Questions? Answers! Print E-mail

You have questions about the Kinus? Well, we have your answers right over here! Just click on the questions below.

Could it be any easier? Whoops! Sorry, you're the one who's suppose to be asking the questions.

If you have another question that isn't answered here, contact us and we'll be more than happy to personally answer your query.

General Questions

Each and every year, the New Jersey Jewish Boy Scouts get together for a weekend of camping fun and excitement. We have delicious kosher meals provided by our kitchen staff and spend a beautiful Shabbat together. We also play all sorts of fun games, and learn all sorts of exciting stuff.
Each summer, the New Jersey Jewish Boy Scouts throw two different kinusim. (The Boy Scout Kinus for older scouts which includes Boy Scouts, Venture Scouts, Cadet (Girl) Scouts, and Senior Girl Scouts, and the Cub Scout Kinus for younger scouts which includes Tiger Scouts, Cub Scouts, Daisy, Brownies, and Junior Girl Scouts). Over 150 parents and kids from all over New Jersey, and all over the United States come and enjoy the experience.
Not a camper? It doesn't matter! Most of the adults who attend the Kinus do not think of themselves as campers, but still manage to have a blast. The weather is always beautiful! We guarantee it!1 The crowd is friendly2, and the experience is fantastic!2
Relaxing and FishingWe also have various activities for our scouters and interesting lectures for the adults on various Jewish topics. For the more adventurous, on Sunday, we have various hikes from a ten mile trek to a light ramble around the camp grounds exploring the local wildlife and plants. There's also fishing, archery, riflery, and other fun activities. We even climb the mountain located behind our camp and take the campers down a small segment of the Appalachian Trail!
So, if you are a parent of a Jewish Scout, or simply want the family fun of the summer, sign up right now!

1Weather guarantee not valid in New Mexico, Idaho, or New Jersey.

2 Now, that we do guarantee!

We have a down loadable packing list over by the Kinus applications. The packing list has been honed to perfection by years of experience. You do not need expensive outdoor stuff. Most of us do quite well with Target for almost all of our camping gear. They have everything you'll need and at reasonable prices. I may not shop at Target if I were going to scale K2, but we're talking about a weekend camping trip.

We do highly recommend that you buy true outdoor gear, and not the sleeping bags you might use for sleep overs. This also applies to tents too. The backyard play tents with cartoon pictures are just too lightweight for sleeping in the outdoors.

Oh, a helpful hint about tents: When a tent says it can sleep "X" number of people, it is talking about people being packed like sardines. We recommend that you buy a tent that advertises itself as twice the size that you need. For example, if you are two people, buy a four man tent. If you are three people, buy a six man tent. Also, if your kids are old enough to sleep on their own, you might want to consider getting two separate tents: One for the kids and one for the adults. Remember that you'll be storing your gear in your tent too.

Packing Hints 

Follow our packing list, and you shall not go wrong. We do offer the following hints:

  •  Pack bottles for water. It is summer, and you'll get thirsty. We mention this in our packing list, but we do want to emphasize this.
  • If you plan to go on a hike, get a good sized canteen for hikes and not just a 16 ounce bottle of spring water. Some people use Camelbaks which are backpack/waterbottle combination. They can carry more fluid than a waterbottle and they leave your hands free. Target has some clones for under 25 dollars or get a Nalgene water bottle.
  • Remember that you need to fit your stuff in a tent. You can get duffle bags, but I find the large plastic storage containers very nice. You can stack them up on each other, use them as tables inside your tent, and they'll keep the contents dry and protected. You can even store them outside your tent to make a bit more room inside the tent.
  • For your kids, we recommend that you get the large 2 gallon ziplock bags and put a set of clothes for them to wear into each bag. This way, they can grab a ziplock bag, and have everything they need. They don't have to search through their duffle or container and spill out the entire contents.
  • Again from our packing list: Get a flashlight for everyone. But, make sure all the flashlights use the same size batteries. Then get fresh batteries for each flashlight. For Shabbat, get some glowsticks and put one on your tent. It makes it much easier to find your tent in the dark.

 

No, the showers are not available.

Proper Shabbat attire for the Kinus is our scouting uniforms. This includes Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. For those who don't have scouting uniforms, comfortable clothing is good. Few people actually bring Shabbat clothing. Don't worry, we won't tell anyone back home you wore blue jeans to Shabbat services.

If you want to go on a hike, you should have hiking shoes. You should also wear appropriate and comfortable, but sturdy clothing. This includes girls too! Shabbat clothes will get torn on hikes. Shabbat shoes will get ruined. We recommend to girls who like wearing long skirts that they should consider wearing pants underneath. There will come times when they may have to lift their skirts up to get over rocks or prickly plants.

