Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Summer Job: Chapter 30

Dov Haller

Chaim wasn’t dressed for Shabbos, like Penner, nor wearing a lime-green Ne’os Deshe T-shirt like his father-in-law. He wasn’t really sure what his role was

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

B arry Penner was wearing a tightly knotted tie, greeting counselors and the few parents who’d driven up their children. Hershel Levinsky sat in a huge lawn chair near where the buses were parked, megaphone in hand, singing out greetings and welcoming boys by name.

Chaim wasn’t dressed for Shabbos, like Penner, nor was he wearing a lime-green Ne’os Deshe T-shirt like his father-in-law. He wasn’t really sure what his role was.

Rivky had once come home from a chasunah and told Chaim how she’d tried to join in with the younger girls in some new dance. “I watched for a while and got the basic idea, but when I tried to join, it just didn’t work for me. There was a method, but I wasn’t getting it. I was always off by a few beats.”

Chaim thought of that as he watched streams of boys descend from the buses: There was clearly a routine here, but he was missing it.

Chaim looked over to Rabbi Singer, the head counselor. They’d first met last night and Chaim immediately pegged the young man as a typical Ne’os Deshe hire. He was earnest and sincere, and had enjoyed a rich career as an assistant head counselor in many other camps. But he’d never made it to the top. He’d been head counselor at Ne’os Deshe for the last five years and loved it, he told Chaim. This was his place. The other camps were focused on shtick and noise, and not the kids. He loved working with Rabbi Levinsky and couldn’t wait to work with Chaim.

Chananya Singer seemed to have figured out his role, clipboard in hand as he checked off names and conferred with counselors.

“One second,” Chaim said, as an idea came to mind and he approached Rabbi Singer. “The kids are just grabbing the luggage dollies. Whoever gets it first takes it, and some of them are leaving them by the bunkhouses. Let’s make order, maybe have a line-up: Every kid can take one for five minutes and then bring it back.”

Singer looked doubtful. “I don’t know, it’s a bit late to start announcing rules. They seem to have figured it out, no?”

Chaim was getting more agitated by the minute. A small red-headed boy was done with his luggage, but he was giving his friend a ride on the dolly.

“Hey,” Chaim said, running over, “there are other boys who can use that. Come on, give it over.” The boy giggled and ran right by Chaim, as if he hadn’t said anything.

“I said stop! Come on, kids can use that dolly instead of shlepping their duffle bags.” The redhead stopped and surveyed Chaim curiously. “Who are you?”

“My name is Chaim Reimer, I’m the new assistant director,” he answered, surprising himself. “Okay, great. Well, you really need to get a life,” the boy said, and hurried off.

Related Stories

Turning Tides: Brief History

As told to Leah Gebber

I married yichus — and expectations. The world is a shtender and a gemara, and what more could you n...

The Bigger Picture

Libi Astaire

On Esther Zibell’s canvas, piercing almond eyes and bursts of surprising color transform even mundan...

Lifelines: Made in Taiwan

C. Saphir

“My dad told me before he died that I have to marry a Jewish girl. Is it possible for you to become ...

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.

Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”