My son just returned from sleepaway camp. It was not his first time away, but it was his longest. While he immensely enjoyed the daily activities, the nights for him were rough.
I was not…surprised. He suffers from anxiety. The camp, cognizant of his challenges, worked thoughtfully and carefully with him to manage them. But his bunkmates were not aware, and I’m not exactly sure how appropriate and feasible it would have been to share it with them. Still, I wish they could have known a few things about… >> Read More
“Mom, how come you signed your last emails with just, ‘The Adlers?’”
This was my kid’s first question when we picked him up from his two weeks at sleepaway camp. Like many parents, I…emailed my son daily during his stay. I kept the first seven emails upbeat, and, in the spirit of family, I signed the emails with the usual “Mommy and Daddy” alongside the names of each of our menagerie of pets: gerbil Buzzy, guinea pigs Trevor and Andy, and fish Brigade, Ballista, Bomber, Bulletproof, and Bazooka.… >> Read More
It was my first week of college, and I realized very quickly that I was different than virtually all the Jewish kids I met at American University. Like so many of them, I celebrated the Jewish…holidays, went to Hebrew school, and had a bat mitzvah. But there was one major thing that separated me from the pack: I didn’t go to sleepaway camp. As I listened to my new friends play Jewish Geography and dish about their camp friendships and hook-ups, I couldn’t help but feel I was missing something… >> Read More
We've come to the last installment of Camp Kveller's retro photo series. Here's a look into summer camps in the 1970s and 1980s — a time of feathered hairstyles and shorter shorts. (You can see the…past photo essays here: 1910s & 1920s, 1930s & 1940s, and 1950s & 1960s.) Summer camps in the '70s and '80s pretty much look like they do now — except for the fashions, of course. Enjoy! Camp Tawonga Campers and Canoes, Center Day Camp, 1970 [Documenting Maine Jewry] JCC Camp Chi, 1970s JCC Camp Chi,… >> Read More
The Maasai warrior was confused. We were standing on the beach in Zanzibar, and I was explaining that, yes, I am married. And, yes, I have children, and, yes I am here in Africa by myself.
It…seems that wherever I travel I run into the problem of how to best explain the concept of American summer camp. I try to explain the habits of my own tribe — Northeast American Jews, to be precise — and I tell the African warriors that we send our children to the mountains for the summer.… >> Read More