With the summer approaching, it’s important to begin making plans for your children, ensuring that they spend the summer in a positive Jewish environment and not susceptible to the negative influences of the street.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe would discuss this topic almost every year, sometimes as early as Pesach time. He stressed that the summer should be utilized for fortifying and expanding a child’s Jewish education.
Attending an overnight camp, or at least a day camp – administered by staff who treasure the Torah way of life – is excellent for children. In addition to the recreational activities offered at such camps, time is set aside each day for studying Torah. Going to these camps can imbue a young boy or girl with the warmth and vitality of Yiddishkeit which will remain with him or her for years to come.
The Rebbe said parents want their children to have more opportunities than they had as youngsters. Thus, even parents who weren’t blessed with a proper Jewish upbringing desire to give their children every opportunity to learn about the Torah way of life as ensuring the spiritual well being of children is just as vital as taking care of their physical needs.
Often, however, parents don’t know to whom to turn or how to go about enrolling their kids in Torah-true camps. They therefore should be sought out, said the Rebbe, and given the opportunity to do what’s best for their children.
The Rebbe added that a positive experience in summer camp can – in some respects – influence a child even more than his or her school experience. Since camp is fun, Torah study in camp is viewed as part of the enjoyment rather than something campers are forced to do. Therefore, campers are more open and receptive to what they learn, and the knowledge they acquire can have a far greater impact on their lives.
Additionally, camp is an immersive experience – 24 hours a day in the case of a sleepaway camp. The positive influence such an immersion can have on a child is indescribable. Indeed, there are countless stories of overnight camps putting a child on the proper road for life.