes, then it”s Candy All the Way. I enjoyed parents day and I loved meeting all the parents but I hated the 3 day sugar rush after you guy went home. 🙂 Have Fun at Visiting Day and say Hi to the counsellors.

    July 10, 2013 • 2:06 pm •
  94. Andrea

    Hilarious! Now that my 3 sons are in their 20’s, this was a walk down memory lane, sort of. I can only imagine that’s what it looked like at my kids’ camps (all 3 went to different camps) if my husband and I had ever gotten there early enough to be part of the mad dash. Even when we got there on time, before the floodgates opened, we were never early enough to get anywhere near the front of the line. Sometimes we got there shortly after the initial rush was over, and just strolled in and found our camper. None of our kids seemed perturbed…we were only minutes behind the start time and they knew we were coming. I don’t think they carry any lasting scars. They were always happy to see us, probably because we often took them off camp premises (for at least part of the day) for a good meal and some shopping. As for the brush-off Scott described in a previous comment, that came later for us, during family weekend at college.

    Regarding the hard lesson learned by Merle when her son walked her to the car, my youngest son’s camp (Island Lake in Starrucca, PA) had the best strategy for a happy ending to the day, avoiding a scene like that altogether. They allowed water guns only once during the entire summer, and that was on visiting day, starting promptly (and I do mean PROMPTLY) at 4 PM. It was a brilliant solution to the clingy, teary goodbyes (parents were just as susceptible to separation issues as the kids were). Any parent still on camp grounds at that hour was apt (actually, guaranteed) to be targeted and drenched. The kids were so excited about this one time event, that they began looking forward to their parents’ departure as the end of visiting day drew near. By 3:30, many of the kids were hurrying back to their bunks to change into their swimsuits, and then were practically pushing their parents down the road back to the parking lot so they could race back to the bunk and begin filling their water guns (more like water cannons and bazookas) in readiness for zero hour. The excitement about the impending water fight really took the sting out of saying goodbye…at least on the campers’ part. Parents would just have to develop their own coping mechanisms.

    July 10, 2013 • 3:20 pm •
  95. jamie

    after reading this hilarious blog posting…it brought back so many memories… i was not only a camper/counselor/but also an employee (camp mother/archery instructor) for three summers, and my children went to camp for free. great deal! great experience! following those summers, i was a visiting parent for the next 10 years! the portrayal of the parents running, was exactly like one of the camps i attended in the early 60’s, however instead of one visiting day… there were three!!! (for divorced parents/those on vacation etc). parents not only brought food, and yes, salami was always the prize…but i remember beautiful mohair sweaters for some girls in my bunk for the fall! don’t ask!
    i can picture my parents approaching my bunk (not running) and i was thrilled with excitement to see them, as they were to see me… your posting, amy…brought back such happy memories…as it seems to have done for the majority of those who responded to this posting. we were all so fortunate to have had the camping experience…so life changing for so many lucky children!
    regarding some of these responses… come on, people… have a sense of humor… you probably laugh when larry david, billy crystal, chris rock or kevin hart, make fun of themselves… this is hardly the venue to be offended (no one is forcing you to read this blog, and its not on the front page of a newspaper.
    life is short, enjoy the fun moments! thanks amy for great, very relateable and insightful humor… looking forward to your next posting after your visiting day! have a great time!

    July 10, 2013 • 3:44 pm •
  96. Susie

    Send your kids to camp in Minnesota. There is no visiting day at my son’s (former) camp. You come when and if you want. I went once in 6 years. My parents came once in 8 years to my camp! I am friends with my camp friends after 45 years. Both my camp and my son’s camp didn’t permit bringing in food or taking your kid out out of camp for the day. Camp is about being in nature not the city!

    July 10, 2013 • 4:00 pm •
  97. Anonymous

    I went to camp, pretty much the token gentile. Maybe there’s something to be said about sprinting Jews, because my mom who wasn’t Jewish as 2 hours late and very nonchalant about the whole thing. I was the last kid waiting as each car rolled by once the gate was open. While it was many, many years ago, I can still recall the yearning. I think The Sprinting Jews have it all sorts of right.

    July 10, 2013 • 4:56 pm •
  98. Wendi

    There should be no visiting day and no phone calls and 9 weeks would be even better!

