Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Good Night, New Jersey!

I gotta get some sleep. While four and a half hours may not sound so bad, try multiplying that times the number of camp days in a week. Add in 90 degree heat and a capture the counselor game. Also add in color war and chayus and tons of blue face paint...
What do you get?
Nothing really that important.
So good night.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Flat

Every camp that uses a Chabad Car needs to have their 'flat story'.
Ours happened on our trip to Monsey. 'The Boat' got a flat and it took us hours to fix that tire and another tire that had metal poking out.

But we made it there and back safely.

(Smile if you know the real reason I'm posting this. If you think it's to show that I don't care about spacing out posts, you're on the right track...)

Color War

We are all up right now working on color war.
We broke it out today, and it was perfect, nobody knew it was color war. We basically got into a fight with our GM who canceled sports for the rest of summer, since we were taking food from the kitchen. It sounds lame, but trust me, it turned out really good.

I'm the general for the blue team. wish me luck.

Classic Max

The camper who told me he is half animal before, had me cracking up this week.
We were in the woods, and Max was dawdling far behind us.
"Come on, Max, please catch up!"
"It's okay, Yossi, I can sense you."
"Um, okay, I can sense you, too, Max, but not over far distances."

He ran over to me, and said he saw writing in the dirt that said, "You are late for your death" and "We are coming." I don't know if that is from a movie or something, but it was really funny, because he was serious that he saw this written.

He says every night he visits Monkey Land. He says he is shorter than his twin sister because he doesn't sleep at night.

He got rope burn from the playground, all over his chest. Why wasn't he wearing his shirt? Because he needed his skin to breathe.

Another camper, Joseph, fell into the big trash can full of soapy water we were using for the Car Wash. We saw his feet coming up and out from it. He had been reaching down to fill up his sponge. We were really scared he would drown, so we pulled him out. He is okay, baruch haveyeh.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hey buddy, that's my seat!

I was in Monsey this shabbos.
They have a very nice shul and community.
Friday evening I sat down to daven mincha, do shnayim mikrah, learn a sicha, and daven kabalas shabbos.
Every few minutes, a guy would come by and slam a random sefer down in front of me. I'd look up and he was off.
Soon a small pile of randomly picked seforim was in front of me.
I kept thinking that if this guy wanted my seat, he'd let me know it was his seat.
Finally, I had started Kabbalos shabbos, and he was standing behind me.
"I'm sorry, am I in your seat?" I asked him.
"Ohhh! Now that was a smart thought! How sharp of you! You should be...a Rosh Yeshiva or something!!" he shteched me out.
I had four options at that point.
A) Slap him
B)Say "You're rubber and I'm glue..." or "Sticks and stones..."
C)Give a smart nasty reply
D)Walk away.

I opted for E) All of the above...

No, I'm just kidding. I walked away. But for an old guy in a hat and kapote, he sure was acting like a two year old...

Monday, July 20, 2009

If I'm a superhero

At Six Flags I posed for a picture with Robin and The Green Lantern. They asked me for my superhero name. I was stumped.
They looked at me and gave me the name: SuperBeard.
So that's my new superhero name.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

So I was reading chrudge, right?

One of the reasons I respect is because he put me on his blog list.
If you've never been there, basically it's supposed to be like the drudgereport. He gets articles and 'news' from all the other chabad news websites, and puts it all together. As in, you don't need to have to check out shmais, and then col, and It's your one place shopping for lubavitch news.
What's funny in some ways and sad in others, is that he mainly focuses on all the politics and fighting. Whether it's between rabbonim, or between the different chabad news websites.
(That was the hakdama)
So I was reading chrudge, and of course the top headline caught my eye.
I clicked the link to the yeshiva world website, and read that in camp chayolei hamelech, they found a victim of a homicide, inside a bunkhouse!!! How crazy is that?
Unless of course, it's the breakout of color war. Or a prank. Or a horrible reporting error.
Either way,'tis crazy.

