Questions Kids Ask Over This And Other Summers

Usually at this point in the summer, I would be finished running an overnight camp program and would be visiting other camps across the country.  After eating meals, attending activities and otherwise just hanging out with hundreds of campers ages 9-16 and staff ages 18 to their mid-twenties, I would be tuned in to the kinds of things that are on the minds of children of all ages. Usually, camper questions are something like this:

-Did I get any mail?

-Can I borrow your Shabbat dress?

-What is my job on the job wheel? (Yuck, I HATE bathrooms!)

-When is Visitors Day?

-Is there a cookout tonight?

-Do I have to go on the camping trip?


Campers are generally so engaged and happy to be with friends that their few questions focus on life beyond camp.  Young counselors are generally in their happy place in camp and also focus mostly on the here and now.

-Where should I go on my day off?

-How do I look in this dress?

-Can I Venmo you?

-Who are you rooming with this semester?


This summer, most kids continue to be “stuck” at home.  Some are in day camp programs.  A few are at overnight camps, where their parents are praying no one will get Covid-19.   The questions I am hearing are mostly from bar and bat mitzvah students I continue to see on FaceTime and Zoom. 

Recent questions—all serious and one provocative—include:

 -Can we get a dog?

-Do you think we’ll get in to Hershey Park if we drive all the way down, or will it be closed if it is too full?

-Can we rent an RV to go on vacation?

-Is it ok if we eat pork in front of you? (referring to his upcoming outdoors, socially distanced bar mitzvah) 

To my delight and surprise, I haven’t heard any kids ask, “When will we stop having lessons for the summer?”  I think everyone has lost track of time—and the lessons actually serve as a not so horrible way to spend an hour each week!




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