    July 10, 2013 • 6:31 pm •
  99. Jack Bell

    When I went to camp, about 100 years ago, we used to have two, yes, two visiting days, that were actually spread over a Friday night/all day Saturday.

    It wasn’t that crazy then and the parents weren’t all so rich then (because camp didn’t cost $8000+). It was always fun … father/son baseball games. “Real” food.

    Then my children became campers (at the same camp I went to with my brother) and it became a dreaded day. Seeing them was always wonderful, but you would think parents were sending their children to Siberia, not the Poconos. God forbid they do without a CupoNoodles for a few weeks. Imagine that. Hard to believe, init?

    Visiting day was the worst thing about camp. Let’s play ball and go kiss some girls. Now, THAT’s camp.

    July 10, 2013 • 6:42 pm •
  100. Your post was so hilarious. Having been a parent of a camper who goes away for 8 weeks running to see my daughter is one of the highlights of my summer. I do think the generator thing was totally hilarious as was the video footage of people running with wheelie shopping carts. I do think there should be some rule that you should really be able to carry in what you are bringing. It is certainly over the top. Our camp has a “no package” rule this summer–I wonder if that is going to escalate the visiting day presents. I am trying to dial back on the presents this year but I am not very good at keeping things simple. Maybe you could do an article on “what people should actually bring to visiting day.” Some kind of “how to keep things simple” at camp visiting day. Maybe just one homemade snack, one candy treat, one game and photo album. It’s fun to look around the room to see all the crazy and amazing things that people bring. My favorite was a giant pizza sized cookie decorated with a border of candy, It sounds really over the top but it was actually stunning and, I thought, pretty creatively done. It is all too much. Maybe this year I will take more pictures of all the crazy things people bring up.

    July 10, 2013 • 10:17 pm •
  101. PS You probably should consider an alternative title that is less anti semitic. Just saying. I know you are being funny. Still it’s probably offensive to a lot of people. You seem pretty witty. I am sure you could come up with something else if you put your thinking cap on.

    July 10, 2013 • 10:35 pm •
  102. Nancy frankel

    Wait until your son goes off to college.. Great article..

    July 10, 2013 • 10:54 pm •
  103. Janet

    Wow! That’s pretty crazy. Our kids have gone to a camp here in Canada, and while visitors day is full of hugs and treats for sure, it’s more or less civilized. This year we won’t be going up as my daughter is a staff member, but the camp just posted this video explaining that they are asking parents to bring up non-perishable food to be donated to a local food bank. The idea came from the campers. It underscores the reason why we’ve sent our kids to this camp (Camp George) for years! Here’s the link to the video:

    July 10, 2013 • 11:07 pm •
  104. Cindy

    You brought me to tears…My kids went to Starlight for 9 years and every word of your blog is so true. The amount of “junk” we had to bring, and then of course the clothes list, and then of course the lunch list, it went on and on.

    Yes I was one of the parents who was in the first 20 cars, but that was ok because my kids always found me right away.

    What an experience they had.. I wouldn’t have let them miss it for the world as I had the same experience for 9 years as well.

    July 11, 2013 • 9:47 am •
  105. Brad

    How strange that some camps do this. I’d honestly never even heard of this. When I was growing up in NY, I went to three different sleep-away camps, two in Pennsylvania, one in NY, two of them Jewish camps, and we never had this. Now, my daughter goes to a Jewish camp in Pennsylvania and they don’t have this at all–in fact, at the beginning and end of camp, they have a free bus from/to the major metro areas, so most parents never go to the camp (although they have an open house in the Spring).
    Is this regional or specific to some type of camp?
    I also wonder if it specific to some of the extreme snobbish camps that have cropped up (but probably not, as it sounds from the comments this has gone on for a while). My wife and I have heard of some camps with air conditioned bunks and a housekeeping staff–to which our reaction was “no freakin’ way, we are sending our kids to camp, not a resort.”

    July 11, 2013 • 1:21 pm •
  106. MH

    You should send this to all the camp owners so they know how ridiculous visiting day has become! Limit the gifts that are brought and the scene that is made on the day-it’s insane. My husband and I have always called it the running of the jewws.
    So comical! You are right on!!!

    July 11, 2013 • 9:58 pm •
  107. I don’t think my parents would have survived a sprint like that–thankfully Tapawingo was far more calm on v-day. But having spent the last week camp shopping for our sons, I’m now wishing I’d asked about visiting day ritual. Because as funny as that was, a camp that encourages thy kind of visiting day needs to be crossed off our list. (Yes, I’m all sorts of first time camp mom nervous about this decision).

