Jul 29, 2015
Oy! Here Comes Visiting Day
Illustration Photo

From the COLlive inbox: A mother of youngsters at overnight summer camp explains why she dreads the monthly Visiting Day.

By a caring parent

Like all parents, I love my children dearly and I miss them terribly when they are away at summer camp. I wait eagerly for their once weekly phone calls. I try to send them emails. I send packages. And I stalk the camp's website often for pictures of my (hopefully) smiling, happy campers.

And then visiting day comes around...

For days before this crucial Sunday, I obsess as to whether my children will be scarred for life if we don't make the over 7 hour journey to see them for 4 hours --- when they left less than 2 weeks ago!

Yes, I miss my children. Yes, I would love to see them. But isn't part of fostering independence and letting your child go, actually letting them go?

If your child is still struggling to acclimate by the time visiting day rolls around, then it's better for them (and you) if you don't see them. And if they are already acclimated and having the time of their lives --well then, let's be honest here-- they don't need to see you.

According to some camp directors, if there is no visiting day, the staff won't get tips and they'll be forced to raise the pay which will result in an increase of camp fees for the parents.

Maybe 10 years ago that was the case. But today? If we can PayPal our kids' canteen money, we can certainly PayPal tips as well. Or even send the money with our kids. In my experience, however, parents who want to tip, will find a way to do so, visiting day or not. And those who don't tip... won't, in any case.

There's also the time and expense to take into account. The gas, tolls, food, not to mention time – all of this adds up, and not everyone can easily afford it. Some people fly in for visiting day. Others drive all day and most of the night. Still others sit on a hot, stuffy bus.

But is it really necessary?

Perhaps there could be a "visiting day" between trips if your child is there for both months. Or a set time to FaceTime or Skype for parents and their children.

Isn't it time we explore the possibility of doing away with visiting day?

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Opinions and Comments
finally someone speaking up! fully agree with you!
(7/29/2015 9:11:53 PM)
Couldn't agree more...
And if I didn't have all the related travel expenses I could afford to tip more....
(7/29/2015 9:13:39 PM)
Unbelievable here u have a chance to physically show ur kid/s how much you love them and yes the yetzer hara will give you sooo many reasons not to however in this day and age and even with ALL possible technology there is NOTHING like physically visiting your child/ern on visiting day!!!
(7/29/2015 9:13:59 PM)
I'm all for it
i agree with u 100% although this year i was actually quite happy that i shlepped out for visiting day. In my sons bunkhouse someone graffitied some ugly, nasty, not tzniusdik words on the walls. I told the HC about it and asked him to get someone to paint over it, which he did. If i wud not have bben there, the boys would have seen that daily. You never know what negative impact it can have on a child.
(7/29/2015 9:18:58 PM)
Couldn't have said it better. Thanks for posting your thoughts.
(7/29/2015 9:19:18 PM)
I think you got it all wrong
No one is forcing you to go and make the far trip to see your children but the kids are so happy to be able to show their parents how happy they are at camp and how well they're doing where they sleep, play, eat, and learn, something which cannot be done over Skype. Most parents want to speak with the counselors and hear mouth to hear from them that your child is having A blast. And the joy the staff get from receiving the tip money from the parent is not the same then PayPal. It looks to me that your only concern is money which should be taken into account when shipped your children off to camp that you'll have to tip them. And if it's truly so hard for you to take the long trip to see your children then I'm sure you can let them know that you can only child for the first month...
(7/29/2015 9:26:04 PM)
What does it have anything to do with love?
I totally agree. I go because it's accepted. But I think once between sessions is a great idea.
(7/29/2015 9:33:09 PM)
I do agree with your points
however, I remember visiting my son in an overnight camp where he had no pillow and had a terrible ear ache (and had a hard time hearing me). If I wasn't there to check up on him, I'm afraid to think of the effects.
(7/29/2015 9:33:52 PM)
yes agree
if u send a few favorite nash and a note then probably u can get away with it......I always found it sooo draining by the time I came home...
(7/29/2015 9:35:35 PM)
I couldn't agree more!
I think it's better for the child to not see their parents because for some kids that's what will make them homesick. As far as tips, my child is in Toronto and I paid mine online like I did for everything else.
(7/29/2015 9:36:10 PM)
I personally miss my kids after not seeing them for two weeks.
I want to see them.
Even though the 12 hour drive each way is a nightmare...
(7/29/2015 9:40:13 PM)
Lol #3
Parents have a chance every day to show their kids they love them. Visiting day has nothing to do with love. I love the way its decided that if you visit ur kids u love them but if u don't u dont. It's the most rediculous thing.
While we're having this discussion about visiting day... I think we should do away with camps and summer vacation too.
(7/29/2015 9:42:19 PM)
to #3
so why send them away? just keep them home
(7/29/2015 9:43:18 PM)
zeimust also to visit?
I fully agree. Money saved for tips. Its a hoax to get the kids nosh so the counselors can get some.
for some familys it is the grand summer outing but for must its a drag and wwould be nice if camps offer special activities etc. so all are happy.
(7/29/2015 9:44:24 PM)
Very true
totally agree. And I always feel so bad for those bunkmates that aren't getting any visitors.
(7/29/2015 9:45:35 PM)
Honestly, after working in an overnight camp, visiting day is destructive for everyone. The campers who get visitors wait all day for them to come, and then when they leave, they cry. The campers who don't receive visitors cry and are upset because they don't have visitors and there aren't a whole lot of activities planned for the day. by the end of the day, everyone is exhausted, and you need to cheer up the campers because it was an upsetting day.
I also worked in an overnight camp with no visiting day, and it was awesome! there was no day wasted for parents to shlep and everyone to go crazy.
as for tips, send them with your kids when they go up to camp.
(7/29/2015 9:46:31 PM)
You took the words out of my mouth. Also, kids that dont have visitors, get depressed.
(7/29/2015 9:52:19 PM)
I think it's time to put an end to visiting day. It will better for the kids and parents. The problem is that you feel bad for our children not to feel the odd one out Without any visitors.
No visiting day will remove the stress from the parents and children. And perhaps maybe even from The camp. Tips will go either way.
(7/29/2015 10:00:58 PM)
100% agree
A day of bonding with your child and rest of family is not best for on visiting day. Choose another day and spend the entire day with your child instead of half the day driving and five hours with them. Only kids that can Hansel a month away should go to camp
(7/29/2015 10:02:49 PM)
E you n me
#3 needs a hug and some professional help.

