I picked out a few select quotes from Rebbitzen Jungreis's columns on visiting day/camp to explain in just a few words why we are in a (financial) pickle as a community, as well as to why entitlement is alive and well.
Reason 1: We are in a pickle is that "we do not want our children to feel deprived or different from their friends" which causes us to undertake obligations that are enormous for our station in life and which erode our financial foundation to say nothing about issues with shalom bayit.
Reason 2: We are in a pickle because we aren't willing to put a stop to things. Grandparents are funding their own children's spending (begrudgingly, perhaps, but the money is still green) and there is little recollection of how to do without or what alternatives could serve as a replacement.
Reason 3: This week's column concludes why we may never get out of the pickle. The message of the column is loud and clear. We all must do the same thing as deviation in unhealthy for children. "One size fits all" rarely fits anyone. I think that visiting day should be built into a budget, but there is no question that for many parents sleepaway camp really doesn't fit in the budget, and that contributes to complaining about the $100-$200 cost of visiting, even though the real issue is the cost of camp, not visiting day. What can I say, it was a disappointment to see the Rebbitzen's conclusions, but I still wanted to finish up my review of the series:
What then is the solution [to the costs of visiting day and camp]?
As I said, this is not one of those black and white situations. Nevertheless, the problem should be addressed, and the camp directors and parents should act in unison. They should consult with those who have expertise in chinuch (education) and benefit from their experience and wisdom. Certainly, nothing should be done without Da'as Torah. Whatever their decision, it should apply to all parents. Obviously, it would be detrimental for some children to have visitors while others have none. Children would feel forsaken and embarrassed if the parents of their fellow campers visited and they were alone.
Here again, we can take our cue from our Torah: When Moshe Rabbeinu charged the Tribes to go forth and do battle against the Midianites, he refrained from ordering the princes to lead, as was customary, for the Tribe of Simon had lost its prince and Moses did not want them to be put to shame.
Time and again, the Torah admonishes us to be on guard not to embarrass or hurt others. Surely, we would not want some children to feel abandoned while others had
visitors. So whatever the decision, it should be adhered to by everyone. May we all be zocheh to see much Yiddishe nachas from our kinderlach.