Do camp counselors hook up

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Administrators at Jewish sleepaway camps say they discourage campers from getting frisky with each other. But former campers tell a different story, of counselors who turned a blind eye or even gently egged their campers on. The unspoken subtext, they say, is Jewish continuity. Like a PG version of Taglit-Birthright Israel — during which Jewish somethings are known to fall for each other while they fall in love with Israel — Jewish summer camps acquaint adolescents with their religious tradition, but also with each other.

Many former campers say they had their earliest romantic episodes at camp, paving the way for adult relationships with other Jews. Today, hooking up at camp is a hallmark of the American Jewish youth experience. Michael, 24, a former counselor who for privacy reasons asked that his real name not be used, recalls a camper who asked him for an extra 10 minutes of hill time to be with her boyfriend on his birthday; he obliged. At Camp Ramah in the Poconos, counselors took it a step further.

Jonathan Hess, 19, a former camper and counselor there, recalls a post-Sabbath tisch , an after-dinner social gathering. For many, camp hookup culture was a formative part of their Jewish adolescence. The degree to which camp hookup culture plays a role in Jewish identity is unknown. Even so, there is evidence that individuals who go to Jewish sleepaway camp are more likely to marry within the faith. Camp administrators, meanwhile, see the hookup culture as hindering the Jewish sleepaway camp experience. The camps also discourage public displays of affection.

McGrath says various camps have taken measures to discourage romantic relationships, including increased supervision and more structured programming. Orthodox camps have predictably stricter policies. Yet while camp directors are none too pleased to find campers getting handsy by the lake, they are quick to advertise the fact that the seeds of marriage are often planted at camp. A section of the Ramah website is devoted to camp marriages.

And Camp Tawonga has a special chuppah for couples who met at camp to their names. Former campers say that early romance at Jewish sleepaway camp influenced their preferences. Emily Shire is the chief researcher at The Week magazine and is a freelance writer. Find her work at emilyshire. Home Hooking Up at Summer Camp. Home Share 13 Search. Facebook Twitter. Give Podcast Subscribe. Image by kurt hoffman. Author Emily Shire. J Goldberg. Send to. Add a message.

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Do camp counselors hook up

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Hooking Up at Summer Camp