    At least I have a good follow up question for the camps.

    July 11, 2013 • 10:38 pm •
  108. Anonymous

    OMG this is so hilarious. I almost peed in my pants! I totally “know” those parents–they were at my camp 40 years ago!!!

    July 11, 2013 • 10:40 pm •
  109. Amy K.


    July 12, 2013 • 12:22 am •
  110. debie

    This is Ben’s seventh year at overnight camp.. The first half is at a n ew camp and the second half he will be a waiter at the camp he has been going to for six year.. No more visitng days after this year!! boo hoo. always like siting watching new campers families visit.

    July 12, 2013 • 10:14 am •
  111. MomLovesCamp

    Go to the Minnesota camp that Susie mentions or Eagle River Wisconsin camps… Civilized, normal visits that are not all about the GET. I frankly think the whole scene depicted is a nightmare. I would never ever have my kid at a camp that thinks this charging, shoving, over-gifting, tent pitching behavior is the way to visit a kid at CAMP. Just one opinion, but it seems a truly barbaric way to run a simple visitation… How the parents don’t revolt and just refuse to partake in the silliness is beyond me. Likewise with how the camp can allow or perpetuate such ridiculousness. It is completely unnecessary and without this “running” it would be just as joyous and special an occasion if not more so…

    July 12, 2013 • 12:36 pm •
  112. Mary

    Then if you want to see your kid so badly then why in the world do you send them away to camp for weeks on end! I never understood this. Two weeks is one thing but 8 is another. Raise them and cherish the summers you have with them because before you know it they will be adults and they will wonder why you sent them away for all those weeks.

    July 12, 2013 • 6:45 pm •
  113. lisa

    oh my as a jew myself, it’s all in fun. And we all know these parents running like crazy and bringing so many gifts, they are what they are. get over it. Its funny and crazy!

    July 12, 2013 • 6:58 pm •
  114. Jackie

    This was so funny! First I laughed so hard (good thing I was sitting), then I cried because I remember all the wonderful times I had on Visiting Day as a camper and as a parent. Anybody that is offended, should get over themselves and learn how to laugh!

    July 13, 2013 • 10:06 pm •
  115. Jamie

    Love the article! So funny and so very true. I spend more money on crap for Visiting Day then I do all summer. Thanks for making me laugh!!!!

    July 16, 2013 • 7:48 am •
  116. […] The Running of the Jews, which I posted on my Facebook page because I thought it was funny. I actually thought the clips of the people running to see their children on visiting day were […]

    July 18, 2013 • 7:27 pm •
  117. […] annual spate of wild stories about the crazy things parents do on behalf of their camp-bound kids: running wildly to secure a good spot on visiting day, spending more than $1,000 on camp clothes or over $10,000 on camp itself. […]

    July 19, 2013 • 11:56 am •
  118. Laurie

    Yes, the salami!!! I had forgotten all about those!!! I don’t remember anyone sprinting at Visiting Day at Camp Olympus in the ’80s, where I was a camper and then a counselor, but then again our bunks were up a huge hill. My non-Jewish friends have never understood the whole sleepaway camp thing–they think sending their kids away for three weeks is insane.

    July 19, 2013 • 1:09 pm •
  119. saywhat?

    I’m for the West Coast. We really don’t have camps like this. This is totally bizarre.

    July 20, 2013 • 8:57 pm •
  120. Iren

    This was so funny, I had a great laugh. I have sent 3 kids over the years to sleep away and thank my lucky stars non of this was going on. It’s a Jewish camp, we have all kids of kids with all kinds of financial backgrounds. Thank you for sharing your friends experiences, I had a great laugh. Good luck.

    July 23, 2013 • 12:41 am •
  121. Bradi

    To each his own. I suppose if you really think about it there is much humor in sprinting like we do -but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I never really thought about the craziness of it all…the shopping for days to get every last item on their visiting day list- even if it means going back and forth to Love Letters 400 times. Does this mean I spoil my kids on visiting day? Fck yeah! I would buy out Gotham if I could. I don’t care- my kids- my decisions. Amy, continue to poke fun at life. It’s fun to laugh at ourselves and to evolve as parents. Xo

    July 23, 2013 • 2:36 am •
  122. Robin

    While it is clear this is intended to be funny and one should have the ability to laugh at one’s self – it seems that the title and descriptions – alluding to Jewish parents’ behavior while visiting camps – plays on Jewish stereotypes reaffirming to some the worst kind of traits attributed to us. The blog could have had the same funny effect without having to title it “The Running of the Jews”.