This post is right on target. ..totally agreed.
(7/29/2015 10:09:17 PM)
To #3
You can "physically" show your kids their love with a package, a letter, a phone call. Most of all, they are "physically" experiencing an amazing summer for which you are dishing out thousands of dollars that you earned through your "physical" sweat and toil. And when they get home after a month you will give them a good, long hug and a big smile, with a cup of milk and a plate of cookies on the side.
(7/29/2015 10:10:43 PM)
staff in camp gan yisroel parksville ny get only $250 for two months of 15+ hours of work.... minimum wage....
(7/29/2015 10:11:53 PM)
been saying this for years
and just in case our kids are loving camp they become terribly homesick by the time visiting day is over!
(7/29/2015 10:12:31 PM)
the fact is that staff in a camp with more parents visiting get more tips
(7/29/2015 10:13:10 PM)
Visiting Day
I understand where you are coming from but visiting day is not only about tips and canteen money. Part of allowing your child to grow is enabling them to show you the place they have made their home for the summer, visiting them on their own "turf" where they make their own bed and eat their meals and learn and play together with their friends . My son waits cries his first couple days of camp and when we left him on visiting day but the few precious hours we had and the smile when we arrived the pride he displayed when he showed us around his place ... Yes he cried when we pulled away but the next day I saw pics of him smiling from ear to ear . The distance may be hard to travel but well worth it. Im shocked that any parent wouldn't recognize that
(7/29/2015 10:14:07 PM)
while we are on this topic...
..when will the camps realize that junk food, soda and candy is not very "In style" anymore. We work hard to give our kids healthy food and its down the drain at the canteen in camp. No reason to be selling laffy taffys,jaw breakers etc... Not necessary
(7/29/2015 10:14:52 PM)
What ever floats your boat
Pointless article many ppl send tips with freinds/kids if you dont want the hassle dont go there is no plot here to get you! lol!
(7/29/2015 10:14:56 PM)
so we need visiting day to show our kids we love them?!? I agree if we really loved them we would vote for abolishing visiting day. Loving our children is making sure they get what they need and not what they want.
(7/29/2015 10:22:33 PM)
High cost
I agree that visiting day cost a fortune, tips anywhere between $100-$150 a kid per month.
For people not in the mountains, need to travel.
Gas and tolls about $100 if in CH going to Catskills or Poconos.
Food for day, higher than usual as we're on the road all day. With 2 kids in Camp, it cost $400-$500 for a single day!
I love my kids and miss them immensely, but an extra $1000 after spending about $4000 each on camp already, it's way too much.
(7/29/2015 10:24:15 PM)
You want to know who really dreads visiting day., I will tell you-the couples who have gone 10 years and still no children or the families that cannot afford sleep away camp and have to send their children to day camp, what a spoiled brat the writer is, you ought to count your Blessings instead of wining about tolls and gas,(but camp tuition, cloths etc you can manage) how about the parents who visit their children on a daily basis in the hospital,maybe your would like to exchange with them, chas v sholem.Most parents treasure the opportunity, I used to fly to Montreal from Crown Heights Sunday AM , rent a car and then drive to Pardes Chana and then to the boys camp and then either back to PC or to the airport and those days remain cherished treasured menories
(7/29/2015 10:28:16 PM)
I think we should be aloud to skip or facetime our kids we were blessed with technology for a reason and I think the camps should really consider it
(7/29/2015 10:34:50 PM)
A Parent
Our son was never miserable in camp, except ..... at the end of visiting day. (But if we didn't come he would probably also be miserable 'cause "everybody else came"...)
(7/29/2015 10:38:05 PM)
my feelings exactly
I tell my kids, if they want to see me for visiting day they could just stay home for the summer.
(7/29/2015 10:40:26 PM)
Skype and Facetime
I tried giving my son a hug on Skype but it didn't work. Neither dis Facetime work when I tried to kiss my daughter. Maybe one day we will be able to, but not this summer.
(7/29/2015 10:43:58 PM)
to #3
What camp do you work for?
(7/29/2015 10:45:06 PM)
My thoughts exactly!!! Dreading visiting day and the additional $500 it's adding to our already exorbitant summer expenses. I love my kids, but a phone call would be fine!
(7/29/2015 10:52:43 PM)
Another visiting day
They make the trip each summer. It is a very long drive. It costs time and money, but they do it each year. They wouldn't miss this visiting day. You see, in mid-summer, it is their child's yohrtzeit and each summer they visit his grave. Oh, I am sorry to mention this kind of visiting day. After all, you are complaining about camp's visiting day. But maybe it is a good idea to mention and remind you to be grateful and treasure that you can spend another visiting day with your child at camp. When you visit, look at your child and think of those that cannot look at their child, only at the stone with his name on it.
(7/29/2015 10:55:58 PM)
A mother
I'm counting the days to visit my daughter. Really....this is a new low.
(7/29/2015 10:55:58 PM)
Was planning to write the same thing...
Eceryone looses from visitong day. The kids whi have visitors are homesick when they leave, the parents who go are exhausted and spend even more money the the alteady huge expense if camp amd barely see there child, the parents who dont go feel guilty (many cant because they are not on driving distance and still feel miserable) and the kids who dont get visitors....this is only done un the charedi camps, why??
(7/29/2015 11:03:21 PM)
I second this article
As a mother of kids that were happy in camp UNTIL we showed up, I could not agree more. Once they see us, they get homesick. Some years it's been a problem. It certainly was an issue for me when I went to camp 45 years ago too!
(7/29/2015 11:04:46 PM)
Which camp will be brave?
Waiting for the nachshon to stop visiting day and save us all
(7/29/2015 11:06:57 PM)
u just don't wanna c your kid!!
(7/29/2015 11:07:13 PM)
there r so many ways we show our kids how much we love them, what makes u think they will think we love them any less if they do away with visiting day?!?! In fact I think the whole visiting day buissines is more for the parents who r looking for a day of entertainment!! As a camper, I was fine after visiting day but did cry myself 2 sleep (and was in good company). As a counselor I had 2 console my tearful campers. So u say, take the chance to show ur kids u love them?! Then get rid of visiting day for once and for all!!!
(7/29/2015 11:10:23 PM)
To #3
Stop Hacking A'chanik.

