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Friday, 18 Tammuz, 5780
  |  July 10, 2020

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Where Are All of the Staff?

Rabbi Shmuly Rothman, who coaches staff of Chabad summer camps, wonders: "Have the fish been told to stay at sea?" Full Story

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teen
Guest
teen

I can’t speak for e/o, but I did notice that shluchim take a while to reply to counselor applications – and while they take their time, we move ON… I know they are busy, and I truly admire them for all the hard work they do, but think of it on the flip side: we may not be as busy, but to be waiting for a reply for a while, we just go to the places that reply SOON – most of us apply to a few diff places at the same time, so it’s not that we chose the… Read more »

finaly
Guest
finaly

maybe people are fed up with getting paid five dollars a day to work like animals

What?
Guest
What?

Every single girl in my class Will be working this summer for a shliach.

Just a Parent
Guest
Just a Parent

I think much of the problem is due to day camp directors who treat their staff badly. Word spreads. I’m sure there will be many Shluchim/Camp Directors who will object to my comments and indeed there are many who take good care of their staff. Still, the horror stories prevail. Even some of the good guys are suffering because they count on other local Shluchim to help them out during the summer by housing staff in Chabad Houses not affiliated with camp. Girls being moved from place to place all summer because they were put in housing that hadn’t been… Read more »

a probable answer
Guest
a probable answer

the reason why there r not many staff out there is because many yeshivois these days have programs which run through the summer which i think is very good!!!!

thanks
Guest
thanks

i think this is very helpful…especially as someone looking for a job this summer

Interesting
Guest
Interesting

And we girls have been looking for camps and have been told staff has been chosen already? We’re confused.

I KNOW!
Guest
I KNOW!

Have your shluchim take a course in Hakaros Hatov and Common Decency, and maybe they’ll get staff again.

We are sick of being under valued, over worked, and Unappreciated

maybe...
Guest
maybe...

maybe you scared them with your previous article…

If you hire fish...
Guest
If you hire fish...

…go to the pet shop. Goldfish for as low as 10 cents each.

Yossy H
Guest
Yossy H

I have 5 years exp working at diff levels in both day,sleepaway camps I can try getting a great crew together.
[email protected]

to What?
Guest
to What?

I think that is fine and dandy for all the girls in your class but there are a lot more positions that need to be filled. He needs people you know who arent doing anything and get them to sighn up. for some wierd reason in lubavitch people either have to do everything before pesach or after pesach. He needs people who do everything after PEasach. HELP>>>>>

looking for a job...
Guest
looking for a job...

how do we know which camps still need counselors? is there a list somewhere?

hmm
Guest
hmm

There are two main reasons for this. 1) In many yeshivos the bochurim are told they cannot return for the next Alan if don’t follow school rules during the summer I.e. going to be a counselor in a day camp that’s the beginning. 2) From my personal experience and from what I’ve been hearing it used to be that you go to a shliach for a summer and that shliach will take care of you as you need and you work in the day camp and everyone is happy. Unfortunately as it has been happning the last few years there… Read more »

Fix the Hanhaga
Guest
Fix the Hanhaga

Perhaps if they would treat staff more mentchlich, our boys and girls would not be hesitant to work for them. Also shluchim keep people hanging and don’t return calls and emails!

or you can think the other way
Guest
or you can think the other way

camps don’t pay their staff real wages. they take real tuition from every pore they can but staff? meager wages. time to spread the wealth a bit. if camp is a business then staff are employees. manystaff work much more than 8 hours a day. why bother doing the thankless job of a counselor for half the pay you can at a real job?

staff crisis?
Guest
staff crisis?

maybe there’s a staff crisis like the “shidduch crisis”? maybe there are just more camps than there are available staff?

to 13
Guest
to 13

on rabbi rothmans website there is a list of some camps. shmulyrothman.com

To 13 - looking for a job
Guest
To 13 - looking for a job

col live has tons of camp jobs in the classifieds secton
https://collive.com/newcf/index_cat.rtx?cat=6

Camp Director
Guest
Camp Director

As a camp director I can say the staff are my number one goal, because if they are happy, the camper are happy and so on….