Public Enemy #1- Goats

Our camp is on a farm, so we have horses and goats, etc.
There are a few different goat pens, and when we have the chance, counselors can take their bunks to go feed/pet/run around with the farm animals. Baby goats are the cutest little things, especially if you get to hold them and give it milk from a bottle.
Last week I took my bunk to go run around with some goats. After we finished with the baby and little goats, we walked over to the bigger male goats. There were three guys in this pen, and they all had horns.
My campers were not doing anything mean or scary to the goats.

But all of a sudden, at least one goat flipped and went crazy. He started attacking my kids! (Kids mean children, not baby goats) I got into emergency mode and got my campers out of the pen. They had to climb over the fence, or run out the door. One camper right in front of me was- and I'm not kidding, (Kidding means joking, nothing to do with goats.) was being gored by a goat's horns, into his stomach. I could see it ripping his shirt a little, and I wasn't sure if he was actually being lifted off the ground!!! I ran to help him but he got free, and this little boy cleared the fence so fast, it was crazy how he could jump over it, but he was screaming and crying in terror. I rushed the kids to the office, hoping they weren't seriously injured, especially this poor boy who the goat appeared to have plunged his horns up into his stomach!!
Bauch Haveyeh, everyone was ok. One boy had a scrape on his hand, another had the wind knocked out of him a bit when a goat had rammed into him. Another boy also got a little trampled.
And most importantly, the boy who got gored, all he had were some scrapes, baruch hashem, and nothing more. I was so scared that we'd see huge gashes, and the like, when we looked him over.
I had to call up the parents and let them know what happened.

It was a very scary day for me, and I hope it's the worst emergency that will happen in camp, and especially one I'll have to deal with.

Tomorrow we go to Six Flags, where we have to be supervigilant to make sure nobody abducts our kids (not goats). The buster that tries moving in on my group won't be able to walk ever again if he tries to take away one of my campers, let me tell you.

And once I"m talking about Six Flags, I'll fill you in on a statistic of mine. The counselors stay late at the park after the kids leave at either 3:30 or 6:00 (depending on age), so it will be the first camp day EVER this summer that I will not have gone home to a camper's house on Bikkur Bayis. I'm pretty proud of this record.

So have a good night.
Watch out for goats, watch your kids if you take them to Six Flags, and watch your caller ID if I'm your son's counselor, since I may try to come over this week.

DISCLAIMER: This incident with the goat is something that has not happened at all that I've heard of before. CGI is a very safe camp, and there is no reason not to send your child to this Gan Izzy or any other one.

Worm DNA

The same camper who claims to be half-animal told me a few days ago when he caught a worm that he plans to take the worm's DNA and give it to a frog, to create a whole army of gigantic worms with frog-heads.

A counselor on his off day (Sunday)

Today we had a break from camp. Not on Shabbos, since we had a shabbaton. The kids enjoyed themselves, and learned lots of Torah. I helped out in the Shmayunke (some have a girsa with the 'r' as in shmaryunke).
Today we went jet skiing in Ocean City, NJ. It was pretty cool. I've been jet skiing before, and once with dolphins, but that was quite a few years ago.
Driving back to L'Wood, we had fun with the cars around us.
First of all, we paid for cars behind us whenever we came to a toll. The toll is only a dollar most of the way, and we like seeing the driver's reaction when he hears a stranger paid for him. You have to be careful, though, depending on the gender of the driver behind you. Most women assume that a car full of guys is just trying to flirt with them. It would be a very short relationship, though, until our paths diverge.
We started this last summer, when we were totally bewildered after arriving at a tollbooth and hearing that the driver ahead of us had paid for us! It was such a nice, kind gesture that cannot possibly be repaid. We decided it was the type of random kindness that we would like to proliferate. (I hope proliferate can be used in that context. If not, just substitute the one I'm looking for.)
So we did that while driving back, and we also had fun with our windshield wiper fluid. If you spray it just right, you can get it on the car in back of you, or onto the side window of a car to the side of you. (Stam, I was at a gas station, and cleaned my windshield without looking to see if the attendant was in the way. He was, but he laughed when I tried apologizing, and he said he liked the shower (can you say redneck?!?))
We kept spraying up a blue Audi convertible behind us, which then tried cutting us off, so we cut them off, v'chulu. Oh, and when I say we, I wasn't driving. Just passenging. And yes, I wrote passenging.
We finished our night with a barbeque at our director's house. There were these two boys from Lakewood who the rabbi had found walking back from a mall, after missing their bus. I'm not sure if they understood that the drive from the mall back to lakewood was about twenty minutes, so the walk had to for sure be more than twenty minutes, too. So they ate with us, also, and told us about this relative and that one of theirs that is Lubavitch...
They heard us planning our trip tomorrow to Six Flags, and asked, clearly shocked, "You're renting out the whole park?!" Um, no. But to them, it's a huge deal, what with the lack of tznius, etc. We drove them home, and one boy about sixteen asked us, "How do you deal with a camp full of mamzerim and kids without brisin?" We had been talking about a boy who didn't have a bris (he told us, that's how we knew, in case you were wondering...)
We were all shocked in the car at his coldness and disgust for fry Yiddishe kinder. We told him that they were still yiddishe kinder...

