Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Mishpacha Junior Speaks to Summer Camp Staff

Meira Feinman

A sports counselor organizes the camp’s sporting activities and teaches the campers how to play each game. Last year, Yitzy Smith was head sports counselor at Camp Toras Chaim Tashbar in the Catskills — and he liked it so much, he’s heading back this summer! Mishpacha Jr. spoke with Yitzy to find out more about what a sports counselor does, what’s the campers’ favorite sport, and all about a game called “Switch.”

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MJ: Hi, Yitzy! Can you tell us what it’s like to be a sports counselor?

YS: I organize which bunks play which sports. Every morning, we give out activity request forms to the bunks, and they write down what activity they would like to do that day. We collect all the request forms and work out a schedule that will give all campers a great time.

MJ: When do the games begin each day?

YS: In the afternoon. Mornings are filled with davening, breakfast, and learning. The excitement and ruchniyus of learning gives extra geshmak to the afternoon activities, and the campers really feel that positive influence stick with them throughout the day 

MJ: What kinds of sports do you play in camp?

YS: All sports! — baseball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, flag football, hockey, and many, many more. We also play water sports in our five-acre lake, including water biking, paddle boating, kayaking, etc. And we have hiking as a sport, too — there are lots of great hiking routes around our campus! Plus, there are other fun activities, like “Switch,” that are played throughout the camp session, even on rainy days.

MJ: I’ve never heard of the game “Switch”! How does it work?

YS: Oh, it’s lots of fun! You play it in a large area, like our gym (it’s a great game for a rainy day). A lot of boys — sometimes the whole camp! — can play it at the same time. We set up booths around the room. Each booth is related to a different sport — hitting a hockey puck in the goal, or shooting a basketball into a hoop, for example.

Each bunk is only at each booth for two minutes. The boys stand in a line, taking turns at each booth, as their counselor writes down how many points they’re getting. After only 120 seconds, the whistle blows and they have to move on to the next booth — so it’s very fast-paced and exciting!

We call this game “Tashbar Switch Exclusive,” because we also have special Tashbar-only booths. For example, there’s a costume booth where you have to get dressed in a funny getup and run around in a circle shouting how much you love Camp Tashbar!

After each bunk has been to each booth once, the game is over and we add up all the points. The bunk with the most points wins. Everyone gets really involved, rooting for their teammates, hustling through the booths, and straining to do their best by the time the whistle blows!


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you