Seriously, are you telling parents that THIS is their "chance to physically show ur kid/s how much you love them"?

The parents that brought this child in to this world. The parents that dress, feed and educate etc...The parents that sent the child to camp in the first place?

Your comment makes me sad.
(7/29/2015 11:11:45 PM)
to #3
If you really need to find away to show your kids how much you love them, why don't you keep them home with you for 2 months.
(7/29/2015 11:12:07 PM)
I disagree
How can you say such a thing for most kids they are so excited to see their parents
I'm sorry to say you don't realize how much of an affect you have on your children if you writing this article the smallest thing you do for you child makes him feel loved and makes him grow and for sure visiting him
Especially if it's his first year in camp not because he is homesick but because he or she wants to show his parents how well he is doing, introducing his friends showing them around camp etc
I hope after you read my comment you take back what you said
Visiting day is very important
Ask your children
(7/29/2015 11:14:04 PM)
i totally agree
(7/29/2015 11:21:32 PM)
To number 3
This article happens to make a lot of sense! The way to show love to your kids is not by visiting them on visiting day. It is, as this parent writes , a nice thing to get to see your child but is it so completely necessary?
(7/29/2015 11:22:13 PM)
To no. 3
Maybe it's the yetzer hora who wants you to go and make the trip?! Perhaps, u're natural instincts are in fact the yetzer. This mother correctly doesn't rely on instinct, and instead ponders the merits, versus the downside of making the trip and tried to come to a logical conclusion. If indeed there is "Nothing like visiting your children" even after being put into this context, please explain why so we can all share in your conviction!
(7/29/2015 11:25:06 PM)
to #3
Hm...I wonder what your kids would say if you said: sweetheart, it cost me $50 in expenses, and about $100 in time I could be working....should I come visit you or would you rather have $75 in cash?
Try it.
(7/29/2015 11:32:34 PM)
Visitors day is a time that shows your children you care. And the effort is well worth it
(7/29/2015 11:33:05 PM)
Enjoy your kids more when they are young - they will pay you back
Imagine yourself old staying overnight in the nursary home /elderly home for a month , a year ...... You have everything you need and even know how to skype your relatives .....
Did you ever see the eyes of your bubby /zeidy when you came to see them for 30 minutes .... Do you know that they are feeling after you left and how others are jealous that no one came to visit them .....
Think about it , how it's important to your kid to be visited by you , to share some moments of happiness and sadness with you ....
(7/29/2015 11:36:54 PM)
There is no excuse not to visit your child on visiting day trust me you aren't doing them any favors
(7/29/2015 11:42:16 PM)
Cgi Parksville
That's why you should be sending your children to Cgi Parksville because it's close to crown heights and you can go up whenever you would like and for those that don't live in NY or surrounding area at some point throughout the summer make it a point to be in NY for something and go to camp for a bit. But the main point is that Cgi Parksville is the way to go.
(7/29/2015 11:44:48 PM)
????Don't kids need some fun??? Stay home & what, May I ask???????????wouldn't be better that Pearants should lay thousands of $ so that "THIER" kids will have fun of a life time????Wake up!!!!!!
(7/29/2015 11:46:45 PM)
Back in the day...
I went to camp, verrry far out of town, a looong time ago. I had the time of my life, grew tremendously in many ways including in Yiddishkeit, had a counselor that changed my life, made lasting friends -- all the good stuff. The camp had two unusual rules: 1) Absolutely no visits from parents or relatives, which meant no visiting day, and 2) No Color War. Let's just focus on visiting day: everybody survived and thrived without it. If a kid was too homesick to be in camp, he/she went home within the first day or two of camp. Telephone calls were also banned, even for counselors. The head staff felt any contact with folks outside of camp would pull the campers and young staff (I was already an asst. counselor at age 14) out of the rhythm of camp, and I think they were right. Visiting my own kids on visiting day was always tremendously hard. I don't travel well, and about 7 hours in the car, all in one day, was way too much. Tips, as someone else said, can be paid up front or by PayPal or whatever. I say, abolish visiting day.
(P.S. on Color War: It seems to me that the counselors work so hard on it that they aren't sleeping for days on end, so that can't be great for the kids. The counselors whose bunks win have worked so hard that they can practically post the victory on their shidduch resumes. If this is the case, something is wrong with Color War, don't you think?)
(7/29/2015 11:47:17 PM)
It's completely true!
I agree - thanks for speaking up!
(7/29/2015 11:57:45 PM)
Part of the wonderful camp experience is the also the memory of visitng day. For a parent or relative to visit means so much to the child. They wait eagerly to show off how neat their bunk is for the day, who their friends are, where they sit for learning class and of course their way around canteen.
Do Not Hesitate! They need to know that their lives and experiences are important enough to you that you have made the effort to travel. IF it is truly impossible, send someone on your behalf. This is not to be compared with tipping or shopping. This is part of their Chinuch!!! What could be worth more than that????????
(7/30/2015 12:08:13 AM)
Bingo #54
...but don't let the secret out!!!! CGI Parksville is the best! The rule about not sending food is awesome!!! My son loves that camp, talks about it all year! Visiting day is actually fun. If I can't make it I arrange for a relative to take him to their colony or stay at camp it's only six hours they always have activities to do they can call home , it's perfectly fine!
(7/30/2015 12:20:51 AM)
cant agree more
100%on target
(7/30/2015 1:03:25 AM)
My parents didn't make visiting day but sent some nosh with a nearby relative who did. So Popcorn became my Dad and laughy-taffy was my Mom. They thought they were doing me favors but the money they saved I am now spending on therapy all these years later,
(7/30/2015 1:20:01 AM)
So True!
Lets Not Stop Till Something Happens!
(7/30/2015 1:25:01 AM)
All growed up
My kids are all married & I still shudder remembering Visiting Day. The traffic - often we were stuck for hours. The stress - we HAD to be home at a decent hour because we had to work the next day. The expense - we had sent them off with enough junk to feed the entire camp - so WHY did we have to raid Shoprite after 2 weeks??

