MAILBAG: I Will Never Again Send My Baby To Summer Camp

Each summer, parents find themselves in a serious quandary: they have jobs but they also need to find something to do with their children, considering that they are out of school/playgroup. I’m one of those parents.

I’m not what you would call a “seasoned” or “experienced” parent, as my oldest child is just two years old. Last summer, we kept her home and managed somehow to finagle fewer hours at my job so we could keep her entertained without giving up our jobs. That wasn’t possible this year, so we found a local summer camp that could watch her.

Already on the first day of camp, I was horrified. Coming to pick my daughter up, there were an untold number of babies squashed into one room, with a handful of young girls running around trying in vain to keep them happy. Such a task was impossible. My child – and every child I saw – was dirty and unkempt; I don’t think my daughter’s diaper was changed at any point during the day. Her lunch was still in her bag, untouched. Her bottle was full – she hadn’t had a drink for 5 hours.

I was stunned, but assumed that it would quickly come to an end once the camp got its feet beneath them. It didn’t.

Day after day, my daughter would come home starving, dehydrated, exhausted, crying, and dirty. When I asked what was going on, one of the young girls supposedly in charge of the kids answered sheepishly that she was doing her best.

What about the camp owner? “Oh, she’s not really here,” I was told.

Not really there? She owns the camp and just hands it off to a group of girls who are barely bas mitzvah?

Sadly, I learned that this is practically the norm. Women open up summer camps for toddlers, hire a bunch of young girls for pennies, and then lounge the day away as girls who have never taken care of kids before are given the responsibility of handling 100+ infants.

Why do we allow this to go on? I understand many parents don’t have a choice, but where’s the responsibility on the camp owners’ part?. Are we going to wait for a tragedy to happen before bringing this to an end?



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  1. I have 3 girls who work in this type of camp. Each one for a different morah. I’m really sorry u had such a horrible experience but that is absolutely not the norm!

  2. Don’t send. It’s very simple. If no one would send they won’t get any kids and they’ll make changes. Until then if you send it’s your fault.

  3. Question: did you do research before you sent? Did you go down to the location? Did u ask for 3 references and ask proper questions? I have sent to many morahs over the yrs, and I babysat for 2 yrs myself when my oldests were little bec I refused to send them out. However, over the yrs I learned that doing proper research is a MUST. It’s your responsibility as a parent to do your due diligence.
    To write off sending your child to camp is silly in my opinion. You need to pull your baby out of this place and find a warm loving caring and clean morah. There are plenty of amazing morahs all around town. You unfortunately signed up at the wrong one. Look for a morah who has a smaller group. Ask to come see her place. Etc
    Just because one person is completely irresponsible, does not mean that the klal of babysitters is awful.

    • I didn’t do research because I sent my toddler for the summer to the same morah she had all winter. She was a great morah in the winter but she was totally absent in the summer. She hired a few young girls and I never saw the morah. My neighbor who is one of the young “assistants” told me the morah never comes down to the camp. My toddler started to complain that other kids were hurting her. These young girls should not be the sole supervision for a bunch of toddlers. I feel very mislead by the morah. It’s not yashrus. It’s probably why morahs had to raise the prices this year. To cover all the “assistants” and still make the same profit as if they ran it themselves with one assistant the way it used to be.

      • Call the police! This camp sounds like a serious danger and a tragedy waiting to happen. This things happen when we don’t speak up and report.

  4. This is totally not acceptable. I run a day camp take responsible counselors and I’m there as a married adult full time supervising.

  5. If the owner an adult is not there and the ones taking charge are underage… this is a serious misdemeanor and warrants social services to look at before mass disaster strikes.


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