Don't let economic realities get in the way of ensuring your children have a camping experience. One Yated reader informs readers that they can work out a payment plan with Camp Agudah. (Note: I don't really have an issue with working out a payment plan. I just find it frustrating that instead of working with reality, people seem to want to keep everything the same: camp, weddings, "support, etc).
Yes, this is yet another letter stating camp is not a luxury, but a necessity. If you say it enough, you might believe it! Of course, if I were going to ask such a question about camp, I hope I would have the good sense NOT to ask a Rebbe, no matter how wonderful, that makes part of his living as via camp. But, that's just me.
This father's situation was solved by a camp scholarship through Camp Agudah. But what happens if/when this necessity or luxury, depending on your point of view, falls out of reach? Is a one year camping break ever an option? Is there any way to replace whatever camping experience(s) are the most important for a child's development?
I think so. But then again I am writing a blog about Orthodoxy (living a Torah observant life) and Economics (i.e. scarcity of resources and alternatives).
One other note: if you plan to send your child on a Shabbaton which is marketing a product that you are considering, you might one to consider your finances first. As a parent, I do try to actively reduce marketing towards my children. I'm perfectly capable of saying no. But, I don't parade them through isles of products I don't intend to buy either.
RESCUED BY RUACH COUNTRY
When my son arrived home on a recent Motzoei Shabbos from the annual Camp Agudah reunion all excited about summer 5769, I knew I had the difficult task of breaking the news to him that due to our financial difficulties, we could not afford the luxury of sending him to camp this summer. I contacted his warm and caring rebbi to ask him for guidance in this matter. His wonderful rebbi, who himself is a mechanech in a sleep-away camp (not Camp Agudah), stated very strongly that for my son befrat and for many boys bechlal, camp is no longer a luxury, but more of a necessity in developing within them a cheshek for Torah and Yiddishkeit. [A conflict of interest perhaps?]
He stressed that the wonderful blend of ruchniyus and gashmiyus of Camp Agudah, and especially the experience of Shabbos Kodesh spent b’kedusha and in the presence of gedolim and bnei Torah, could not and should not be so easily discounted. The rebbi suggested that I contact the camp office. After explaining my financial situation to Camp Agudah’s dedicated director, Rabbi Meir Frischman, I was told that arrangements could be worked out with a break in price as well as a payment plan. He well understood the situation and was more than willing to work with me. I am aware that there are many other parents in a similar matzav as me, who don’t feel that their children should miss out on the camping experience.
I was also told that due to the economic situation, as well as its expansion, Camp Agudah has set aside reserved slots for its old-timers to be able to come back for 5769.I strongly suggest to all parents looking to see their son blossom in a wonderful atmosphere to pick up the phone and call 212.797.8172 (no, this is not an advertisement) and speak to Meir Frischman about registering their son under a payment plan that they are comfortable with, as I did. Yasher kochacha.
Eli’s Proud Father