Friday, December 30, 2011

LLDC Salutes Jason Samuel- An Exceptional Individual!

At Liberty Lake, we take pride in having the greatest team of staff members we can possibly assemble, and we get better and stronger each year. More and more experienced staff return, and more and more Campers evolve into outstanding staff- seeking to "pay it forward" from their amazing Camp experiences. I'm proud of our outstanding team members at Liberty Lake- both year-round and seasonal. We are fortunate to have some very dynamic performers, eccentric characters, and dedicated, hard working wonderful people- And one of our best ever is riding off into the sunset at the end of this month.

Long-time Assistant Director Jason Samuel is moving on in the Camping world, having recently accepted a job as a Camp Director at a Resident (Sleepaway) Camp beginning in January. We will miss Jason greatly- but it is a great opportunity, and we wish him the best.

Jason Samuel, LLDC Assistant Director 2004-2011

Jason leaves us after 7 wonderful years with a unique opportunity to help lead a onetime great Camp back into prominence. Replacing Jason will be challenging, as his talents were so varied and so many- From hiring, to the pool, the lake, outside program facilities, the high and low ropes course which he helped build, dealing with contractors, American Camp Association standards accreditation, being a true extension of "Me" outside during the Camp day- I could go on.

But what I want to put forth with this blog is something about Jason that I feel is EXTRA special. Something that you only see in the top tier of employees in any organization. Jason worked at Liberty Lake the past seven years as if he were an owner. What does that mean? It doesn't mean that he used his company card on lavish vacations- on the contrary, he'd probably ask permission to buy a pack of gum. What I'm talking about is job commitment, work ethic, and selfless way of seeing the big picture. No matter how difficult the situation, Jason did what it took to get the job done.

The newest generations that have entered the workforce- Gen Y and the new "Digital Generation" have a reputation for NOT being like their parent's generation. Our parents toiled away at thankless jobs, dedicating their lives to their families, becoming the first in their family to attend college, living with the core necessities of life, looking forward to the annual week down at the shore, and the occasional trip to Disney. My Generation (X), in an effort to give our kids more than what we have, generally spoiled our children, and created a generation of well-meaning, but entitled young people. This is a generation that despite the poor economy, only works at jobs that they enjoy, lives at home well into their twenties, lives for today- doesn't plan for the future, and aren't so good at dealing with disappointment (because their parents protected them from it for so many years). Jason was a throwback to the old days.

From the first day he worked at LLDC, until this last week- Jason was in early, stayed late, worked until his assignments were done, didn't look at the clock, didn't take days off, worked at home when he was sick, always went the extra mile, got his hands dirty (you don't even want to know the details), and kept a positive disposition through it all- and it was real. That was Jason.

Overseeing so many areas at Camp, Jason understood the delicate balance of what was best for Camp and the Campers- with what was best for the budget. He saw the monstrous pool pumps in regards to their relevance and efficiency- as well as their replacement cost and electrical usage ($$). He knew when it was important to spend money, and when it was fiscally prudent to find a cheaper way- and it wasn't his money! He was getting paid the same regardless. He often made fiscal choices that made his job more difficult, but that was Jason- he felt an ownership at his job, as if he were an owner. He worked his job as if it were his money. For Jill and me, the ones who pay the mortgage each month, we were very fortunate to have Jason as an assistant director for so many years.

Jason can't and won't be replaced by one person. Like a good sports team, we will band together, dividing and conquering from now through the summer and beyond, and Liberty Lake will continue to flourish. But Jason's spirit, just like his many contributions- will remain with us for years to come.

Onward and upward- Good luck Jason, we will miss you!

If you’d like to say goodbye to Jason, you can still Email him at

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2011 Parent Feedback Survey – Summary of Responses

Thank you to the 100 + parents that completed our end of the summer survey! Your feedback is incredibly valuable to us. We love hearing about what you love about Liberty Lake, and your suggestions on how we can improve are a big help in our off-season planning.

Below is a quick snapshot of the responses -

Q: What makes Liberty Lake Day Camp such a special place for you and your family?

My son has Special Needs. This was his first camp experience he has had without an aid. He did GREAT! He was so happy at Liberty Lake. His independence and comfort level were amazing. He said how nice everyone was to him and he can't wait to go back! THANK YOU!”

