The Jews Keep on Running


On your mark, get set,

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Grab your beach carts, coolers, fitbits, beach chairs, blankets, tents and kicks. It is almost time for another year of “The Running of the Jews”. (if you did not read my article last year, do it now (click here to read my article from last year). It is a MUST READ that should be read before you read this one. Enjoy!

So here we are again. In the next two weeks many of us will be heading to camp to visit our precious kids. After the send off, we have been writing letters, scanning pictures and have possibly even been sitting in front of our computer watching and waiting to see if our kid passes by a video camera installed at a camp. I apologize in advance if you are a camp who participates in this kind of ridiculousness but really? A VIDEO CAMERA? Yes, see here:

Camp Video

Can you imagine sitting in front of your computer for two hours hoping and praying that your kid walks by and waves? Can you really find nothing else to do with your time? After you see your kid for a mere 1 second, then what? Is this your idea of pleasure? If so, you and I need to have a serious conversation –NOW! I am offering free therapy on how to get a life.

How about those camp photos? My favorite are the parents who tell their kids to give them a signal in the picture– like a thumbs up. You have seen them a million times when scrolling through 800 pictures a day. There are definitely a few kids giving the “thumbs up” and possibly a “thumbs down” in the mix.

boratthumbs You know that the parents gave them a long lecture before they left for camp reminding them on the importance of signals in photos. People, have some faith. There is a reason we send our kids to camp and there is a reason there are 3,000 books on how camp is a gift. There is also a reason why there are a trillion stories of: “How I met my husband at camp;” “How I met my wife at camp;” “How I hooked up with the hot, foreign soccer coach at camp;”  “When I got my period at camp and Sally showed me how to use a tampon;” “How I smoked pot at camp and listened to mix tapes all night;” “When I was the Color War Captain at camp;” and “When my dad sent me my first Playboy magazine at camp and I was the star of the bunk;” etc. Haven’t you heard them all? Weren’t our best memories from camp? If it is not the right camp this year, so be it. There are thousands of others! Camp isn’t a punishment. If your kid isn’t happy yet – give them some time.

It is so funny to me when parents who say, “YOU SEND YOUR KIDS TO CAMP FOR 7 WEEKS?” Are you out of your mind? Why do all of the ‘Jewish’ people send their kids away to camp? Truthfully,  I don’t know the answer.It is the same reason we eat Bagels and Lox and you don’t and it is the same reason we think it is totally nuts to keep your kids HOME  all summer.

I had my first phone call last week. Yes, I asked Zach about his bunkmates, the counselors, the food, and the activities. Same shit, different year. The anticipation of waiting for two weeks to to talk to our kids boils down to 2 things

  1. What they want for visiting day
  2. What they have been doing since they got there (if you are lucky enough to get even that information out of them)

So here we are just 1-2 weeks before visiting day. One to two weeks before the running, the mayhem and the moment you have all been waiting for – The Running of the Jews.

With my quest to see what the deal was with Visiting Day this year, I decided to make some phone calls. My first call was to Soul Cycle and Flywheel.  I had to know if they would be organizing “pop up” shops in The Berkshires, The Poconos, The Adirondacks, New Hampshire and Maine.  Wouldn’t they be silly not to? GOLD MINE! The people who answered the phones at both corporate offices laughed and thought I was off my rocker. I tried to tell them they were missing a big opportunity –HUGE! Maybe Peloton should make a deal with these hole- in-the -wall hotels. I bet they would sell 10,000 after the weekend! Right? I am not sure 5 minutes of a full out sprint to the kids would qualify as enough exercise for the weekend although Shaun T may disagree.

The next phone call was to Treat House. If Baked by Melissa was the must-have dessert last year –Treat House is the go to this year. According to Treat House, since they decided to launch camp snacks,

Camp Treats

the response has been OVERWHELMING to say the least!!!  The phones have not stopped ringing with camp orders. Can you believe a marshmallow treat with a camp name is all the rage? Believe it. It is happening.

I did find another company that is doing something very cute that is taking on the whole camp concept.