The writer writes right! I am so relieved those days are over - I went to visit my grandson once or twice & the memories.... much as I was thrilled to see him, & he was happy to see me (& my wallet!) I just don't want that stress again. Too old. So now I hug & kiss them goodbye, give them plenty of spending money, & let their parents have the misery.
(7/30/2015 1:27:10 AM)
Sakana Mamish
Driving through the night to Canada is dangerous, driving back from Canada on no sleep is dangerous. What will it take to stop camps from putting parents in danger by having visiting day on a Sunday when most families can't leave home until after Shabbos. If your camp is in Canada and most of the kids are not from Canada, cancel visiting day.
(7/30/2015 1:36:24 AM)
To #37 - you made me cry
I am crying. We sometimes forget the reality of others.
(7/30/2015 2:26:24 AM)
Great idea!!!!
I totally agree with the writer. When I went to camp we were not even allowed to make phone calls because after speaking to mummy the tears would start rolling. Every rest hour we would have to write a letter home. Believe me it was a healthy way of doing things. No need for guilt and if there was a serious problem, naturally the parents would be notified.
Moshiach NOW!!!
(7/30/2015 3:51:14 AM)
Cut the hassle
What we did every yr was leave CH at 6 am to get to parksville after breakfast / davening, take our kids out for brunch and leave by 2 pm thus cutting out all traffic,avoided seeing our sons councillors so no tips ( we paid a fortune in fees- let the camps pay the councillors decently ) lines in restaurants , We missed all the other parents so it was a family only day, and cut our traveling time in half, back home for 6 pm!
(7/30/2015 3:51:18 AM)
to no.61
What u write is scary but after reading all the comments for and against, it must be therapeutic for you to see that your parents meant well and didn't love you any less than those who visited their kids, they just didn't understand the importance of it. All parents make mistakes. On my mothers deathbed she apologized for all the mistakes she made. I answered that if I wasn't a parent myself I might have seen room for forgiving but having now myself to make crucial difficult risky life changing decisions on a regular basis, and maybe a different one for each child, I told her there wasn't anything to forgive.
(7/30/2015 4:06:45 AM)
agree & disagree
agree it was heart wrenching for me when all the parents grandparents etc. visited the kids my parents lived across country. My only consolation I could call home pay phone wasn't locked.
Disagree that you should do with out visiting day. You know what would end up happening every day would be visiting day. Staff and campers would go bananas.
(7/30/2015 4:37:31 AM)
Parents who were campers
I venture to bet that those in favor of visiting day we're once campers themselves. Those against have never experienced it. I'm a former camper who wishes my parents traveled cross country (although not expected). But I see the logic of no visiting day.
(7/30/2015 6:11:16 AM)
No reason for personal attacks
Wow, some of these comments have me shaking my head. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with the author's point of view and explaining why, but the shaming is absolutely uncalled for. You have no idea who this person is, yet you feel free to speculate about how spoiled they are, how much money they do or don't have and how much they love their child. Also, telling them they should be happy they have a child and are not visiting a hospital or a grave is out of line. I think it goes without saying that most people are thankful for their blessings and this person was merely writing about an aspect of summer camp. You can disagree without going overboard. Plenty of people managed to make their point in a respectful manner.
(7/30/2015 7:26:24 AM)
To #14
"Money saved for tips. Its a hoax to get the kids nosh so the counselors can get some." First of all, write more clearly. Second of all, if I did understand those 2 sentences I think you are implying that without visiting day you would save money by not having to tip the counselors, waiters and learning teachers . Now, I have a big problem with that. I myself have not had any of those jobs but I heard from many friends that have that it is not all about the money, obviously the bigger the tip the happier they are, but it is about showing that you appreciate their work. If a counselor/learning teacher/waiter is not tipped he feels like you don't appreciate the work he has done and don't realise how hard he worked to give your child his best.
So please, don't be so cheap, even if you don't have much which I know is the case of many especially shluchim, $5/10 still shows you care.
(7/30/2015 8:28:42 AM)
Go #71!
I agree with you 100! And you said it in such a nice smart way.
(7/30/2015 8:33:45 AM)
visiting day dilemma
We live far away from camp. Often visiting day is during the 9 days. We would have to spend Shabbos away too in order to arrive at the camp by Sunday. Not a simple thing. Nor did we have relatives each year who could go instead. Did my kids suffer? Not sure. Did they understand? Not sure. So for us eliminating visiting day would put my kids on the same level as all the new Yorkers or Canadians. I did in the older days write letters almost every single day and now email many times each week. Just to show them they are always with me.
(7/30/2015 8:40:15 AM)
I don't go for visiting i let my kids know in advance that we will not be coming...my deal with my kids is we send a package and money and they love that win win...we also send tips via mail for counselor and waiters...the shlep we been doing for years was crazy....i do agree camp has to do skype once a week...they should have a computer room for skype..
(7/30/2015 8:44:50 AM)
To #26
Enjoying one's self I hope is still in style.. Fact is, kids like sweet things. If you want to be Michelle Obama and start caring for everybody's health that's fine but I hope you don't succeed.
I understand that it ruins the way you are trying to raise your kids but you can't deprive all the other kids of their desires because a small percentage are being brought up on a healthy diet. I don't know what the solution for your kids is but it would be selfish to change the whole canteen to suit a few parents' wishes.
(7/30/2015 8:47:22 AM)
To #55
He was being sarcastic! Ever heard of making fun of someone using sarcasm?
(7/30/2015 8:50:42 AM)
To #54
Just letting you know that that drives the staff crazy.
(7/30/2015 8:52:05 AM)
#14 reply to #72 from
1) I APOLOGIZ for not proofreading title is VISITING ZEIDI 2) Fully agree that staff deserve and should be tipped. I said money saved can be used for bigger tips. 3) Counselor nosh comment was just a joke.
(7/30/2015 8:53:49 AM)
People don't need to travel long distance
When I was a child in camp only parents who were local came on visiting day. Why do people feel they need to drive 12+ hours. When my kids were in cgi Montreal we would go for Shabbos to relatives, and on the way back stop somewhere along the route in lake george etc and make it a family vacation. The only objection I have to visiting day is when no activities are planned. Once you've seen the bunk and met the counselors there's nothing left to do if you don't want to take your child off grounds. How about shows or a carnival or something that parents and kids can enjoy.
(7/30/2015 9:03:35 AM)
To #64
Check #54 or take a plane, or drive earlier
(7/30/2015 9:10:40 AM)
Some parents don't care about their kids
To the author of this article;