“We love that it is all about making friends, learning to work with people and playing outside and getting dirty. One of the best things is that there are no electronics ~ this is great! I love that my kids come home dirty and tired after a long day of playing and just being kids. It's nice to be around people with similar views and it's nice to know that our children are being well cared-for.”

“Tons of activities they have never been exposed to surrounded by a caring staff. An opportunity to learn and grow both academically and socially. I wish we signed her up years ago! She loved it!!”

“The chance to be good as in the 'good old days' before sitting on butts playing video games all day.. And of course, the staff, electives etc. There's nothing in NJ like LLDC”

Q: Please RATE your feelings from 1 (poor) to 5 (AMAZING) with this summer's service or program:

More than 95% of parents rated us with a 4 or a 5!!

Q: How can we make the Camp experience better for next summer?

“Food needs fewer carbs and sugar, more veggie options than just salad and more lean protein.”

“You should sell LLDC tees and other items at Family Night ~ I think it would do well and we would definitely make purchases.”

“We would love a bus pickup/dropoff site in Collingswood!”

“I'd appreciate more frequent communication/updates from the counselors. Sort of a group version of the weekly-ish notes we got at the younger levels. Sometimes the incite helps us prime the kids to tell us more about their days...”

"Discuss with the older kids preparing to become CIT/LITs what the program is and that it is important to LLDC if they want to become counselors in the future.”

“Enhance pre and post weeks.”

“Keep the pricing reasonable.”

“It would be fun to see some sort of closer to real time info feed. Hourly twitter updates, or mobile web cam that might follow the action and broadcast the gaga tournament or tug-o-war, live-ish photo stream...I don't know. The kids are obviously excited to be there, but the parents are excited about it too. Just catching the kids crossing the driveway on the webcam is great fun.”

“LOL make it all year long.”

Well unfortunately we can’t make camp year long : ( 

Although it sure would be nice! 

However, the people that are at Liberty Lake all-year (Andy, Jill, Jason, Joe, Brandi, Ellyn & Justin) will work hard to put many of your suggestions into action for 2012! While the Liberty Lake experience is excellent, we also know that it can always be better. Thanks again for helping us with this, and you can send us additional comments & suggestions at any time –

Monday, October 24, 2011

Teen Leadership Program Update

Last Friday we hosted our first annual HalloTeen Party -- and it was awesome! Thank you to the 70+ Teen Leaders that attended, it was great to see all of you. Check out our HalloTeen Photo Album on Facebook!

Here's a look at some of the changes that we have in store for 2012 -

Program Name Change: Entering 9th graders are now CITs – Campers in Transition & entering 10th graders are now LITs – Leaders in Training.

New Daily Schedule for 10th Graders: Entering 10th grade LITs are not going to be assigned to camper groups, but will still spend a lot of their time with younger campers and assisting camp staff. The new daily schedule will allow us to maximize leadership time – as 10th graders are going to spend more time doing more community service and camp-wide projects than ever before.

10th Grade Challenge Training: Exclusively for members of the 10th grade LIT Program. The challenge training will take our young leaders out of their comfort zone, while focusing on goal setting, teamwork, and going beyond their perceived limits. Whether high in the trees on Liberty Lake’s awesome High Ropes Course or in the trenches with their fellow LITs, this training promises to be engaging and exciting!

Leadership Events: As a reward for all of the hard work and effort of our program participants, we are going to host Teen Leaders Only Events during the off-season and in the summer!

Teen Leadership LIT Shirts: Just as members of the Liberty Lake Staff Team have their own shirts, Teen Leaders will too! These shirts will distinguish program participants as the young leaders of our camp community.

Keep in mind that these are the changes that we have planned for next summer as of now, and camp is still more than 6 months away. We want to know what you think - your input is incredibly valuable to us, after all, these programs, are for YOU. 

At any time you can e-mail suggestions or feedback to

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Upcoming Events & Important Dates

As you know by now, the fun never stops at Liberty Lake! This week we have two important events –

■ Spirit Committee Meeting #1 – Join BC and the gang this Thursday, October 20th, at 5:30 pm in the ACR Room to help brainstorm new and exciting ways to improve Liberty Lake’s Spirit Program!
HalloTeen Party – All CITs & LITs from 2011 and those entering the programs in 2012 are invited to our first annual HalloTeen Party- this Friday, October 21st, from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm at the Rutgers Eco-Plex. Don’t miss fun Halloween games, reuniting with Camp friends and watching the movie voted by you - BEETLEJUICE! Check out the event on Facebook!

