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 (written by a Kinus parent):
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 Kinus. 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 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 B’nai Mitzvah.
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.