Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Summer Job: Chapter 31

sighed. “I have no clue. Is that really my job? And what do I know about breakouts?”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"C all him,” Shira Reimer said, putting the cordless phone down on the table. “Come on.” “What, it’s a random Tuesday and I want to schmooze? He’ll think I’m nuts.”

“Yudi, he’s your father. You don’t have to make excuses.”

“Ha, you don’t have to make excuses with your father, Mr. ‘Shira’le, how’s your headache? What did you make for supper? How’s Yudi?’ He wants to talk to you. My father isn’t that guy.”

Shira sat down across from her husband. “Listen, Yudi, get over it. He’s working in camp, and you wish you were, right? So you can spend your summer second-guessing him and being bitter, or you can believe in Hashem…”

“Shira, leave Hashem out of this, I don’t need a speech.” Yudi laughed when he said it, but he looked annoyed.

“Okay, fine, but you get what I’m saying. He’s there and he’s your father, so help him out.” “I hear you, Shira. Can we eat supper now?”

Chaim had spent the day helping the new nurse stock the infirmary. Rather than go to Target with a shopping list, he’d called his friend Wagner, who sold these things wholesale, and he’d saved the camp a bundle of money. He’d immediately sent Penner an itemized list showing the savings. Then, when the van arrived, Chaim got to work unpacking. It felt great to work again, and he was exuberant when he arrived at supper.

He pulled a chair out for Rivky.

“Come sit and tell me about your afternoon, Rivk.”

She made a face as she sampled the strange-looking soup. “Are these fruit?” she said, peering into the bowl. Chaim didn’t stop eating. “Nu, tell me?” She sighed. “I don’t know, it was nice. We walked the path from the baseball field that leads to old Lucas farm. When I was a kid we called it Old MacDonald’s Farm. The path had blackberry bushes and we would pick the berries. Mommy sometimes made jam.” “So it was nice? Memory lane?”

“No, it was hard. Mommy wanted to walk fast, but she really can’t, so she was out of breath and a bit cranky. There were a million mosquitoes. Then on the way back, I scraped my ankle on a rock, and it kills.”

“Uch, sorry.” Chaim brightened. “Hey, you can come to my infirmary and we’ll fix it. Iodine? Neosporin? We’re prepared.”

Chananya Singer approached and stood by the table awkwardly, as if he wanted to say something. “Hey, what’s doing?” Chaim said, looking up. The soup was pretty lousy.

“It’s like this: There’s this guy Kenner, he’s the C.I.T. counselor. He’s been all over and knows what’s going on in all the camps. He’s giving me a hard time, says every camp breaks out the new season with some kind of matzav on the first night. That’s tonight, and we have nothing planned. Regular night activity, nothing more. Do we have any kind of budget for this, and any ideas?” “My father would say, ‘Who cares what other camps do?’ ” Rivky whispered.

“Yes, he would. But he’s also taking a nap on his front porch,” Chaim told her.

Chaim cleared his throat and looked up at Singer. “Tell me, what does he say about the other camps, what are they doing?”

“Well, Meromim had a huge delivery of snow and there was this major snowball fight. Apparently, it was crazy.”

“I hear.”

“And Chevras Kayitz had horses in the dining room.”


“So, what can we do? Any ideas? I know it’s last minute, but I thought maybe, you know, we can try something?”

“Let me think, okay?”

“Are you going to do something? Can you, even if you want to?” Rivky asked after Singer ambled off. Chaim sighed. “I have no clue. Is that really my job? And what do I know about breakouts?”

Related Stories

Take Note

Libby Rubinstein

The same group of toddlers who had spent three weeks belting out the repertoire at home now sat squi...

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...

Lifelines: Thanking the Doctor

C. Saphir

Doctors aren’t prophets. They have permission to heal, but not to make predictions. But only several...

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”