Some parents all year have nothing to do with your children, u most likely make it sound that u do, and u most likely get the finest tutors, music lessons, art lessons, gymnastics etc.

U would rather send ur kids to the pizze shop daily, over making them a healthy and filling supper daily, u would rather sit in ur room and read books, browse the Internet, watch movies and read the new York times, over spending proper quality time with ur children!!

As nixon said "ask not what ur country can do for you, ask what u can do for your country!!"

It's time to realize that u need to build a strong relationship with ur children, and doing so is not always easy.

It's not all about money

I remember when I was in camp, and a fellow camper-clasmate parents both arrived by bus, for they couldn't afford a car, they did not bring along tips for the staff, for they couldn't afford, they did not bring boxes of cereal, water bottles, pickles, chips, fancy chocolate bars, or anything the like, and today I must say this boy grew up, runs BH a very successful business, is extremely close to his parents, with daily visits to their home, and amazingly strength of supprt to his today's elder parents physically, financially and emotionally, I would see this particular class mate of mine, on countless ocations driving his parents gocery shopping, taking them to the doctor, and in Sundays going on outings with them along with his wife and children!!!!

I wish you that your kids with be as close to you as this youngan is,

show devotion now,

show love now

Show ut children u really care for them more than ur self

(7/30/2015 9:10:58 AM)
From a bubby
FINALLY FINALLY everyone is coming to the same conclusion I arrived at over twenty years ago
I'll never forget the sounds of my little ones crying as I left. I'll never forget the anxious faces of the kids waiting by the road in emunah for their late parents. And those that never arrived?? How sad
Perhaps for two months it MIGHT be a good idea. But after two weeks??? We are not even missed properly yet and will cause major trauma when we leave as the counselor so aptly wrote
please camp directors. Read these comments then act accordingly

Ps I was appalled to see what my grandchildren are being offered today in the vending machines. That alone should cause a parent uprising!!!
Let's hope the camps will listen

(7/30/2015 9:13:23 AM)
It is important to visit children to see how they are doing. aspecially with younger ones.
What's if someone or something is bothering them they won't nesaseraly tell you over the phone .
Also you get to see things for your self and sspeak to the counslers.
If you can't make it so don't go but those that can should
(7/30/2015 9:14:35 AM)
may we all waste money in such pleasurable ways
sending your daughter away for a year to sem complain about the costs and bring her home for pesach 6 weeks before the sem year finished . does that make sense?
(7/30/2015 9:16:36 AM)
Agree with 64&71
We should think of the dangers of causing parents to drive in the 3 weeks or even worse near the 9 days
Driving through the night
And than returning the next day means
Some parents have not slept properly for 48 hours
(7/30/2015 9:28:53 AM)
Camps listen up
Majority of parents agree to do away with visiting day!
(7/30/2015 9:42:49 AM)
A op-ed about how the parents shouldn’t be troubled by visiting day, with the long drive and extra money on gas etc., seems all about how it affects the parent.

Focus on how life impacts your child rather than how it impacts you.

I am not an expert in child psychology so I will allow those who understand children’s emotional behavior to respond to the question of whether visiting day is helpful or detrimental to the child.

Thinking an half hour a day about your children’s chinuch is also time consuming, yet the Rebbe writes in Hayom-Yom that “Every Jew is bound to think about the education of his children for a half hour every day and do all in his power and even more than in his power to ensure that his children follow the path they have been educated in.

Let’s continue this conversation about visiting day, but remain focused on what’s best for our children rather than what’s best for the parents.