    July 23, 2013 • 7:18 pm •
  123. Ann


    July 24, 2013 • 10:27 pm •
  124. Hilarious, loved this. My parents were always the FIRSt car inside the gate. I went to Fernwood
    LOVE this. Following you- see @CITYPEEKpatti

    August 5, 2013 • 4:43 pm •
  125. Glenda

    This is an entertaining article. It really made me laugh. My daughter went away to ONE week of camp and just came home 2 days ago. No visiting day there! But I did send her two letters and 4 emails. The kids couldn’t use their phones at all, but they had a one-way email system, in which parents could send an email and the camp would print it out and deliver it to the camper’s cabin. I thought that was clever and fun. NO running for this Baptist, except around the block every day for exercise!!

    August 5, 2013 • 5:17 pm •
  126. […] friend Stacy pointed out this blog post to me – and the phenomenon called the Running of the Jews. We have not yet experienced […]

    August 7, 2013 • 3:57 pm •
  127. Debbie Pingitore

    It’s been a while since I laughed out loud like I did to your article and videos. Surely a herd of running Jews on visiting day is one of the reasons why the concept funny exists. Thank you Amy!
    By the way – my parents always managed to be the last ones in the herd. Instant feelings of abandonment and anxiety. Gotta love visiting day!

    August 9, 2013 • 5:22 pm •
  128. anonymous


    August 13, 2013 • 9:26 pm •
  129. Sure, it’s funny. Been there, done that. And maybe because today is a solemn day but even thought I am not very religious at all I find it mildly offensive. Are only Jewish people the ones to do this? Even the term Jews makes me bristle. There are a lot of haters out there. Please don’t encourage it. I KNOW it’s funny, I know your intentions are good, it just makes me feel “icky.”
    If you gave this article and published it in a Christian camp or a European camp what do you think they would say? It’s stereotyping, something we should all avoid.

    January 28, 2014 • 10:51 pm •
  130. […] camp as a child, or whose children go there now will probably relate to this piece. Click HERE to read […]

    July 1, 2014 • 5:10 am •
  131. Jodi

    Where are the candy towers from in the photo??
    Great article!!

    July 10, 2014 • 1:13 pm •
  132. Susan

    I saw the ‘Running of the Jews’ video last year and pee’d in my pants.  My daughters are now 26 and 22 yrs. old.  Back in the day we spent one weekend driving 700 miles thru New York State and Pennsylvania to find the ‘perfect’ sleep away camp. My definition of ‘perfect’ was a…dare I say it????….a ‘non-jappy’ camp.  That meant no Juicy Couture, no James Pearce t’s…basically nothing that didn’t come out of an Army Navy store or Hy Friedman for those of you from Brooklyn.  Well…we found it.  I was ecstatic. Visiting day was simple… bunk gifts (who invented THAT???), no candy towers and….no ‘Running of the Jews.’ Despite the tears of joy upon seeing my oldest (the one that I sent on the camp bus weeks before waving adios with a big smile on my face!)the day was rather easy.  That was year one.  The next year I had a stroke.  Two girls arrived at camp via chauffeur with Baby G’s on their wrist. (Two non-Jewish girls, mind you.  One does not have to be a Jew to earn the title of ‘JAP’ in my book.) It was the beginning of the end for me!  I might get enjoyment out of watching the videos but I do not envy you all, lol!

    July 10, 2014 • 3:55 pm •
  133. Anonymous

    This is why no one like us.

    July 12, 2014 • 2:05 am •
  134. Marci

    I am not so off put by the title of the article, I am more upset about the fact that you’re writing about something you haven’t experienced. What gives the ability to do that and pass judgement on something you know nothing about?? I was a camper for a very long time at a camp in Pennsylvania. We all had a sense of entitlement on visiting day, I hadn’t seen my parents in a month and as a 5 year old, which was my first summer, I was beyond excited to see my parents again. It was competitive and my parents brought a lot of stuff with them for me and my sisters, including bunk gifts for not just one bunk but three. If you could afford these kinds of camps then being a part of this and doing the visiting day dance was not big deal and was considered part of the cost of camp.. My mother was a camper at my camp, for us it was about the tradition being passed to the next generation. The salami, the friehoffers cookies and the Koop aid mix, and the bunk gifts were all part of that tradition. It was chaotic to find your parents, bit then again, so was color war break. It’s part of the experience. Something you know nothing about just yet, learn first, writing about the experience should have been second….not first!