Rothman Fan
Guest
Rothman Fan

We miss you guys in Pittsburgh

YESHIVAH FAULT
Guest
YESHIVAH FAULT

IS EVERY YESHIVAH WOULDNT MAKE THE BOCHRIM STAY THRU THE SUMMER WE WOULD BE THE FIRSTS TO DO THE REBBES SHLICHUS. IN GAN YISROEL

im learning in brunoy, and here and many other yeshivas have bben doing the same, I WISH I CAN GO TO CAMP… someone tell the mashpiim, about these shlichus needS!!!

treatment of staff
Guest
treatment of staff

we were on shlichus for nearly ten years and whenever we had bochrim or girls for shabbos or yomtov or camp we treated them as we would expect to be treated ourselves. We couldn’t afford much but we never expected too much from them and when we did ask them to do “hard labor” e.g. clearing up or setting up a function we also joined in with the work ourselves. All I can say is we thought we were just acting like normal menschlich people, no big deal, but the people who came to us would thank us so profusely… Read more »

pay us
Guest
pay us

in overnight camps, many staff, especially for younger kids, work literally 24 hours a day. I personally had to change sheets and deal with crying kids at 4 in the morning many many nights. What did we get paid? like 250 bucks for two months of that? your a slave, not an employee, in these camps. And then they tell the parents to tip big as if they cant afford to pay their staff. This is messed up!

shluchim take AGES to reply!!
Guest
shluchim take AGES to reply!!

tonz of shluchim i’ve contacted took too long to reply. even if your answer is a no, dont leave us HANGING!!!

I EMPATHIZE
Guest
I EMPATHIZE

I a m not an applicant for a counselor, but I know what it is like to work with/for shliuchim. Most of them, (not all), TAKE FOR EVER TO GET BACK TO YOU IGNORING YOUR EMAILS, PHONE CALLS,ETC, HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU REACH OUT TO THEM AND GET SILENCE. A NO ANSWER IS BETTER THAN BEING KEPT ON THE FENCH. BOTTOM LINE, TREAT THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WORK FOR YOU WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT AND GET BACK TO US IN A TIMELY FASHION, OTHERWISE THE FRUSTRATION IS JUST TOO MUCH AND WE MOVE ON. SOMETIMES RATHER WORK FOR… Read more »

thank you
Guest
thank you

Thank you rabbi rothman for posting this on your website. There are so many options for camp available and it’s so nice to have them all in one place.

to the potential staff
Guest
to the potential staff

Maybe all the staff are waiting for their friends to decide. A lot of ppl are too insecure to make decisions w/o their friends. Let me tell you – your friend is just as insecure! She’s waiting for you! So you go ahead and make a decision, and the friends will follow you!

yeshivahs are finaly going thru the summer.
Guest
yeshivahs are finaly going thru the summer.

camps will have to start workingn with yeshivahs, and come to an agreement of how long camp should be..

from a directors point of view....
Guest
from a directors point of view....

To all of you ungrateful people… did you ever think how much it costs a shliach to bring staff down… $400 minimum on a ticket cross country or to yuhupitz…. money for a car, GAS ( and the girls dont just use the car to go back and forth to camp, its used at their leisure….) a place for them to live, utilities, food, and then the girls have chutzpah to ask for things that the shluchim only dreams of being able to give their own kids, For a few weeks in the summer everyone can live without a few… Read more »

how do I know
Guest
how do I know

If I am applying for a job in a camp where I will be treated well?

parents
Guest
parents

Have you EVER called to speak to a camp director before your child makes a decision to go there for the summer?

I received a call from my daughters director the week before camp last summer. It was so reasuring to speak with the person who took responsibility for my child. Not sure why I let my kids make these decisions on their own all these years?!?

I think for this summer I will be more proactive and call the director on my own initiative.

Am I alone in my thinking?

Hatzlacha to everyone!

counselors
Guest
counselors

Nice to see the head staff training that is offered. Anything out there for regular counselors?

full tuition
Guest
full tuition

I don’t get it. I pay over my head for camp, then I receive the guilt laden “they work so hard..only get a small stipend for spending money…suggest tip is…” email. What are the camp spending the money on if they do not pay their staff?