Wishing us all Chassideshe Nachas from ALL our children!
(7/30/2015 9:52:22 AM)
In Bad Taste
The people who are bringing up couples who can't have children, can't afford camp, and (unbelievably) have lost a child are way out of bounds. Those situations don't compare at all. It's like you're trying to use any dirty tactic you can find to make a parent feel guilty enough to go to visiting day.
(7/30/2015 10:01:21 AM)
To all those that don't agree.. MUST READ
ALL / MOST that say we should have it, 1. are in the country or shorter drive - not such a big hassle 2. Have the freedom of having a bit more time on their hands.. FACT: After visiting day look around and MANY children are not with smiles as their parents left... with FACETIME for CAMPER / COUNSELOR you could see both, your child and also PAYPAL the staff after talking to them..! THINK OF IT a HUGE Benefit!!
(7/30/2015 10:09:17 AM)
It is difficult and sad for kids when there Is visiting day and their parents don't come. But of there was no visiting everybody would be fine . Kids could show their parents around camp when they come pick them up. If you would like to create a treasured memory for your child you can make pick up day be that wonderful bonding time day. Take them out for pizza and a trip on the way home or if you can't pick them up make them a huge party when they return.
(7/30/2015 10:10:46 AM)
children @ camp
35 years ago when kids were send to camp at 5 years old, visiting day was needed, nowadays, most kids go to camp at an average age of 10, for one month, IF THEY ARE OLD ENOUGH TO BE AWAY, THEY DONT NEED VISITING DAY.
(7/30/2015 10:32:44 AM)
Story from over 25 years ago: We understood we were NOT physically able to visit our children in camp. We also understood the impact of NOT being with them on that "important" day. We considered the available choices and came up with the only solutions in those days...either we sent them to an out-of-state camp that did not have a visiting day (which by the way was unfortunately more expensive) or had them attend our local day camps at their Yeshivas or went to a bungalow as a family. Every year was a scramble to take all factors into consideration...each child's sensitivities and needs, the family budget, our own health, etc. Visiting day was only one of many issues we weighed.and yes we did put it in the equation for all the reasons mentioned above...Did we make the perfect decisions always? Who knows but I remember we did involve our children in open discussions about visiting day along the way. We understood systems aren't changed overnight and we would just have to come up with the best plan for all of us year by year...Now I see not much is so different since then:-(. P.S. We WERE always grateful to have any options at all!
(7/30/2015 12:02:12 PM)
campers prespective:
wow how ignorant!! coming from a mother who pashut cant shlep to go see her son, is the only reason you sent your son to camp is so that you will have some peace and quiet for 2 months not having to deal with waking your kids up for school ect?

And bec you don't want to, that doesn't mean all other kids in camp have to suffer with no cereal and pickles for the rest of the summer. and ya the reason why no one is happy after visiting day is beacause maybe camp isnt all that fun,your coming from a perspective oh camp is fun and when parents come it just ruins the streak, maybe kids have to see their parents in order to make it the next 2-4 weeks ya there sad for a day then there back to same old camp schedule.

IN CONCLUSION:put yourself in the campers mind he is 10 years old away from his parent with a 18 year old educating him and forcing him to bang on the table by bentching ,once in a while is refreshing to see that there is still normal ppl who actually care.
(7/30/2015 12:09:17 PM)
leave visit day alone
How about coming when we want
(7/30/2015 12:39:01 PM)
keep school open
Yeshivas and chedurim should stay open. We can have father and sons, mothers and daughter learning days in school.

This conversation about visiting day (although correct under the current unfortunate situation), is a distraction. Think out of the box. It's a shame that every yeshiva and chader closes its door for three months every year. Half a year the kids talk about this past summer and before you know it (chanukah), they have their heads in next summer.
(7/30/2015 12:51:01 PM)
I agree with #56 and several other comments
Bottom line: If you show your child throughout the year that you care about his or her day-to-day experiences, then you can set your boundaries about what is too much for you and still have your child feel grateful, rather than deprived. As an example, we send one of our daughters to a small, frum arts camp with a 2-week program. Obviously we aren't going to make an extra 8+-hour drive each way to see her performance, especially since we drive her there and pick her up! She takes pictures and videos with her camera of the grounds, her friends, the performances, etc.; and when she comes back home we spend hours looking at and commenting on her experiences. We're bonding without exhaustion or expense!