Here’s a look at some of the key dates for 2012. For the complete list, be sure to check out the Important Dates  page of our website. 

Tuesday, Nov. 15th – Pay in Full Discount Ends

Friday, Dec. 2nd – 2012 DVD Premiere at Rutger’s EcoComplex (6:30 to 8:30) 

Friday, Jan. 13th - Team Reunion & Movie Night (6:30 pm to 9:30 pm) 

Friday, Jan. 20th – Senior Camp/Teen Leadership Focus Group at Rutger’s Eco-Complex  (6:30 to 9:30) 

Sunday, Feb. 12th- First Tour Day/Open House (11 am to 3 pm) 

Sunday, Apr. 22nd – Teen LEAD Conference in New York City (TBA) 

Saturday, May 12th – Community Health Day + Tour Day/Open House (11 am to 6 pm) 

Thursday, May 31st – All-Team Orientation (4:30 pm to 8:30 pm) 

Friday, June 1st – New Jersey Renaissance Faire School Day 

June 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th – New Jersey Renaissance Faire 

Tuesday, June 12th – Parent Meet and Greet (6:30 pm to 8:00 pm) 

Monday, June 18th – Pre-Week begins 

Monday, June 25th- The Regular Camp Season begins 

Thursday, Aug. 2nd – Family Night (6:30 pm to 8:00 pm) 

The countdown to the summer of 2012 is on! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

September 2011- Update from the Lake!

We've been very busy at Liberty Lake since the end of Camp!

After surviving the QUAKE AT THE LAKE during post week, Hurricane Irene came to town, and boy oh boy- did she leave her mark- We're still cleaning up!  Check out this video if you want to see some crazy flood footage that Liberty Lake had NEVER experienced before, and know that we had most of it cleaned up the next weekend for Brandi's camp wedding with Kyle!

The flooding all around New Jersey is hopefully helping our case that there shouldn't be four warehouses bordering the north and west of Liberty Lake, as all of that asphalt and rooftop will undoubtedly make things even worse. In addition, we are dealing with the Turnpike widening, which is also threatening our lake. Thank you to everyone that signed the petition for the DEP public hearing- it should be granted. Check out the video that a few of our amazing Teen Leadershippers created, with the help of about 50 Campers:

We're actually changing the semantics of our Teen Leadership Program- 9th Graders will now become CITs- CAMPERS IN TRANSITION, and 10th Graders will be LEADERS IN TRAINING:

If you haven't filled out the 2011 Camper and Parent Surveys, PLEASE DO SO ASAP- We are starting to meet and plan for 2012, and we'd love to take your advice in making decisions on new initiatives and programs for next summer.  

We already have some good stuff that we're working on- How about this for next year: THREE COLOR WAR TEAMS: RED, WHITE & BLUE!


While the prices of EVERYTHING at Liberty Lake has gone up: Insurance, Bus Transportation, Staff Salaries, Food, etc- AT LIBERTY LAKE, WE KNOW THAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH THE SAME THING- SO WE HAVE FROZEN OUR TUITION!  Tuition has stayed the same since October 1st of 2010, as we are committed to helping our Camp Families as much as we can- We realize that most families are going to great lengths to financially afford Liberty Lake, and give their children the best possible summer experience they can- So at LLDC, we want to be your partners, and work with you through this economic downturn.  

So CLICK HERE to Sign Up, Put Down a Refundable Deposit for 2012, and join the hundreds of Camp Families getting preferential bunking with their Camp Friends, plus reserving theFROZEN 2011 RATES, and are now eligible for the November 15 EARLY PAY DISCOUNT.  Many families have opted for our monthly payment plan- splitting up tuitions over the course of the Fall, Winter and Spring!  If you have any questions, just call us in the Camp office.

