Marlboro, NJ (June 9, 2015) – Minutes, maybe even seconds after the camp directors hit send on the Bunk Assignment emails, area mothers are sent into a panic-stricken frenzy to figure out exactly who is in their children’s bunk for the upcoming seven week camp season. Through group texts, emails and phone calls, mothers can almost pinpoint the exact roster of kids who will cohabitate with their offspring for a little more than a month and a half. Lists are hastily compiled on Post It notes, on the backs of junk mail, and sometimes, using advanced Excel spreadsheets to enhance a parent’s quantitative analysis of the composition of the bunk makeup.
For these mothers there are no two bigger days on the entire calendar than a day in early to mid June when bunk assignments are announced and a day in late August when parents learn who their children’s teachers will be for the upcoming school year. The school year, a grueling ten-month marathon of homework, carpooling, and procrastination can be navigated in a much calmer and peaceful manner depending on a child’s teacher. But this means very little to these parents.
“This year Allysyn had a horrible teacher, what’s her name, who assigned a ton of homework for no good reason. I was asked early in the year if I wanted to switch her into a different class but I was already filling out my bunk request essay that afternoon and totally blanked on calling back,” explained Jenni Goldstock, 43, of Manalapan, NJ. “My focus on that time was that even though camp didn’t start for nine plus months, I wanted to express to the directors which campers should be in her bunk so she can have the perfect summer.”
To those uneducated about the compilation process, the similarities between the bunk and teacher announcements may look obvious but that’s not always the case. With a plethora of different names based on religion, ethnicity, etc, a school roster may be created with relative ease as each student’s name represents a unique individual. However, as lists are compiled for a certain boy’s bunk though, there may be six or seven Jakes, Jacks, Jonathans, Joshuas or Davids so it may be tough to discern which one is which since most have names starting with “Gold” and “Rosen” and end with any variation of “owitz”, “berg” or “stein”. This can prove very confusing in this age of text messaging and spell checking.
“Last summer, based on my spreadsheet algorithm, my Jake was so excited to be in the same bunk with Jake Goldstein from Montville (Jake Goldstein from Syosset was already known to be in a different bunk) who’s a fantastic kid but he ended up with Jack Goldberg who’s not so much,” lamented Shelly Rosenberg of Larchmont, NY who sends her child to Camp Huron Lake. Rosenberg received Jake’s bunk assignment this morning and was overcome with excitement about his placement in Bunk 29. Husband Dan was perplexed. “She’s screaming like a lunatic ‘JAKE’S IN BUNK 29!! JAKE’S IN BUNK 29!!’ so I ask her who else is and she says, ‘I have no idea.’” Shelly then ran straight down to the family computer to print out return address labels denoting Jake’s new bunk.