I have heard of teacher appreciation at the end of the school year, last I checked, teachers work (and hopefully) get paid.

Is camp meant to be a volunteer opportunity?

#2  :-)
Guest
#2 :-)

WELL SAID!

to 34
Guest
to 34

wow you really dont get it if you can ask such a question…
“What are the camp spending the money on if they do not pay their staff? ” – walk for a day in a director’s shoes and maybe you’ll be enlightened. It’s like a teenagers telling their parents – what do you need to spend money on other than allowance for us? Welcome to the real world!!

to 32
Guest
to 32

Which camp was that? I want to send my kids to work there.

#34
Guest
#34

Even if the camp is paying the counselors the appropriate salary- YOUR job as a parent is to thank the counselors who took care of your child by tipping them. You can’t afford a lot? fine. A handwritten note expressing your gratitude goes a long way

Shluchim's fault?
Guest
Shluchim's fault?

Just Saying…. I have been to a lot of summer camps during high school and last year. A lot of shluchim don’t think of themselves this way , but they take their girls for granted! Like you chose to be here, So I don’t owe anything to ya! Note for shluchim!! be appreciative! A lot of you shluchim have awful reputations for the way you treat girls. Calll me if you want to hear about yourselves!!!! Want more staff? Show appreciation! Say thank you alot! even bring over cookies once a week. Alot of shluchim don’t even look twice. And… Read more »

to 34
Guest
to 34

the point isn’t the money, although that is definitely appreciated as well. the idea is letting the people who took care of your kids know that you appreciate it. just have your kid write a note, you write a note, bake them some cookies, etc. Something to let them know that they weren’t just a babysitter and that you appreciate the fact that your child had a good summer.

Camp Director.
Guest
Camp Director.

Girls and Boys I hear you… it was not so long ago that I was going to Shluchim to be a HC or a councilor. I was making $50 a week working for 14 hours a day. The kids and parents told me they where paying so much money for camp, (where was all this money going, we where only getting $50 a week). Yes I did have food for 3 meals a day, but how much does that cost already? So they had all 15 staff members over for 8 shabbosim? What does that cost them? We went out… Read more »

Thanks for the listings Shmuly Rothman...
Guest
Thanks for the listings Shmuly Rothman...

It would help if the camp listings on Shmuly Rothman’s website would say if they are looking for boys or girls and keep an update of how many counselors, head counselors, etc. they are looking for…

big fan!
Guest
big fan!

Go shmuly! You are doing great work, lots of camps -staff and directors,( not to mention campers!) are benefiting from what you do!

to 32
Guest
to 32

CGI Plano Texas, I received a call from Esther Horowitz.

counselor
Guest
counselor

I worked for a director that was a little too full of himself and treated his staff like dirt. When you treat your staff that way they tell their friends who tell their friends and so on, not to go to your camp. Looks like our method of communication is finally working…

i agree with #1
Guest
i agree with #1

its so true and really annoying

#30?
Guest
#30?

whats up with you?
shliach in disguise trying to justify that terrible attitude??
take care and show appreciation all the time!!!!

to 28
Guest
to 28

i’ll be honest, this is really my issue. and i;m rly scared that if i make a decision and no one else comes w/ me then i;m gonna be stuck and have to go by myself. and what if my friends think i;m weird or st for doing that? what if they all go somewhere else together and then i’ll be left out of it all and then next yr in skool it’s gonna be rly awkward. any tips of how i could do it and get my friends in too? i;m rly nervous abt it.

yeka
Guest
yeka

Not sure what it is like today, bochurim used to raise their own airfare and donate their entire summer for the “zchus” to be part of that camp. anything to be learned from that?

most shluchim don't make money on camp
Guest
most shluchim don't make money on camp

many kids go to camp on scholarships, money is spent on counselors to feed them, provide lodging and so forth. You should be going for the great experience and mitzva, not for the money. i was beyond surprised to hear tat some camps pay more than $60 per counselor

to 31
Guest
to 31

ask the director to send you the staff hand book.

are directors good?
Guest
are directors good?

I agree about getting the staff handbook, also, speak to the staff from previous yrs. Do they have staff who have been back more than one summer? Who are the staff whose name they didn’t give you, and why?

wow!
Guest
wow!