You are allowed to take your car to your campsite in order to unpack it. However, you can't park your car right next to your tent. Expect to carry your stuff from your car to where you'll pitch your tent about 25 to 100 feet.

Although Nobebosco allows you to unpack your car by your campsite, you are not allowed to park your car there overnight. There is a parking lot by the front of the camp.

We recommend that you go to the campsite, unpack your car, then move your car back to the parking area before setting up your campsite. This way, other people have a chance to unpack their cars too.

Scout Questions

Yes and no...

No - we don't want you playing electronic games. There's simply no reason to. It's just not the regular environment where you would normally play such a game -- such as when some teacher or parent droning on and on how you don't listen to them and you always have your nose in your phone.

This is a fun and exciting place with lots to do. If you're too busy texting or playing games, you might miss seeing some exciting wildlife like a bear. Besides, there's no WiFi. The 4G coverage is nonexistent, and you'd be lucky just to get a cell phone signal at all.

However...

We do want to encourage you to take pictures (but not necessarily on Shabbat). And, we realize that most people now use their phones as their cameras. So...

You can bring your cellphone or iPod Touch and use it as a camera. Please don't text or play games. If you do, we will redirect you to another activity (like washing dishes or taking out the garbage).

Of course! This is a Kinus for all Jewish Scouts -- both Boy and Girl Scouts.

Daisy, Brownie, and Junior Girl Scouts will want to come to the Cub Scout Kinus. Cadets and Senior Girl Scouts will want to attend the Boy Scout Kinus. Of course, just like the Boy Scouts, we encourage the entire family to come and enjoy our Kinus.

Although we will have special activities planned specifically for the Girl Scouts, Girl Scouts are more then welcome to attend any of the activities that the Boy Scouts are on.

If you are part of a Girl Scout Troop or Group, please talk to your leaders about getting your whole group to attend. You can contact our Girl Scout Outreach Chair for more information at girlscout@njkinus.org.

And, of course, Senior Girl Scouts are more than welcome to teach a session, and we appreciate any Girl Scout helping us with setting up either Kinus. We'll be more than happy to give you community service credits your high school may require.

Please contact the the Kinus Chairman at chairman@kinus.org for more information on helping out.

Of course! We welcome all Jewish scouts. Contact the Kinus Chairman, Danny Chazin, and we'll put you in contact with a troop or pack that is attending.

If you're a Girl Scout, and would like to attend, but your Girl Scout Troop isn't attending, contact our Girl Scout Outreach Chair, Kymm, and we'll get you in contact with other Girl Scouts who are attending.

National Boy Scouts requires all Cub Scouts and Webelos scouts to be accompanied by an adult for each camping trip. The Kinus is at a very large campsite with hundreds of kids, and the staff cannot be responsible for each and every child.

Each scout attending the Kinus must have some adult who is directly responsible for them.  Boy Scouts may get permission from their Troop Leader, and may use their Troop Leader as their responsible adult, if their Troop Leader agrees. If a scout is attending without his parents, guardian or troop, he may contact the Kinus Chairman for arrangements.

We strongly encourage all parents to attend and make the Kinus a family affair. Although we have to admit that the Kinus facilities are not exactly five star accommodations, most families who do attend the Kinus actually find it quite enjoyable. Most of us adults attending are not exactly outdoorsy type of people. For many of us, taking a shortcut through Bryant Park to get to the bagel shop is about all the outdoors we get during the week.

However, we love the camaraderie with our fellow Jews, the beautiful environment, and the fun activities that take place during the Kinus. It's a chance to meet the old friends from all over the Northeast who attend the Kinus each and every year. It's the chance to see the excitement in our children's faces when they accomplish something while having fun at the same time.

However, if the parents cannot attend, they can send their kids with another adult such as a grandparent, an uncle or aunt who would love the chance of spending time with their grandchild, niece, or nephew.

We'd love to have you on our staff! Contact the program director of either the Boy Scout or Cub Scout Kinus, and we'll be more than happy to let you help out. In addition to helping lead a program session, we need volunteers to help us cook, build our eruv, or help us plan activities. Please let us know what you'd like to do, and we'll be more than happy to set you to work.

We'll be happy to make sure your help will be counted towards your school's, troop's, or pack's community service hours.

Parent Questions

Okay, let me get this straight: You want me to drive to the middle of some bear-infested woods, go to some campsite where there's no running water, sleep on some lumpy sleeping bag on the ground, and get bitten by a bunch of plague ridden insects. And, you expect me to call that fun?

Short Answer: Yes

Long Answer:

About 15 years ago, I took my oldest son who was then just an eight year old Bear Scout to my first Kinus. My wife stayed at home with our younger two kids. My first question upon arriving was "Where do you go to the bathroom?". My second question was "You go to the bathroom where?"