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Candy with a Twist! So adorable. They make custom-packed S’mores camp treats ($4.50 each) or custom pops with marshmallows.

However, if you are still hung up on the Baked by Melissa treats and know you can no longer pick up Crumbs cupcakes, you can have mini cupcakes now made with your camp logo from Lily Spots NYC.

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I also started talking to parents to see what the word on the street was and then it hit me…What the hell is going on? We need to discuss…I could not begin to believe what the “visiting day presents” have become. I remember the days of  Mad Libs, Cheetos, orange soda and taffy.

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NOW – it is like bringing up a Bar Mitzvah for the bunk. First of all whose ever idea it was to pack sushi made a vile decision. Unless you are bringing a crab roll (still gross by the way), why are you trying to make your kid sick? I don’t even like to take out sushi in my town for that evening, yet alone have it travel by plane, bus, boat or  car. Even if you are stopping at Blue Ribbon Sushi the night before and sticking it in a cooler, the idea of eating fish in a roll the next day is beyond to me.

By the way, the candy assortments have gotten so out of hand. I know we are trying to show our kids how much we miss them but they have ONE day to eat the entire store of Dylan’s Candy. Total insanity! Do you know that my younger son had the opportunity to sleep in Zach’s bunk last year during visiting day?  When we picked him up the next morning and began our drive back home, not even 10 minutes into the ride he vomited everywhere. You know why? Because they ate candy all night. Yup, the kids were given one day in Willy Wonka’s bunk and they went ballistic.  Have you seen some of the candy fiasco’s this year? Definitely cute but when are they eating all of this?

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Hall of Scoops

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clipboards by covered in candy 

I was in a group text recently and a friend mentioned that her kid asked for a chair trampoline for visiting day. Is this what it is coming to? Their bunks are turning into dorm rooms?

trampchairSpeaking of the bunk, another topic of conversation is what gifts people are bringing up for the bunk? THE BUNK?  I remember last year it was a cookie cake. This year it is, T-shirts, Pinnies, hula hoops filled with gum balls

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and pearl necklaces (no, not that), this kind:

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Kidcessories

I think my mother would have a heart attack if I was kid in 2014.  I would like to make a call out here. I know every camp is different. At some camps you get a list of who is in the bunk, and at some camps you do not. Like I have NO IDEA who is in Zach’s bunk this year except for a few kids. Cedar doesn’t tell us. So, for the camps that don’t tell and even the camps that do, I think there should be a written rule about what you are bringing up. Like if my kid finds out your kid is getting the new KD’s that just dropped this past week

nike-kd-okc-collection-1or those new Skootz that I had no idea about, they should notify all of the parents so we can prepare our kids…

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Love Letters

 

I am going to look like the bad parent. The truth is that he got new KD’s before camp. IF he thinks for one minute I am going to buy the even newer ones that just came out a few days ago, HA!  I don’t care what his friends have or what their parents do, I refuse to be suckered into that absurdity. I need a heads up on what the other parents are bringing so I can inform Zach before arriving that some kids may be getting new KD’s that they will ruin in the first rain storm and there is not a shot on God’s green earth he can expect them.  A Skootz band for $7.95 and cup of noodles, done. But I am not, I repeat NOT getting caught up in this craziness that goes on. Like this for example : ( I do love the girl whose stuff this is so I can fully put it out there but how do I not call her out?)

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Peace, Love & Graphics

As for the craziness, this past weekend was Visiting Day at a few camps. Here is a shot from a sleepaway camp. Look closely at this picture:

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Love the Israeli Flag somebody brought. In light of the on-going situation and my support for Israel, that will be my only commentary.

How about this brown camping tent front and center? Could it be any bigger?  Is this like whoever brings the biggest tent to camp wins? Is this a my d**k is bigger than yours contest? Do you see the hand truck in the foreground? Is the tent that big they needed a crane to bring it in? Nobody is even SITTING IN THE TENT! Do you see the table in there? What the hell did they bring to eat? I have to imagine they brought servers with them for all of the food they brought up.  I need to know what went on there.