And that was basically my day. I hoped you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed living it.

Monday, July 13, 2009


In bowling, three strikes in a row are called a Turkey.
So if you get a spare, three strikes, and then another spare, you'd get a turkey sandwich!

Friday, July 10, 2009


This shabbos is july 11, which is 7/11.
So motzei shabbos, remember to follow through with a tradition that dates back to Beis Hillel, and travel to as many Seven Eleven's as you can to try and get the free small itsy bitsy slurpee.

It's 1:00 AM

It's one, and I still haven't finished the journal, of course.
It is going to printed out this time, which means people will actually see it. Only ten kids saw last week's emailed version.
Since this will be printed, it has to be cut down in size, so instead of last week's twenty pages, this one is ten. Ten pages means nothing very creative. Just the basics.
I'm finishing writing now the weekly review thingee that goes over what we did. I have to remember what happened Monday, and make up what will happen Friday. I need to write it in a comical, funny way, but I don't have the time or patience to go over the top-blog-style like I did last year.
What does that mean? It means I write what we did, and throw in words like superspectacular and bestest, and lots of exclamation points. And since I'm writing in the viewpoint of a soda vending machine, I put in a burp now and then.
My goal is to finish everything by two. I need to get some sleep. I didn't sleep at all today, so I'm dozing off just typing this.
And now it is 1:01 AM. Look at that.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Parshas Pinchas

Uvnei Korach Lo Meisu.

See Rashi, v'chulu.

Banks and bathrooms

Have you ever used a restroom at a bank?
Seriously. Think about it. Do you even remember seeing a bathroom in a bank?
Well, I haven't, and I can't.
But today, after depositing a check at a bank on the 18, I asked the teller for a restroom, already turning to leave. I was shocked when she showed me where to go.
Crazy, huh?

Hello there

I hope your fast is going meaningfully.
We had a shorter camp day today, and we went bowling. I'm not sure why we even had camp, especially with the money problems.
After camp, instead of going home and sleeping, I hopped on a bus and went out to bikkur bayis.
This kid in my bunk.... he is something, alright.
He told me he is half animal. Which animal? Every one.
His sister has a friend who can speak to butterflies since she knows French. Do butterflies speak French? No. But they understand it.
When I was playing Monopoly with him today, he started stealing my property by throwing houses onto them. I was forced to give him my deed. You didn't know you can steal in Monopoly? His mother didn't either, so he told me, but he knew. Also, some of the Monopoly money are special. Special means that when you use it, you can pick up free houses and hotels or even new tokens so you have three guys moving around the board for you. How do you know which bill is special? Only he can tell.
I was almost laughing as we played.
I started to try to play like him, and tried stealing a railroad of mine back.
"Oh, Yossi, you can't do that!!" He is the only one who knows exactly how to steal the places on the board.

Friday, July 3, 2009

First week of camp

We finished the first week of camp today! I have eight year olds, and of course, I'm having a blast, as I knew I would.
The day is exhausting, with bikkur bayis adding on a few hours every night.
I stayed up to three this morning finishing the journal.
This year, because of money strains, they aren't printing them out, only emailing them... so that kind of stinks. It's always fun for campers and counselors to take something home like the journal. Oh well.
I hope everyone's doing well and having great summers.
And happy July 4th!!

And have a meaningful Yud Beis/Yud Gimmel Tammuz.