From the COLlive Inbox:
I would like to genuinely thank all the staff that have helped my son grow tremendously in Gashmiyos and especially in Ruchniyos over the first part of the summer.
My son has really gained a lot and has noticably excelled and matured of the short 4 weeks he spent at camp.
There is one thing however I would like to address; With all the good that my son has picked up over the summer there is some negative that has tagged along unfortunately. I’m not reffering to negative behaviour or bad Middos, those Boruch Hashem he excelled in. I’m reffering to emotionally. My son has gone to camp confident and fearless, but came back afraid of his own shaddow. He is afraid to walk home alone, and even afraid to go down to the dark basement for a moment or two just to retrieve something.
After making some inquiries, I discovered it is a result of a few stories some staff decided would be fun to tell the children. The stories consisted of previous staff members getting burnt and coming back to haunt the camp. My son described to me in graphic detail of how in previous years the entire bunkhouse (the one that he just spent his summer in) of children were ‘killed by shin daleds’.
The stories go on and on. This is something I believe needs to stop. Now, don’t get me wrong, as a staff member myself I had my fair share of this, I am guilty just like the staff who have scarred my son; in plays, after lights stories and overnights. I feel horrible for that. I would actually like to ask for forgiveness from all the people I may have phsychologically harmed, short term or long term.
The problem is a recurring one, I repeated those stories as a staff member because I heard them as a child. And it affected me for many years as well.
Let us establish this now, 99% of all kids in camp do not appreciate and cannot handle stories of this style content. Staff should be more sensitive and not play around with a kids future.
The Rebbe was against telling untrue stories to children.
Staff, please! Spend a few extra minutes before camp becoming more fluent with Likkutei Dibburim or other real jewish stories. Its no mitzva to scare a child.
Do you know what it feels like to be 14 years old and being afraid to walk home (around the corner) after school because of things your counselor or learning teacher told you six years earlier in camp?!?