Rules: Made to be…
I’m a rule girl. I like to know what is expected of me and I appreciate being provided with a rubric meant to keep me on task. Grammar aside, I was grateful to receive the following handout at our staff meeting on the first day of camp.
Guiding Principles for Parents with Day Campers and for Staff parents
The following are some guilding principles to help you enjoy your time at camp and to help create “shalom bayit” for your camper, their cabin, and their eidah. The basic idea is to allow you to have reasonable contact with your child, but also respect the sacred space of your child’s group.
Staff parents may connect with their children in the following ways:
- Campers may visit parents at meals, but need to come to the parent table (parents may not visit campers at the camper table)
- Passing by, like going into or out of a meal, by the entrance (again, avoid visibility at camper’s table)
- Passing by, like all camp Shabbat services, dancing, singing
Parents must respect their camper’s space in the following ways:
- Parents may NOT visit campers bunks/living spaces
- Parents may NOT visit campers meal tables
- Parents may NOT visit campers programs, closing circles, cabin or eidah time.
If a parent has any concerns, they should ONLY speak with the Rosh, unit head, never directly with the counselor unless set up by the Rosh.
For Day Campers, the day camp experience runs from breakfast through siyum, closing circle. It is the parents responsibility to drop off their camper at the dining hall and then arrange with the Rosh to pick them up from the dining hall after siyum (a staff member will bring day camper to dining hall after siyum — do not go to cabins). At times, certain day campers might need breaks, like menucha/personal nikayon — in these cases, please establish the logisitics with the Rosh directly.
Perfect. Now I know the boundaries and when questioned by my kids. I’m not a mean mom; I’m simply following the rules.
So when Poppyseed woke up yesterday with a stomach eppes, I assumed that she would stay up in Faculty Row until she recovered. However, when I mentioned that Poppyseed had a fever (101.6F) to one doctors, I was asked to bring her to the mirpa’ah. Fever alone was reason enough to remove her from the general population; the diarrhea sealed her fate. Poppyseed, I was told, would need to remain isolated until fever-free for twenty-four hours.
All day long people asked me how she was doing and all day long I replied, “I don’t know.” “Haven’t you been to see her?” they asked. “Of course not. Other kids don’t have access to their parents when they get sick at camp. Poppyseed should be no different.”
Until the end of the day. When I was unceremoniously informed that day campers are not permitted to stay overnight in the mirpa’ah. Despite the fact that she had been spiking fevers as high as 102.6 and her diarrhea had required a costume change, she could not stay in one of the MANY available beds in the infirmary. Since Poppyseed had been unable to stomach anything more than an Otter Pop and a little water, I doubted she’d have the koyach to make it up to Faculty Row. [There are a LOT of hills here.] I drove down to fetch my fever-riddled daughter and her accoutrement [bagged clothes (the costume change), stuffed animals, and a get-well card from her cabinmates].
She has recovered from what was probably a 24-36 hour bug, Puh X 3. But I am at a loss with the way in which this was handled. Is it possible that the Camp is only concerned with the well-being of a Day Camper from breakfast to siyum?
So much for following the rules…