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As for this picture above, how psyched were the parents who got to the gazebo first? This year’s “Running of the Jews’ goes to the parents who secured a spot in the gazebo. I cannot even imagine the running that took place to get there first. No need to put up a tent but I do love that they still felt the need to bring in their own seating.

I would love to be a fly on the wall and compare and contrast what everyone brought this year. I have been thinking I may secretly go to somebody else’s visiting day this weekend. I will run with the runners, chill on a blanket and walk around to all of the food tables. I would love to experience the breaking of the fast with my young tribe. I would love to see the other side of sleepaway camp. Who would like to take me with them for the weekend as their pretend relative? I promise to pay my own way and I don’t smell.

So to those who are going this weekend, good luck and don’t forget your Garmin’s!

Also, don’t forget to book your hotel for next year before you leave. Enjoy the fact that at visiting day, you are one of the lucky few who gets to plunk down thousands of dollars to secure a spot next year at the camp your children have been going to because if you don’t do it now, there just may be no space left 🙂 And, by the way, don’t forget your credit card as the deposit is your only chance to use it to pay for tuition and rack up those valuable miles.

I can’t wait to hear stories and see pictures. Everybody strap on their GO-PRO cameras! With drones being all the rage, which clever parent is bringing the to drone to hunt down the perfect spot to spy on their kids?

The person with the BEST video running video or story from visiting day wins a $50 Gift Certificate to Camp Stuff 4 less. Please email them to me at amy@luluandlattes.com.

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I will make the announcement after the second weekend of visiting day so everyone has a chance to win and I will do an awesome follow-up blog

P.S If you see me at your camp this weekend, don’t make a scene. I know I am not supposed to be there. You can just smile and walk by. I promise not to take your picture.

P.P.S . To the Indian Head parent who told me she is secretly sneaking in a blow dryer and Nair so her 9-year-old could have a blow out and shave, let me know if you got away with it!

YOU READY??

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xx

 

Share Your Thoughts





  1. Great post, Amy! My son is in the oldest campers’ group, and they are a on a cross-country trip, so I am sad that there is no Visiting Day for us this year (sob!). I’m hoping that he doesn’t use the debit card we gave him, to buy those new KD’s (“but mom, they ARE a souvenir”)! After reading all of this, I am so thankful that my camp doesn’t allow bunk gifts, and the like. I admire you for not getting caught up in all that!

    July 15, 2014 • 10:34 am •
  2. Jena

    I am totally guilty of the thumbs up!!!!! I may have even bribed for it! Great piece aim! xo

    July 15, 2014 • 10:40 am •
  3. just needed to comment on this one

    Give me a break!  The camera you bash is the same sh-t you see at the beaches and other places.  The main purpose is to give a sneak peak into someplace special.  Perhaps the least techy camp in that area.  No blow dryers, one piece suits, laid back uniform.  A camp that is still a camp.  No AC, no fancy bunks just a camp being a camp with loads of history.  We get it, nothing is as perfect as Cedar  and the Cedar ways…we get it.   

    July 15, 2014 • 12:32 pm •
  4. Dara

    Amy-

    I wish I would have taken a video of the running of the parents just for Rookie Day last weekend at my son’s sleep away camp. If that is a foreshadowing of whats to come, I think I might have to buy a pair of STILTS for VISITING DAY! 

    July 15, 2014 • 4:04 pm •
  5. Shira

    I love your article.  I remember reading and watching the video last year when we were looking at camps and thinking how nuts this was. This is our first visiting day ever. Can’t wait to see what it’s like. From what I understand from speaking with other parents our camp isn’t that bad.  And they all warned us that their kids ended up in the infermary that same night because of all the junk they ate. My son went up to camp with no instructions from me and he looks like he is having the time of his life.  

    July 15, 2014 • 7:35 pm •
  6. Jen

    Amy- are you Beth’s friend Amy who I heard was a blogger??  Because I am reading this post and was thinking that I could be friends with this person because there is someone else out there who thinks this is soooo- ridiculous!!!  But yet we are there doing it!!!   