Lot of comments on a simple question. I wonder if anything practical will come of it. I hope so. I hope that some staff are finding summer positions, and that directors are filling summer positions.

to #30
Guest
to #30

If that’s your attitude, good luck finding counselors! I would NEVER work for you. How about if you put yourself in our place for a minute, and stop being so selfish. We are people, not robots.

To # 30
Guest
To # 30

Please post your name and location so our SPOILED bochurim and girls dont end up in your yehupizville

behind every rabbi
Guest
behind every rabbi

is his wife! Chani keeps frozen cookie dough in her freezer and has fresh cookies ready for her staff 7 minutes after they walk in to her house! Go Chani!!!

Rabbi Kudan CGI S. Barbara
Guest
Rabbi Kudan CGI S. Barbara

Awesome camp director, real mentch! Setting the standard for CGI! Thank you Zalmy for being a CGI visionary. Want to know what a staff handbook needs to look like, Zalmy has got it right!

if camp is run properly...
Guest
if camp is run properly...

why is it not a money maker?

any alternatives?
Guest
any alternatives?

who do you hire when you can’t get lubavitch girls? Any one close camp for a summer bec they could not get staff?

my daughter
Guest
my daughter

wants to be a counselor. i don’t think she will do a good job. do i let her go any way, at least she will be with her friends.

30
Guest
30

Certainly glad I’ve got other plans and won’t be working for you this summer!

no way!!!!!!
Guest
no way!!!!!!

Post 60 -if she really can’t do the job, as you say, then send her somewhere else doing something she could do. You are hurting the kids by allowing her to go. I hope you don’t tell her you don’t think she’s capable. That s not good for her self esteem and teens these days don’t have much of that altogether so you don’t need to be doing anything to make it worse. But for sure make sure that whatever she’s gonna do is not gonna be bad for anyone else. Not gonna be good for the kids, the camp,… Read more »

valid point
Guest
valid point

about directors not getting back to girls. i’m guilty. thank you for mentioning it. will make a not of it and work on getting back to ppl asap.

Perspective
Guest
Perspective

The Rebbe’s goal is to reach every Yid and light them up with a joy for Yiddishkeit. That passion should be inherent in every member of leadership from top down. Communication can lead to action and “Action is the main thing”. Yashar Koach for all those posting and now everyone has the opportunity to learn and take action. Kudos to Rabbi Rothman for all his efforts at raising the standards for all who are truly dedicated and care. If you want to know which camps to consider working at, look for the leadership that is trying to raise their own… Read more »

Wowowo!
Guest
Wowowo!

Out of all the comments listed here… I was exceptionally blown away by #63. Someone who realizes where they stand and continue to grow, instead of everyone blaming the other person and justifying cases.

of corse!
Guest
of corse!

i’m not surprized at all that ppl dont wanna go places. its prob the directers who r not nice and dont treat there councelors right.

to 60
Guest
to 60

Why do you think so lowly of your daughter? She may be able to be an excellent counselor if you make her think she will.

oops, where are the $5 a day workers?
Guest
oops, where are the $5 a day workers?

This is a mjaor problem that has gone on for long enough. My son came back from camp last summer saying what a wonderful time he had w/ the kids, and then proceeded on to say how the head staff and directors were obnoxious and treated him, and many others like garbage. This is not a slave business that you can get bochurim to come down for 2 months (maximum) and pay them pennies on the dollar, then go on and show to them how high they are and how low you are. If a director cant repect his/her staff… Read more »

@ #30 positive criticism and tough love
Guest
@ #30 positive criticism and tough love

I guess we know now why there is a staff crisis, its quite obvious from what and how you phrased your words. If you or any other director is planning on having staff, and them being good staff at that, i suggest you take this matter seriously and not brush it off saying how hard your life is. Thats not what people want to hear. Obviously if everyone thought like you, we wouldnt have this issue would we? but since we dont all think like you, you have to take resposibility for what you do and confront this problem before… Read more »

yadayadayadayadaya
Guest
yadayadayadayadaya

I saw this coming! With the way people get treated, it’s no surprise that camps are finding it hard to find staff. Not fun, but certainly no surprise.

