Camp Ruach Chaim Cancels Visiting Day


catskillsCamp Ruach Chaim, located on Knickerbocker Road in Livingston Manor, NY, has informed that it has cancelled visiting day this summer.

“The decision came after much deliberation,” a senior staff member told in an interview. “We are pleased to assist our parents in avoiding the hassle and expense of the trip to camp on the busiest day of the season. We are confident that this will work to everyone’s benefit.”

The decision was confirmed with the camp’s owner and founder, Rabbi Moshe Dovid Perlstein.

Parents of campers are reacting very positively to the camp’s decision.

“Canceling Visiting Day takes guts,” one parent wrote to the Ruach Chaim staff via email. “Kudos! I’m sure all the camps will shortly follow… My son sounds like he’s having fun and I trust your staff to keep an eye out for him. We will be sending tips shortly, iy”H.”

Another parents, N. G., wrote, “What a great gift to us parents! You should be gebentched from the bottom of all our hearts!”

M. A. added, “Great news! I hope you will start a new trend. Thanks for the good news!”

“The actual day is beautiful, but the traveling is really exhausting on the whole family,” one parent told

Camp Ruach Chaim is named in memory of Rabbi Chaim Perlstein zt”l.

{Gavriel Newscenter}


  1. Dear Camp Ruach Chaim,

    I cannot believe you took away such a wonderful and exciting day for my son and our family. We all look forward to the get together and it gives me the chance to bench my son in person rather then just on the phone. He loves how we all come to visit him, that he gets to take his little brothers to the canteen and getting that little extra “mommy love” when his linen is changed.

    I can’t speak for others but I can speak for my family. We are so upset about this terrible decision. I love my kids and I love spending time with them. i also love that they go to camp and get this wonderful and enriching experience. Will you allow me to come visit with my family on a different day so we can spend a few hours with my diamond. Or, will you tell me that visiting is disruptive to your daily schedule. He chose to come to camp to learn and grow and we want to show our support. I want to bring him some extra nosh, I want to give him a hug and a kiss.

    You see, I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I do know that Rav Gavriel Sassoon has told me since his tragedy to always love my kids, to hug my kids, to spend time with them when I can and to use that time wisely. I also know he needs to grow and camp is great for him so can’t I at least have 1 day out of 4 weeks to be with him? If others don’t want to then thats their choice but why take this pleasure away from me.

    Rav Paysach Krohn once said that his son asked Rav Wolbe ZTL what is the most important thing a parent can give a child and Rav Wolbe said “TIME” Rav Krohn asked how much time? Rav Wolbe answered as much as HE needs. This means that it is not up to the camp but up to the child how much time he wants to spend with his parents.

    My son is to shy and too embarrassed to come tell you he wants us to visit because he tries to just follow the rules. How about a compromise. Why not offer a special day with a trip for those children who are fine without a visiting day on the same day that is an unofficial visiting day where any parents and family who would like can spend the day with their child.

    Its just nor fair to take this away from us and assume everyone is happy with your decision. It’s also not fair or honest to print an article with only comments supporting your decision just to make yourself look good. Either comments from both sides or no comment at all.

  2. Excellent comment from last post!
    We also enjoy visiting day and plan a family trip to the country. We dont just dump our kids in camp and say get lost for 4 weeks. Think of those who would do anything to have kids to send to camp at all. Baruch Hash”m we have kids enjoy them even if the trip is a little strenuous.

  3. I’m with #3 (oy Vey! July 30, 2015 at 10:41 am)
    Our kids in camp LOVE seeing their parents and siblings once or twice a summer. When we arrive, the number of kids waiting around the parking area shows that other kids feel the same way. Once when we visited with out baby, our older child grabbed him and went running off to “show off” the baby brother to friends. As a former camp maintenance worker, I know the tremendous amount of work that the staff puts in preparing for visiting day (“Sleep” was a non-existent word motzei Shabbos before visiting day), but as a parent I assure you it’s worth it and it’s appreciated by us. At least one camp I know of has a day trip for campers who aren’t being visited, which is a nice compromise as the previous poster suggested. A camp has every right to make a “No visiting day” rule and many people will probably be fine with that, but I wouldn’t want to send my kids there.

  4. Attention ALL Camps,

    Please follow Ruach Chaim’s lead and cancel visiting day. We parents hate having to give up on one of our few sundays to drive up from NYC, battle traffic, look for something/nothing to do in Woodbourne other than wait in line to pay for overpriced pizza, meet counselors who are children themselves and hear them pontificate about our how wonderful are kids are so they can get higher tips, walk through the camp grounds that have been cleaned just in time for the parents to arrive and kvell.
    Please cancel it. No one will complain – guaranteed!

