Is there any day of the year that’s as much anticipated by some despised by others and almost universally practiced by every Jewish family… as camp visiting day?

I recall my days as a camper when the counselors would turn the bunk into a frenetic world of cleaning and organizing. Every undershirt had to be folded exactly as required. Every scrap of paper had to be removed from the floor and areas of the bunkhouse thought to be permanently stained were restored to their original pristine sheen.

We campers were surprised at the seriousness with which our counselors responded to visiting day; we had no choice however but to go with the flow.

It was only a few short years later when I found myself on the other side of the bunkhouse now as the counselor insisting on the importance of getting the bunk spic-and-span.

I recall somewhat humorously how we counselors would wait up the hill from the parking lot and watch the parents ascend “cardiac hill” on their way to the bunkhouses.

We’d play a game of attempting to identify which parents belonged to which child.

There was the man who clearly was Yankel’s father; the man’s walk was a mirror image of the way Yankel strutted around the camp.

And the short pudgy man struggling up the hill could only be Rafi’s dad — both were short round and slow moving.

Years went by yet before the memories of folded T-shirts faded from my consciousness I was a parent and I was the one doing the visiting.

The trip up would begin early Sunday morning. The pre-visiting day preparations were quite elaborate as the list of goodies each child “absolutely needed” rivaled the list of names in the Manhattan phonebook.

Finally the time arrived and my wife and I packed the car and off we drove up the throughway onto the 17 and into the Catskill Mountains.

One particular visiting day remains etched in my mind for posterity.

My youngest son Aryeh was attending an outdoor adventure camping experience and there was a mix of boys from different backgrounds in his bunk. Suffice it to say that I was the only rav who had a son in the camp.

After the long drive my wife and I arrived at the campgrounds; however as the camp was located deep in the woods and up a steep path we had to hike our way in.

As I was huffing and puffing my way up together with other parents the counselors (unbeknownst to me) were continuing the age-old tradition of “match the right parents with the right kid.”

Many a time (I only found this out later) the comments of the counselors about the parents were not the most complimentary and many a child when asked “Are those your parents coming up?” would embarrassingly reply “Oh that’s my aunt and uncle.” Any answer was better than admitting the strange-looking people were actually your parents!

Suddenly I was spotted making my way up the hill with my full beard and rabbinic garb. In this world of casual summer apparel the only word that could be used to describe me was anomalistic.

Upon seeing me one of the counselors blurted out “Whose father is that? He must have taken a wrong turn by Camp Tashbar and ended up here!”

As I neared the end of my trek Aryeh came running smilingly toward me and lovingly hugged me.

He then turned me around to face his counselors and proudly announced “This is my father!”

As I looked at the shocked faces of the counselors I knew this was the best visiting day of my life.