    July 13, 2014 • 9:02 pm •
  135. […] The Running of the Jews – Camp Visiting Day […]

    July 15, 2014 • 8:09 am •
  136. […] year of “The Running of the Jews” (if you didn’t read it last year, click here now to read my article from last year). It is a MUST READ that should be read before you read this one. […]

    July 16, 2014 • 4:47 pm •
  137. […] year of “The Running of the Jews” (if you didn’t read it last year, click here now to read my article from last year). It is a MUST READ that should be read before you read this one. […]

    July 16, 2014 • 9:08 pm •
  138. Marlene Abraham

    It is very funny however we have enough anti-semitism without a title such as this article has. I am offended. 

    July 16, 2014 • 10:49 pm •
  139. My thoughts on letting go of summer camp!

    August 7, 2014 • 2:23 pm •
  140. 1- Find a product to promote, something you feel passionate about and that you know people will
    want to buy it. But unfortunately not every request will get approved.
    The only tab of your concern is Public Templates,
    and no actions are necessary as it is already on the screen.

    My page: Google

    September 4, 2014 • 4:32 pm •
  141. […] Running of the Jews” (if you didn’t read it last year, click here now to read my article from last year). It is a MUST READ that should be read before you read this one. […]

    September 29, 2014 • 11:48 am •
  142. […] Running of the Jews” (if you didn’t read it last year, click here now to read my article from last year). It is a MUST READ that should be read before you read this one. […]

    October 10, 2014 • 7:44 am •
  143. Ian

    I don’t recall parents ever running back in the day (’75-’80) but this is hysterical. I went to Trails End (first video) and can now admit, after these many years, that my mom snuck on camp more than once to see me. Don’t tell my mom that she is forking over a small fortune and is only allowed to see her kid once. I miss you mom! Sorry for giving you such grief over camp…it was actually spectacular. Waiters, European counselors, air-conditioned coaches. Oy did we have it hard.

    September 8, 2015 • 2:31 pm •
  144. This was hysterical. My boys attended Brookwood Camp in Glen Spey. They gathered the kids for an awards ceremony before parent arrival. The parents would hover on the periphery and wait for the ceremony to end. Saved us all the running. Yes there were care packages, but I never saw anything extravagant! Hot dogs and hamburgers on the lawn! Always a nice day until you got the sense that the kids were ready to get rid of you! Lol! I mean we all know, summer without your folks, living with all your besties is the absolute bomb!!

    July 12, 2017 • 7:56 am •
  145. Thank you so much for this, I laughed out loud! My friend and her daughter are in the Vega video at the end 🙂 I don’t know what to expect next weekend but I’m wearing comfortable sneakers 🙂

    July 14, 2017 • 10:03 am •
  146. Norma Jaffe

    So funny. I am in Northern LI visiting one of our 3 daughters, Debbie. Tomorrow we are driving to Equinunk, PA to visit my daughter Hilary, who runs the infirmary. Her 3 children 10, 13 and 15 are there for the summer.
    Meanwhile our other daughter Robin lives in Potomac and her 2 kids go to Day Camps there.
    Robin said that visiting Day is like Jap City, as you describe it. Yesterday. We went to a special store here to pick up the cellophane wrapped gifts for a neighbor and for herself. It was madness. You have to walk sideways thru the aisles they are so packed! I’d like the receipts from one day. Every item is priced much too high but the parents and grandparents are there shopping as if the world is ending and thus us the last hurrah.
    We are leaving at 7:30 tomorrow morning for C A M P.
    YEA. I will be one of those nutty Nana’s!!
    Love your. Daily column. We live in Norfolk, VA.

    July 14, 2017 • 10:19 am •
  147. Debi

    This made me laugh so hard. We live in LA and my kids go to canp in Pennsylvania for four weelks. They have no visiting day!! Most civilized of all!!

    July 14, 2017 • 7:51 pm •