    Thank you RC for being the leaders in camping yet again. You drove the prices down and now you’re acting sensibly by cancelling visiting day. Keep it up!

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve been ostracized for years for saying the same thing. If the tzatzikal is old enough to go to a sleep away camp, he is old enough to be away for 4 weeks. How is this any different than my boys who are in out of town Mesivtas? They only come home once a month for Shabbos Mivarchim. This is normal and healthy as a way of maturing. What, we should go visit our son in Yeshiva every Sunday? What about boys and girls that go to Israel for seminary? Should we have to go visit them once a month? This is total craziness and has to stop. Thank you Camp Ruach Chaim for leading the way.

    To Mr. oy Vey: Take a chill pill

  6. I concur with what someone wrote above. We are dissapointed. Yes, there is traffic but for us to visit the most important asset we have, our child, we are willing to suffer the traffic.

    My wife and I were sad when we got the cancellation email.

  7. To Oy Vey. If you want to spend time with your child, send him to a local day camp and spend time with them every day. That is what I did.

  8. This camp in particular is only a 3 week camp. So, while 4 weeks may be too long not to have visiting day 3 weeks I don’t think is such a big deal. They just left last Tuesday and will be home In a week and a half.

  9. I have worked in camps for about 40 years. I agree its not easy to travel from NYC to the mountains. Many people don’t have cars. Many have children in different camps with visiting days on different Sundays. The competition between what campers receive from parents (and other relatives) has become more and more competitive. (I have seen children receive entire Shabbos orders. Ok, minus the chicken soup) But after hearing hundreds of complaints about visiting day, I always walk away with the feeling 1) that although its burdensome many are just not interested in going that extra mile for their kids. 2). They Know that their kids will ask for things they will have to say no to and in 2015 we can’t say no to our kids. In the end the ones who lose out the most are the staff who count on the hakoras hatov tips the parents give them.

  10. What disturbs me about the anti visiting day crowd is that they can’t fargin us a visit to our eight-year-old because they don’t want to (or can’t) visit their own kid, and don’t want others to know they’d rather be elsewhere. Do they also reply “Yes” to simcha invitations and then breathe a sigh of relief when a snowstorm prevents them from attending?

  11. To #3 oy vay – you make a nice point from Rav Wolbe ZTL.
    However, based on your “taynos”, you should not send your child to sleepaway camp at all! There are many great day camps available that will give you time to spend quality time with your son, without homework, early wakeup for school, etc.
    If you are sending your child away for 4 weeks, you already have resolved to not spend time with your son. A few hours on visiting day won’t help much.

  12. As a ruach Chaim parent of 2 boys I have to say that ruach Chaim is the best. My boys are excited to have another day of camp instead of sitting around in the car. There will be plenty of time for kisses in 2 weeks for those who need. If you can’t wait keep him home, for you even a day is too long

  13. If you are rich, own your own business, have who to visit after visiting day in the Catskills for a barbeque, have a functional family, own your own car, and well connected, then visiting day is for you.
    If you don’t fit in that category, then visiting day is extremely difficult and puts unfair stress and pressure on such Parents.
    Sorry, but this is reality.

  14. For the canteen this is a double problem…..
    A. We lose the actual infux of business on that day.
    B. Most children get more money to spend for the rest of the summer on visiting day , and now we will not make that money…..

    SW and MS

  15. Does anyone use the post office anymore?! Mail the tips!!
    Totally agree with #11 re “it’s 2015 & we can’t say no to our kids anymore” ;how very sad when a child dictates to a parent involving all aspects of how they dress, vacation trips etc……this entitlement generation is a major problem that should be focused on in the Yeshivas in conjunction with the home. As for a Camp that’s a 3 week camp I have no problem with abandoning visiting day….to #7 comment there is a major difference between visiting a seminary 18 yr old student & an 8 year old at sleepaway camp!…..To Oy Vey, I agree that our children are our most important asset & it should not be looked upon as a burden, & yes the Sassoon tragedy should have impacted more on all of us as to what’s important & what’s not…as I’m writing this post I’m thinking if Rav Gavriel Sasoon would read some of these posts he would think “what’s wrong with these people & al eileh ani bochia”,,,,,,,,

  16. Thank you ruach chaim for having the guts too do such a thing it really shows how amazing your camp is and not necessary for the parents too come up