    July 15, 2014 • 11:07 pm •
  7. Peter

    I loved your article last  year and this one.   I have the perspective from the other side working on the basketball staff at camp pontiac.  One of my many jobs at camp besides teaching and coaching is standing at the front of our parking lot on visiting day.  Just like other camps their are many ways to get a jump start before you are supposed to.  Visiting day starts around 1030 and you always have the same parents every year who get there at 8am even though their kid is a CIT! It’s crazy!  I remember growing up and going to Tyler hill we ran to our parents now you have parents trying to get in early with every excuse. “Where’s the bathroom, I need to sit down do you mind if I can sit on the fence over there, I was told by X that I can come in and drop something off at the office, this needs to be refrigerated, I can’t carry this to their bunk can I leave it over there… It never ends!  Sometimes you feel bad saying no!  Being a parent and having two of my kids at camp I get texts, calls from friends asking can u save me spots under the big tree on boys side or on the grass etc. it’s insane! I’m a nice guy and I try to do my best but sometimes it’s hard to say no especially when you are supposed to stay at your post!  When we do finally move away and get the ok from the owners  we get rushed, knocked over  and pushed to the side.  But, I love it!

    July 16, 2014 • 5:01 am •
  8. […] So, here we are again. In the next two weeks, many of us will be heading to camp to visit our precious kids. After the send off, we have been writing letters, scanning pictures and have possibly even been sitting in front of our computers watching and waiting to see if our kid passes by a video camera installed at a camp. I apologize in advance if you are a camp who participates in this kind of ridiculousness but really? A VIDEO CAMERA? Yes, see here: HERE. […]

    July 16, 2014 • 4:05 pm •
  9. […] So, here we are again. In the next two weeks, many of us will be heading to camp to visit our precious kids. After the send off, we have been writing letters, scanning pictures and have possibly even been sitting in front of our computers watching and waiting to see if our kid passes by a video camera installed at a camp. I apologize in advance if you are a camp who participates in this kind of ridiculousness but really? A VIDEO CAMERA? Yes, see here: HERE. […]

    July 16, 2014 • 4:48 pm •
  10. […] So, here we are again. In the next two weeks, many of us will be heading to camp to visit our precious kids. After the send off, we have been writing letters, scanning pictures and have possibly even been sitting in front of our computers watching and waiting to see if our kid passes by a video camera installed at a camp. I apologize in advance if you are a camp who participates in this kind of ridiculousness but really? A VIDEO CAMERA? Yes, see here: HERE. […]

    July 16, 2014 • 9:08 pm •
  11. Thought you’d appreciate my 12 year old son’s visiting day list:
    A LOT of candy-check
    My Catchers Mitt-check
    Shoe Magic Shoe cleaner-check (never say no to anything with the word cleaner in it)
    1 pair of Nike Roshe Runs -NOPE
    1 pair of Nike Hyperdunks-NOPE
    American Eagle Tank Tops-check
    Black Nike Socks-check
    More stationary-check
    Gatorade-check
    Mio Drink powder-check
    Sour Skittles-check (I guess he thinks they won’t be include in the A LOT of Candy category
    Powerade-check but I’m only buying one or the other not both
    Baked by Melissa-we got cupcakes but going against the grain this year
    M&M’s for the office-haven’t decided yet
    Something for the office staff-check
    Cup O Noodles-check
    Oreos-check
    Oranges-check (never say no to the healthy stuff)

    In addition we did order the Treat House treats, we’re bringing all of his Sports Illustrated’s, an outfit he has to try on because he has a Bar Mitzvah the day we get home from vacation, food for us, backgammon and a Derek Jeter R2SPECT T-shirt.

    So all that other “stuff” that people make for campers…he’s just not into it.  It’s all about the food and the style when you’re 12.

    Oh…our visiting day isn’t til next weekend, but we’re ready! Can’t wait.
    One more thing…we don’t run.  We sit and he comes to us. We’re too tired from prepping, driving and schlepping to run! 

    July 18, 2014 • 9:12 am •
  12. I think I need to see additional information about the theme

    September 22, 2014 • 2:23 pm •
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