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The Jews Keep on Running

Amy Selling

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 • 6:07pm

On your mark, get set, GO!

Grab your beach carts, coolers, fitbits, beach chairs, blankets, tents and kicks. It is almost time for another year of “The Running of the Jews” (if you didn’t read it last year, click here now to read my article from last year). It is a MUST READ that should be read before you read this one. Enjoy!

So, here we are again. In the next two weeks, many of us will be heading to camp to visit our precious kids. After the send off, we have been writing letters, scanning pictures and have possibly even been sitting in front of our computers watching and waiting to see if our kid passes by a video camera installed at a camp. I apologize in advance if you are a camp who participates in this kind of ridiculousness but really? A VIDEO CAMERA? Yes, see here: HERE.

Can you imagine sitting in front of your computer for two hours hoping and praying that your kid walks by and waves? Can you really find nothing else to do with your time? After you see your kid for a mere one second, then what? Is this your idea of pleasure? If so, you and I need to have a serious conversation –NOW! I am offering free therapy on how to get a life.

How about those camp photos? My favorites are the parents who tell their kids to give them a signal in the picture–like a thumbs up. You have seen them a million times when scrolling through 800 pictures a day. There are definitely a few kids giving the “thumbs up” and possibly a few “thumbs down” in the mix.

You know that the parents gave them a long lecture before they left for camp reminding them of the importance of signals in photos. People, have some faith. There is a reason we send our kids to camp and there is a reason there are 3,000 books on how camp is a gift. There is also a reason why there are a trillion stories of: “How I met my husband at camp;” “How I met my wife at camp;” “How I hooked up with the hot, foreign soccer coach at camp;” “When I got my period at camp and Sally showed me how to use a tampon;” “How I smoked pot at camp and listened to mix tapes all night;” “When I was the Color War Captain at camp;” and “When my dad sent me my first Playboy magazine at camp and I was the star of the bunk;” etc. Haven’t you heard them all? Weren’t our best memories from camp? If it is not the right camp this year, so be it. There are thousands of others! Camp isn’t a punishment. If your kid isn’t happy yet—give them some time.

It is so funny to me when parents say, “YOU SEND YOUR KIDS TO CAMP FOR 7 WEEKS? Are you out of your mind? Why do all of the ‘Jewish’ people send their kids away to camp?” Truthfully, I don’t know the answer. It is the same reason we eat Bagels and Lox and you don’t and it is the same reason we think it is totally nuts to keep your kids HOME  all summer.

I had my first phone call last week. Yes, I asked Zach about his bunkmates, the counselors, the food, and the activities. Same shit, different year. The anticipation of waiting for two weeks to talk to our kids boils down to two things

  1. What they want for visiting day; and
  2. What they have been doing since they got there (if you are lucky enough to get even that information out of them).

So, here we are just One to two weeks before visiting day. One to two weeks before the running, the mayhem and the moment you have all been waiting for—The Running of the Jews.

With my quest to see what the deal was with Visiting Day this year, I decided to make some phone calls. My first call was to Soul Cycle and Flywheel. I had to know if they would be organizing “pop up” shops in The Berkshires, The Poconos, The Adirondacks, New Hampshire and Maine. Wouldn’t they be silly not to? GOLD MINE! The people who answered the phones at both corporate offices laughed and thought I was off my rocker. I tried to tell them they were missing a big opportunity—HUGE! Maybe Peloton should make a deal with these hole-in-the wall hotels. I bet they would sell 10,000 after the weekend! Right? I am not sure five minutes of a full out sprint to the kids would qualify as enough exercise for the weekend, although Shaun T may disagree.

The next phone call was to Treat House. If Baked by Melissa was the must-have dessert last year—Treat House is the “go-to” this year. According to Treat House, since they decided to launch camp snacks, the response has been OVERWHELMING to say the least!!! The phones have not stopped ringing with camp orders. Can you believe a marshmallow treat with a camp name is all the rage? Believe it. It is happening.

I did find another company that is doing something very cute that is taking on the whole camp concept.

Candy with a Twist! So adorable. They make custom-packed S’mores camp treats ($4.50 each) or custom pops with marshmallows.

However, if you are still hung up on the Baked by Melissa treats and know you can no longer pick up Crumbs cupcakes, you can have mini cupcakes now made with your camp logo from Lily Spots NYC.

I also started talking to parents to see what the word on the street was and then it hit me…what the hell is going on? We need to discuss…I could not begin to believe what the “visiting day presents” have become. I remember the days of Mad Libs, Cheetos, orange soda and taffy.

NOW—it is like bringing up a Bar Mitzvah for the bunk. First of all, whose idea was it to pack sushi? They made a vile decision. Unless you are bringing a crab roll (still gross by the way), why are you trying to make your kid sick? I don’t even like to take out sushi in my town for that evening, yet alone have it travel by plane, bus, boat or car. Even if you are stopping at Blue Ribbon Sushi the night before and sticking it in a cooler, the idea of eating fish in a roll the next day is beyond to me.

By the way, the candy assortments have gotten so out of hand. I know we are trying to show our kids how much we miss them but they have ONE day to eat the entire store of Dylan’s Candy. Total insanity! Do you know that my younger son had the opportunity to sleep in Zach’s bunk last year during visiting day? When we picked him up the next morning and began our drive back home, not even 10 minutes into the ride—he vomited everywhere. You know why? Because they ate candy all night. Yup, the kids were given one day in Willy Wonka’s bunk and they went ballistic. Have you seen some of the candy fiasco’s this year? Definitely cute but when are they eating all of this?