re # 30
Guest
re # 30

It seems to me this camp director was trying to say something positive and didn’t have the proper words to express it. I can’t proffess to be him (or her, though it sounds like a guy), but I will try to interpret his comments. Camp staff get paid a weekly stipend. In addition to their stipend, the camp will pay for airfare, room & board, extracurricular trips & activities outside camp, as well as provide a vehicle and gas. If, instead of paying for all of those things, the camp director gave the staff member(s) a proper paycheck, and had… Read more »

Being a Director
Guest
Being a Director

I always like to read these comments, as I definitely learn new ideas every time 🙂 I will def. be calling my staff’s parents this year, to tell them all about my camp etc. I think that’s a great idea. I think there is a lot of “animosity” on each side. When I was a counselor, I had really extreme horrible cases…And at this point in my life I say it was all hashgacha pratis, b/c as Director, I KNOW what it was like. I am so happy to have my staff! They ARE a lot of work on my… Read more »

camps
Guest
camps

for the past few years i have been working at the same camp. this year im one of the only few counselors who is returning only cause we feel bad for the shluchim. we work all day for 2 months and got less then $100. some of us even stayed late, planned for the following days & weeks. got to camp early to set up, stayed late to clean up the whole place. as much as we love the shluchim we work for, we are so tired of getting underpaid, esp. when there is another job that could be urs… Read more »

also...from camps
Guest
also...from camps

i forgot to mention, we all are local girls so we all stay home, our parents drive us or we carpool which means they rnt paying for a car for us, they rnt paying gas, they rnt paying room, we bring our own lunches, ect. we are over worked and not getting what we deserve. and if our directors did what #72 does, buys us things and whatever i think i would have a diff opinion, but they dont and thats why its so annoying and thats why we dont wanna come back!

a look into girls convos
Guest
a look into girls convos

one shabbos afternoon and bunch of girls were talking and summer plans came up, most of the girls said they were going to look for jobs. when asked about why they dont want to work in the camp again they all agreed it wasnt worth it. one of the counselors knows of a girl who was just asked to work for the camp and we all agreed that its best that she know what shes getting her self into. the bottom line is girls talk and parents talk, they all tell each other bout how little they got, how they… Read more »

I hear u
Guest
I hear u

To 73-74. Makes sense to me. I wouldn’t want to go back either.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I dont think its necessarily the camps getting pickier, I feel like most shlichum do not have very good reputations for treating their staff well. As a result, girls tell other girls that they should absolutely not work for certain shluchim. The only way to resolve this problem every year is to treat your staff with respect.

bottom line
Guest
bottom line

Can ppl post which camps they had a good experience with? That’s easier than posting who was a bad experience. I’ll start. Cgi plano tx, cgi manchester nh, cgi pittsburgh.

Hi Shmuli
Guest
Hi Shmuli

If you get to this comment, call me to let me know you did.
Chaim

#41
Guest
#41

REALLY!? a lot off people cant afford the full cost of camp so for them even paying a reduced price might still be a fortune for them! you got room, electricity, food, trips, money, ect. and you are complaining?! see you dont see what it really adds up to for 15 girls to eat out twice a week, and how much trips are, and everything else. dont just look at you, look at the whole picture. most directors are paying for a place to rent, they are trying to support their large families, they are not paying for just one… Read more »

would the rebbe ever back this up??????????
Guest
would the rebbe ever back this up??????????

I agree that this topic has to be adressed (I’m talking about this and what u have written last year )but I’m verry sorry to let u know that the rebbes “shitah” was not this way to get graphical and speak about it at length so please before u start touching on these topics please check out what the rebbes Outlook on it may be

to 81
Guest
to 81

Who wrote what last year? Please elaborate, this sounds important.

counselor
Guest
counselor

I don’t think money is the main thing. I want to work for nice ppl. The place where I’m going this summer I heard they are nice and I hope that I’ll feel that way at tge end of the summer too.

@ #72 and @#81
Guest
@ #72 and @#81

@# 72 – that sounds like a really nice camp you run there, and i applaud you for that. The point is, there are not many, if at all, camps like yours out there. Especially when it comes to bochurim, i can scarcely name 2 camps from my experience that are treated as physically well as yours. We here are not trying to tell you how bad a camp YOU run, but rather, others who cannot uphold your level. Secondly, the statement that you made that they would scarecly break even or even lose money on working w/o the benefits… Read more »

Summer Camp?
Guest
Summer Camp?

