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Volume 21, No. 3, #147 - click here

 Publisher's Letter:
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     Rabbi Yisroel Besser
 Health & Advice:
     The Value of Eating Bananas
     Dear Bubby
     Handwriting Matters
     The Shidduch Crisis
     Can't You Just Plotz
     Going to Camp
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Article Map for this issue
June 2008 • Tammuz 5768 Volume 21, No. 3, #147
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Going to Camp

By Kayla Kuchleffel

Trunks and duffle bags clutter the living room floor and the dining room table is piled to the ceiling with clothes waiting to be packed. Every night, for the past two weeks, I’ve stayed up until two a.m. sewing on name tapes. It’s time to get ready for camp!

As I check off each item on the “recommended list,” it seems we have everything and then some. My daughter insists on taking along her pillow, which she claims has her own special smell. She’s taking her walkman plus all the tapes in the house, a camera plus twenty rolls of film, boxes and boxes of stationery from which I will get only one letter a month. She’s taking all the bath towels and leaving me with the wash cloths. She’s even taking the nail scissors, and she’s packed enough nosh to stock the canteen.

As I pack her socks, I hug each one dearly and kiss it good-bye, knowing only too well that only half of them will return home.

I would love to do a study on the mysterious life of socks, to discover what happens to the “other” one somewhere between putting them into the wash and pairing them up afterwards.

Well, finally everything is packed. We have only one problem. We need a one-ton weight to squash down the lid long enough for me to lock the trunk!
When the truck driver came the next day to pick up the trunk, he almost got a hernia.

“What did you pack in here, lady, bricks?”

I thought I would die.

At last it was time to leave. After frantically searching the entire house for her shoes, my daughter finally realized she had packed them all in her trunk. She went to the bus stop wearing my torn slippers.

As the bus pulled away, everyone shouted and waved good-bye. I walked to my car, wiping away tears. In retrospect, I can’t decide if I cried because I remembered last year’s phone bill for collect calls, not to mention the canteen bill she worked up, or because I will really miss my daughter and her sloppy room. Actually, sloppy is putting it mildly. I’d be embarrassed for a burglar to see it!

She wears an outfit once and then throws it on the chair in her room. By the end of the week, there is a heap of clothes. When I ask her to clean her room - no problem. Everything gets thrown in the hamper!

My little one emulates her big sister. When I tell her to clean her room, she stuffs everything into her drawers; clean, dirty, it makes no difference and whatever doesn’t fit, gets thrown into the bottom of her closet.

Well, at least the rooms will stay neat for eight weeks.

My boys are leaving tomorrow; I remind them that if the camp lost and found announces that something with the name Stein was found - they should go claim it, even though our name is Kuchleffel. Needless to say, my kids hate hand-me-downs.

I think boys’ camps ought to reassess the “recommended” list of things to take along.

Experience has taught me that out of the ten pairs of underwear I send along, I’ll be happy if five get used all summer. Socks - they wear one pair a week.

Now take something like eye glasses. Uh! Now we’re talking of something that they can use ten pairs of. Let’s face it! Boys are different from girls. If I didn’t remind my son to wash up before eating, he’d have plants growing under his fingernails.

When my boys finally come home from camp, I pray for a sinus condition when I do their laundry. Half the things go directly into the garbage. The other half, I soak for a week!

Well, the house is nice and quiet with everyone gone. Oops! There goes the phone.

“Yes, operator, I’ll accept the charges!”

Here we go.

Have a nice summer.

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