BTW, this camp has no color war, which to my daughter is one of its best attributes!
(7/30/2015 12:53:46 PM)
To all those that don't agree.. MUST READ
ALL / MOST that say we should have it, 1. are in the country or shorter drive - not such a big hassle 2. Have the freedom of having a bit more time on their hands.. FACT: After visiting day look around and MANY children are not with smiles as their parents left... with FACETIME for CAMPER / COUNSELOR you could see both, your child and also PAYPAL the staff after talking to them..! THINK OF IT a HUGE Benefit!!
(7/30/2015 1:02:52 PM)
You think visiting day is for parents to see their children? It's for the tips!
(7/30/2015 1:24:41 PM)
I'm sorry
I'm a parent and can't wait for visiting day! I don't think I would send my kids away if I can't see them for a month! Yes, it is expensive and far and a hassle but its so rewarding, my kids don't cry when we leave, they're happy we came and makes it easier on them. Plus we make great memories! Please don't stop visiting day...
(7/30/2015 1:58:48 PM)
I would like to thank all the concerned mothers that have all been in a boys gan yisroel,for deciding what all the campers in camp don't need to see there parents BC its unconvinnient for you to go for visiting day ayasherkoach!!
(7/30/2015 2:01:37 PM)
Completely WRONG
Visiting day is not a must if you want u can go why should all camps close visiting day b/c of a few parants who feel obligated to visit. U feel your son will feel left out? Tell them before your not able to come. Oh they won't be able to handle it? Keep them home. What about fun? Send them to day camp it's really not a big deal I think camps should continue visiting day for parants who are able to come or WANT to come. From a yeshiva Bocher who out of 8 months of camp got visitors twice
(7/30/2015 2:06:12 PM)
to 89...absolutely WRONG
I have been in camp recently (from 2014 as my last and 2009 as my 1st) and its not true campers seem more happy after visiting day how could a parent know? 30 min after they leave he is fine yes when you leave he will be upset but so to when he leaves for camp he is also upset, its the fact that he is leaving you now. (ps. I all wayswent to parksville barely got visiters yet was perfectly fine my parents always told me b/4 that they cant come.)
(7/30/2015 2:22:24 PM)
I'm sorry but your kids will always need you, even in adulthood. Even if they are fine and loving camp, they still would want to see you. This is a chance to share with them and see how they are experiencing camp. It's a great lesson in communication. I'd hate to see your kids rationalizing whether to visit you when your old since, your obviously fine and it's just too inconvenient. Parenting is not a choice!
Be honest do you send your kids to camp for their enjoyment or for yours?
(7/30/2015 2:50:50 PM)
im so sick and tired of every article being about $$$
Add visiting day to the cost of camp if your worried about the tolls. Don't tip the counselors if you have no funds. But don't short change your kids.
I'm sooo tired of every negative article, cost of schools, cost of dating, cost of being frum. These are ALL choices we make by having large families. I'm in the same boat. I live penny to penny. But I don't complain, because it's my choice to send my child to camp or school. No one has forced me. And the summers I can't afford camp, I just Google free things to do. You'll be surprised at how much your children actually want to spend time alone with you. Every summer I keep one child home and they LOVE the quality time.
(7/30/2015 2:58:22 PM)
Out of towners
For the numerous shluchim and other out of towners who need to do long drives to bring their kids to the bus to camp and to pick up, visiting is one extra long trip that really means driving every two weeks which is too much

Why so all those kids whose parents cNt come need to sit through visiting day?
(7/30/2015 4:57:34 PM)
camper's perspective
i've been a camper for several years already and i've never seen a camper cry at the end of visiting day, unless they are having a bad year. visiting day is a good thing, and should not be abolished. to visit or not, is to each his own. but visiting day is generally productive and positive. if you want, you can ask your child what heshe feels.
(7/30/2015 6:27:49 PM)
a camper
visiting day should not be abolished. if you dont want to visit, DONT. no one is forcing you too.
(7/30/2015 7:20:32 PM)
Been there done that
The very name of this article is disturbing. Oy?? Parenting is a privilege, and a responsibility. While I understand that visiting day puts us parents out, there is so much to be gained by making the effort. It is understandable that sometimes, it may not be possible for parents to travel such long distances for personal reasons, but just because "it's a pain" is a poor excuse to not go spend time with our kids.

Just to clarify- I have B"H spent many visiting days with my kids, and have been stressed out about all the traveling, either on an overnight bus/car ride, which took a few days to recover from. But it's worth it.

Sacrifice and devotion is a fundamental foundation of parenting. Being involved in your child's day to day life - meeting the people who are caring for him, and getting a glimpse of his living conditions, and seeing where he/she is so you can jointly discuss his/her activities is part of being an involved parent. Visiting day is but one small example of how parents are called on to be involved with their kids daily activities. Parents need to be involved 365 days a year! Of course we need to be smart about the balance in our involvement and letting kids become independent. Sometimes we take a step back to let them grow, but we must always be involved.

Let me pose this to you - when children are talking on the phone/online to you in camp, do you think they have any privacy? Do you think they can really tell you what is going on? If G-d forbid something was really troubling them in camp, wouldn't you want to know ASAP? Be it trouble with a counselor, a kid bullying them in camp, an embarrasing medical problem?

Would you feel valued if your spouse decided to take you out on a "date night" by SKYPE or Face Time?

Many commenting on this article would do well to read "The five love languages for children". Different children require different approaches to feeling loved. The five different languages are: gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch. Many children feel loved knowing we make an effort to come and spend time with them, and that it's important to us to know who they are spending so much time with, what their living conditions are like. They also may need that hug in middle of it all. For other children, whose language is gifts - maybe they are fine with receiving only a package on visiting day.

That many children cry at the end of visiting day - most get over it pretty quickly. It is an indication of how much they love their family, and it's ok for them to recognize that they're sad when they are separated from the people they love. And, learn that they can get back into the fun and be fine too!

As far as the expenses of visiting day, yes it is expensive. The expectation of a big tip is a pressure on parents, I'll admit.

From experience, one of the stresses of visiting day is wanting to make sure each minute is enjoyable, but what happens when your kids wants you to buy A and B and C....and telling him/her "No" will make them upset? I've had to realize that part of mature parenting is recognizing that we can tell our kids "No!" and still love them. You don't have to break the bank buying them so much on/for visiting day. Your kids can know you still love them.

While everyone needs to make their own decision about visiting day's costs and benefits for their children and themselves, these are some point so keep in mind.