There is so much talk about summer camp here. Judging on the grammar in these comments, we should be looking into summer SCHOOLS!

to 85
Guest
to 85

Very true. Although with today’s teenager who probably texts a lot, most are not used to writing in full sentences or using any grammar at all. They also spell in shorthand. It gets annoying for us “old geezers” and perhaps in school they do write and spell properly.

@ #81
Guest
@ #81

please, don’t even start with this rebbe business, the reason boys and girls are going to summer camps in the FIRST place is because the rebbe said to do so. I do not think that years of abuse and whatnot can simply ‘dissappear’ with a little: what would the rebbe say?’ People nowadays, ESPECIALLY teenagers do not want to hear this guilt card at all, it just makes them more furious, seeing how people dont really care about their feelings, and just shun them by saying: Oh we, the shluchim work so hard! Or, What would the Rebbe say? Seriously,… Read more »

great points!
Guest
great points!

Shmuly, thanks for initiating this important discussion!

yeshivah buchur
Guest
yeshivah buchur

i think more of the problem is with the directors of large overnight camps.
i have been to many shluchim around the word and saw the amount of mesirus nefesh that they have. if you are not interested in going on shlichus, then find another camp where they are willing to EMPLOY you

agree
Guest
agree

if we are gonna “volunteer” and get a measly stipend, at least let us know that you appreciate what we are doing for you!

Rabbi Rothmam
Guest
Rabbi Rothmam

Is standing in my backyard in that picture.

Dovid Sugar
P:S: Go Sugars

to number 84
Guest
to number 84

i can see you have no idea what money means. Do you want that director #72 to be graphic and give his exact amount? Yes, 1 apple only cost $1, add that to 25 x 8 weeks thats $200. do that to the rest of the his list and you will see the numbers add up to the big thousands. And if I’m not mistaken, the shliach was not high and mighty at all. he specifically said how HAPPY he was to pay all that money for his staff. his whole point was that there IS another side which staff… Read more »

common cents
Guest
common cents

my daughter applyied to many many camps. and not one has answeared her . a yes or a no. she started to apply before purim. everytime she sees an add she apply and they dont even answear a yes or no. and you say they cant get staff?

Tips
Guest
Tips

My son worked in a Lubavitcher yeshiva camp, half day learning and after lunch swimming or trips. Younger kids.
The pay was very meager, but they were promised tips.
This is in abig Canadian city,not Montreal .
The director’s son was in his group. He was very happy all summer.
On the last day of camp, the director picked up his son, and somehow forgot about the tip!.
Speechless !!!
So he saved a few dollars, that won’t get him very far, but what did he teach that Bocher??

94
Guest
94

unfortunately that is a very common scenario.

to number 84 and 92; another parent
Guest
to number 84 and 92; another parent

I am mildly surprised at the attitude that has been flying around here from both of you. While I agree #84 shouldnt have stated his/her opinion so aggressively, I do agree somewhat with what it says there. Being a director, number 92, you should know that it is not proper conduct to take a personal shot at others during this discussion. It simply shows immaturuty. While I believe you also had a point on #84 also, nothing in his/her statement proved anything about knowing or not knowing anything about money. Seemingly the only people that do know anything about money… Read more »

to number 92
Guest
to number 92

I went to an overnight camp this past summer as a counselor, I cannot tell you how many thins I find wrong with your statement. I was never flown in by the camp, I was never given a car, or gas for that matter, and I had extremely hard working hours. do you know what I was paid for 2 months of 18 hour days? a little over 200 dollars. WHile I understand you run a pretty nice camp, that does not mean every other camp is the same, especially overnight camps. Here is a list of what I had… Read more »

to number 96
Guest
to number 96

I totally agree!

has anyone made plans
Guest
has anyone made plans

wondering if anyone was able to find summer plans after reading the feedback on here

next summer
Guest
next summer

This is such good feedback! I hope all the directors who read this will make changes this summer and have an easier time with staff for next summer.

X