I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't know how to setup the small tent I got just that week, and I was prepared for a miserable experience. I was just hoping my son would enjoy it, but not too much because there was no way I was going to do this again!

To my surprise, I really enjoyed myself. The camaraderie was great. The Shabbat meal was wonderful. The next day, I watched my son participate in all sorts of activities, and he had a blast. I met many of the other people who attended from all over the Northeast, and enjoyed the campfile that Saturday night.

The next year, I tried to convince my wife to come with the entire family (including our then 2 year old son). She was extremely hesitant about the whole idea, but I convinced her by buying a extra large tent and told her that if she didn't come, I would have wasted our money on such a big tent.

She also loved it. She found the outdoors very relaxing, and enjoyed the adult shiurim. Our youngest two sons attended a few programs, but really just enjoyed the outdoors and discovering the chipmunks that ran around all over and newts who preferred to hide under the rocks. We went on a few short nature hikes with them that were part of the activities. Meanwhile, my oldest son (now a Webelos Scout) had a reunion with the various scouts he had met the previous year.

Now my oldest son is in college and my younger two are now Scout leaders. But, every year we still all go together to both Kinusim. We look forward to getting out into the woods and meeting all of our friends. We enjoy the company, the campfire skits, the walks, and simply relaxing around the camp in the great summer weather.

Of course, my family is now old hands at this and now help the other new parents setup their tents and introduce them to the Kinus.

The point is: Yes, believe it or not, you will have fun. Most of the people who attend the Kinus are not people who are well versed in the woodsy lore. They are accountants, computer programmers, lawyers, doctors, and other middle aged, squishy-around-the-middle, turn-up-the-air-conditioner, can't-we-take-the-elevator, type parents. You don't have to know how to use a compass. No one is expecting you to put on a 75 pound backpack and hike 20 miles. Heck, we will even help you set up your tent and tie any and all knots that need tying. After all, we are boy scouts! This is far from boot camp. The atmosphere is absolutely relaxing. It is unbelievably beautiful. It is inspiring.

Plus, the food is really good. No, really: Our chef is a well known Central New Jersey caterer. Believe it or not, we were so impressed with the food at the Kinus, we hired this guy to do all three of our kid's bar mitzvahs.

 So, yes. We want you to come. We want you to enjoy yourself. But most of all, we don't want you to miss out on all the fun.

This is not Disneyland. The water is truly wet, the rocks are very rocky, and you can poke your eye out with one of the many sticks that abound in this campsite. This is nature and not some set created by a bunch of imagineers.

But then again, we have been running this Kinus for years, and have had no serious injuries. There is a forest ranger who is extremely helpful. The people who run the Kinus have decades of experience with camping. We also have a whole flock of medics who can administer first aid. We follow all Boy Scout safety regulations.

What we do ask you to do is watch your young children and make sure they are supervised -- much like you would do if you went to the grocery store or walked downtown. And make sure they obey some basic safety rules such as no throwing rocks, no running around with sticks, and no wandering off into the woods by themselves. The last one is a bit important because there is no fence and it is very easy for a young child to wander off into the woods and quickly get lost. Fortunately, we've quickly located any kids who did get lost, and they usually return a bit dirtier, a little wiser, but otherwise in one piece.

However, we have plenty of well supervised activities for the scouts, and we'll be running youth minyans on Shabbat to help keep your kids busy while you're davening.

So, yes, the Kinus is safe. We make sure we have plenty of good adult supervision at the activities, and there will be more than enough to do to keep your kids very busy. We want you and your family to enjoy the Kinus. As long as you follow your common sense, the Kinus is a safe place for you and your family to spend the weekend.

Longer than you think.

If you're like most people, you'll be taking Interstate Highway 80 out to the Kinus site. Unfortunately, the Kinus is in the same general direction as the Delaware Watergap National Recreation Area and many other weekend trip sites. So, expect some traffic.

Our advice is to leave a bit early. Aim to get to the Kinus by 4pm, which means leaving your house before 2pm. This will give you enough time to unpack your car and set up your tent. Plus, it will give you some time to get acquainted with your surroundings and enjoy the scenery a bit. You are not going to make it if you leave your office at 5pm, rush back home, pack up the car, and race on down. Remember too, that many of us who run the Kinus are Shomer Shabbat and can't help you set up your tent or help you unpack if you get there after Shabbat starts.

These are approximate driving times considering traffic in the mid-afternoon. If you leave after 3:30pm, you will run into rush hour traffic, and your driving times will increase.

  • From the Highland Park/New Brunswick Area: About 2 hours 15 minutes
  • From Teaneck Area: About 2 hours
  • From the Elizabeth Area: About 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • From Brooklyn: About 2 hours and 45 minutes.