(7/30/2015 8:58:36 PM)
hot topic
seeing the number of responses.
I agree there should be no visiting day, but i think yeshivos should be year round with several 1 week breaks and there should be no summer camps. yes, i know the rebbe supported and maybe even opened camps, but he also supported no breaks. if you make a 9 month school year you have to make a program for the other 3 months, but if you make a year round program you don't need to. having year round school would solve another mishigas - summer homes.
(7/31/2015 12:27:03 AM)
Camp Director
As a camp director let me tell you what one of our campers said. "Visiting day is so stupid, if you get visitors, you're sad when they leave, if you don't have a visitor you're sad that no one came. I thought camp is to be happy and have fun. Not be sad
(7/31/2015 2:37:00 AM)
i feel that camp is a valuable experience. I've been to camp before. And I've been to my kids camps during visiting day. My kids always liked it when we came. Money is a problem especially when the camp has no bus to take the parents to the camp. Yes it is expensive to rent a car and it is expensive the whole day. Do I advocate it? No not really. I also think it's a waste of money and visiting day should be abolished. On the other hand if the camp has visiting day than at least on of the parents should go. If one can't afford to rent a car find someone who is going and offer to help pay for the gas. It was important to my kids that at least one of us came. Sometimes we both came. Some times one of us did depending on the circumstances. Should visiting day be abolished probably. Will it happen probably not
(7/31/2015 6:59:03 AM)
From a camper
As a camper I can tell you that I actually don't want my parents to come on visiting day, and told them so. At the end of visitig day my first year I was almost crying and counting down until I would go home. And I was havjng such a good time before visiting day... So parents... I really suggest to put your CHILDREN first if they want you to come.
(7/31/2015 4:17:53 PM)
Haven't had time to ready all the comments, but as a recent camper (5 years ago) I can say with certainty that although I was very independent from the get go, nevertheless my father flew in every visiting day which is obviously a tremendous hassle. But he came with joy to a) see camp and how its evolved, reminisce, and actually meet his children's staff who care for them for a full summer. B) to see his children who although left only 2 weeks ago, and are/were extremely independent nonetheless treasure showing their role model HOW the are independent and the niche they've carved themselves in a foreign atmosphere. So why is there a visiting day when we have Skype etc? Because a face to face cannot be recreated electronically and convey the real feeling attained in a camp atmosphere. If there are parents that cant/dont want to come, well nobody is forcing you, so why should you be able to selfishly take away from another child/parent who unleashes everything they've Learned to their parents and can finally be the one who "really knows how to work this system". Will your child be depressed? The truth is maybe. But by tommorow he won't remember when he's chilling with his buddies. But the kid who's parents do visit? That stays for a long, long time. So before you wanna revolutionize visiting day, sit back and think what can be accomplished and if your being righteous or selfish.
(8/1/2015 10:17:28 PM)
"over 7 hour journey"
Keep in mind the poster probably did two trips already.
One trip to bring the child TO camp and another to pick up FROM camp. Now they have to make a THIRD trip for visiting day.

For my self and I guess the writer of the article, it is one big OY.
(8/1/2015 11:16:00 PM)
visiting day dilemma
We live far away from camp. Often visiting day is during the 9 days. We would have to spend Shabbos away too in order to arrive at the camp by Sunday. Not a simple thing. Nor did we have relatives each year who could go instead. Did my kids suffer? Not sure. Did they understand? Not sure. So for us eliminating visiting day would put my kids on the same level as all the new Yorkers or Canadians. I did in the older days write letters almost every single day and now email many times each week. Just to show them they are always with me.
(8/2/2015 8:28:29 AM)
Please do NOT come visit me
Dear Tatty and Mommy,

I am writing this with the greatest of respect. You know I love you both but please do not come visit me in camp. I have grown a great deal in camp. I have become very chassidish and even got a very short hair cut - so I no longer have a "chube" covering half my forehead. I put away my suede yarmulrka with the Nike logo that you bought me. Instead I took some canteen money and bought a plain black yarmulka. I am asking that you please do not visit me on visiting day beccause I am embarrassed by the impression you will give my new chassidish friends. I don't want them to see how Mommy dresses with sleeves above the elbow and a slit in her skirt. I don't want them to see Tatty with his trimmed beard and no tzitzis. I am not judging you because I know it is hot inthe summer and hard to wear longer sleeves or tzitzis, but please understand me, that I will be embarrassed from my friends. I hope you aren't offended because that is not my intention at all. I am just sharing how I feel. I look forward to seeing you after the summer. I hope you will be okay with the changes in my lifestyle because that will make me happy. And by the way, I will need to get a new wardrobe of chassidish clothes. I love you dearly. And one more thing, please start calling me Mendel, I decided I really don't like being called Mennie. Thanks! Mendel
(8/3/2015 11:59:03 AM)
That is a cheap shot at "Chabad-lite". We are parents that are "Chabad-lite" and are proud of ourselves. We have superior skills in parenting than nearly all the old-fashioned closed-minded farfrumt neighbors in our community. We are open minded and forward thinking, accepting and tolerant. It doesn't matter the length of the sleeve or the garb. What matters is the attitude.
(8/3/2015 4:14:23 PM)
Has the Rebbe ever spoken about visiting day?
As a single mother, I was also thinking, "Do I really need to go, it's so hard, money, the time..." and the boy I'd be visiting is not seemingly the emotional type. But I came, and at some point during the few hours there, I said something about being sorry I didn't have a car to be able to take him somewhere nice, and he said it doesn't matter, it just matters that you came. Boy was I glad I went.

When I was a kid in elementary school, we had one day where our parents could come to sit in one class. My working mother didn't come, my father came. I remember two feelings- so proud to see my father there for me, wondering why my mother couldn't be there for me.

In my case, I'm glad I chose to come. He had mentioned to me that visiting day is coming, so I understood he was hoping I'd come. And in the end I'm so happy I was there for him. I wonder if anyone knows the Rebbe's opinion about visiting day... because I also believe that if it wouldn't exist, my son would be fine since no one would be visiting...but maybe a parent visiting has a special effect...
(8/5/2015 12:01:37 AM)
a camper
im a camper who loves camp and went for 3 years already and i love it. but i still think there should be visiting day. you can really speak to your parents about stuff you cant on the phones and a mouth is a long time to be away. i think there should be visiting day. please dont take it away!!!!!
(8/9/2015 9:44:11 PM)
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