Hall of Scoops

Clipboards by Covered in Candy 

I was in a group text recently and a friend mentioned that her kid asked for a chair trampoline for visiting day. Is this what it is coming to? Their bunks are turning into dorm rooms?

Speaking of the bunk, another topic of conversation is what gifts people are bringing up for the bunk? THE BUNK?  I remember last year it was a cookie cake. This year it is: T-shirts, Pinnies, hula hoops filled with gum balls and pearl necklaces (no, not that), this kind: Kidcessories

I think my mother would have a heart attack if I was kid in 2014. I would like to make a call out here. I know every camp is different. At some camps you get a list of who is in the bunk, and at some camps you do not. Like, I have NO IDEA who is in Zach’s bunk this year except for a few kids. Cedar doesn’t tell us. So, for the camps that don’t tell and even the camps that do, I think there should be a written rule about what you are bringing up. Like if my kid finds out your kid is getting the new KD’s that just dropped this past week or those new Skootz that I had no idea about, they should notify all of the parents so we can prepare our kids…Love Letters

I am going to look like the bad parent. The truth is that he got new KD’s before camp. IF he thinks for one minute I am going to buy the even newer ones that just came out a few days ago, HA! I don’t care what his friends have or what their parents do, I refuse to be suckered into that absurdity. I need a heads up on what the other parents are bringing so I can inform Zach before arriving that some kids may be getting new KD’s that they will ruin in the first rain storm and there is not a shot on God’s green earth he can expect them. A Skootz band for $7.95 and cup of noodles—done. But I am not, I repeat NOT getting caught up in this craziness that goes on. Like this for example ( I do love the girl whose stuff this is so I can fully put it out there but how do I not call her out?) Peace, Love & Graphics (see photo gallery)

As for the craziness, this past weekend was Visiting Day at a few camps. Here is a shot from a sleepaway camp. Look closely at this picture: (see photo gallery)

Love the Israeli Flag somebody brought. In light of the on-going situation and my support for Israel, that will be my only commentary.

(To read the full post with photos and video in place, click HERE).

How about this brown camping tent front and center? Could it be any bigger? Is this like whoever brings the biggest tent to camp wins? Is this a my d**k is bigger than yours contest? Do you see the hand truck in the foreground? Is the tent that big that they needed a crane to bring it in? Nobody is even SITTING IN THE TENT! Do you see the table in there? What the hell did they bring to eat? I have to imagine they brought servers with them for all of the food they brought up. I need to know what went on there.

As for this picture above, how psyched were the parents who got to the gazebo first? This year’s “Running of the Jews’ goes to the parents who secured a spot in the gazebo. I cannot even imagine the running that took place to get there first. No need to put up a tent but I do love that they still felt the need to bring in their own seating.

I would love to be a fly on the wall and compare and contrast what everyone brought this year. I have been thinking I may secretly go to somebody else’s visiting day this weekend. I will run with the runners, chill on a blanket and walk around to all of the food tables. I would love to experience the breaking of the fast with my young tribe. I would love to see the other side of sleepaway camp. Who would like to take me with them for the weekend as their pretend relative? I promise to pay my own way and I don’t smell.

So to those who are going this weekend, good luck and don’t forget your Garmin’s!

Also, don’t forget to book your hotel for next year before you leave. Enjoy the fact that at visiting day, you are one of the lucky few who gets to plunk down thousands of dollars to secure a spot next year at the camp your children have been going to because if you don’t do it now, there just may be no space left. And, by the way, don’t forget your credit card as the deposit is your only chance to use it to pay for tuition and rack up those valuable miles.

I can’t wait to hear stories and see pictures. Everybody strap on their GO-PRO cameras! With drones being all the rage, which clever parent is bringing the drone to hunt down the perfect spot to spy on their kids?

The person with the BEST running video or story from visiting day wins a $50 Gift Certificate to Camp Stuff 4 less. Please email them to me at amy@luluandlattes.com.

I will make the announcement after the second weekend of visiting day so everyone has a chance to win and I will do an awesome follow-up blog

P.S If you see me at your camp this weekend, don’t make a scene. I know I am not supposed to be there. You can just smile and walk by. I promise not to take your picture.

P.P.S.: To the Indian Head parent who told me she is secretly sneaking in a blow dryer and Nair so her 9-year-old can have a blow out and shave, let me know if you got away with it!

YOU READY??

Share with your camp friends and subscribe for future posts!

(To read the full post with photos and video in place, click HERE).

Amy was born and raised in Bucks County, PA. She became a camper at 5, read her first book at 6, and began writing in her diary at 8. She dreamt she would be a fashion designer but wound up at Syracuse University in fashion management with a weight gain of 15 lbs. by sophomore year. Dieting, fashion, NYC and dating made up her life in her twenties.

Next, Amy found love, married, moved to Livingston NJ and had two awesome boys. After the birth of Amy’s first son, Zach, Amy was on a quest to do something other than changing diapers and discussing how to sleep train your kid. So, Amy designed a children's accessory line, which was sold throughout the US, then started a gorgeous cupcake business that got her on Cupcake Wars, and finally closed shop to follow her love of writing. So many stories, so much gossip, so much wellness to share—Lulu and Lattes was born! 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TheAlternativePress.com or anyone who works for TheAlternativePress.com. TheAlternativePress.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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