"10-Year Pioneers" Cruise
We had our 10-Year PIONEER Cruise with the 28 Campers- now mostly staff- who started with us in the summer of 2002. This makes us REAL proud: 

There's lots pictures and news like this, including awesome photo albums- on our LLDC Facebook Fanpage We also have been Tweeting and Blogging great stuff- Check out this awesome article from the NY Times that validates a lot of what we do with our Liberty Lake 5-Points Character Development Program which we started last summer:

Please fill out the Surveys, stay in touch, and let us know about anything that can make Liberty Lake better for next summer.  Look out for the Summer DVD Movie Premiere announcement soon- We already miss our little Liberty Lakers, and are looking forward to next Summer!

Andy Pritikin and the Liberty Lake Team

Friday, September 16, 2011

Burlington Twp. Young Men’s Conference at Liberty Lake

On Thursday, September 15th, Burlington Township High School hosted their annual Young Men’s Conference at Liberty Lake. The conference was attended by all 160 of Burlington Township’s 9th grade male students, as well as several district administrators, teachers and community leaders. The theme of the day-long conference was “Man Up: Accepting the Challenge of Authentic Manhood.”

Dr. Rafe Vecere, the Student Assistance Coordinator at Burlington Twp. High School, organizer of the Young Men’s Conference, and valuable support staff for Liberty Lake Day Camp, is passionate about the issues young men face in our society today. As he explains, “now, more than ever, young men need older positive role models in their life to provide direction, support and encouragement.” Unfortunately, young boys are under-performing and under-achieving in our society. 

In his book, Why Boys Fail: Saving our Sons from an Educational System That’s Leaving Them Behind, Richard Whitmire explores the significant gender gap in which girls are dramatically outperforming boys in American schools. Here are just a few of the statistics his books identifies:
  • Only 40% of college graduates (bachelor’s) in 2010 were male
  • In 2007, there were 2x more girls than boys in the National Honor Society
  • Boys are 33% more likely to drop out of school
The Young Men’s Conference is a timely and extremely positive response to these issues. The program consisted of several team-building challenges, a relay competition, and a keynote speech delivered by Keith Elias, a graduate of Princeton University and former NFL player for the New York Giants. Elias has dedicated his life to being an inspirational public speaker. On his personal website, Elias describes his life’s mission of “Speaking Life” to others, “I believe we live in a time when our world is breaking apart at the seams and people are desperate for real hope and true life. People of all ages need to hear that there is another way, and the choice is theirs.”

Elias speaking at Young Men's Conference at Liberty Lake on 9/15/11
Elias’ keynote speech at the Young Men’s Conference focused on several important issues relating to young men today, including making good choices, developing an authentic character, not giving in to peer pressure and creating a future vision to strive for. Elias’ main takeaway message is to be “Be the Voice, not the Echo” – to be a leader, not a follower - just because "everyone else is doing it" doesn't mean that you have to. The boys of Burlington Township enjoyed Elias’ engaging and captivating style and they seem poised to be the Voice, not the Echo.

We’d like to thank Burlington Township High School for choosing Liberty Lake as the site of their Young Men’s Conference and we applaud them- and the 30 community volunteers- for addressing the very real and very serious issues facing teen boys in our society.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Last Hurrah + Revolutionary War Reenactment- This Saturday, 12-5 @ Liberty Lake!

Happy First Day of School!

As Mrs. Perez told me this morning, "my kids would have been much happier if the Camp Bus came for them this morning!" - but life goes on, and hopefully today was a great first day of school for your family!  Speaking of school and Liberty Lake, there was an excellent article today in the NY Times that correlates directly with the Liberty Lake FIVE POINTS that we build our program around:

Thanks to all of you that signed out petition- We had over 1000 signatures, and DEP has hinted that we WILL have a public hearing!  If you want to see what a flooded Liberty Lake looks like, check out the C'MON IRENE video on our YouTube channel:
But the main reason I'm writing to you, is that if your kids are looking for one last hurrah at Liberty Lake, this Saturday could be an amazing afternoon!  The local Jr. Greyhound Football and Cheer group is hosting a fun and affordable fundraiser open to the public (bring your friends) at Liberty Lake from 12-5pm, for $20 for adults and $10 for kids- There will be lots to do including swimming, mini-golf and boating- as well as Marty's famous Barbecue!

In addition to the typical Liberty Lake fun and fare, we will ALSO be hosting a REVOLUTIONARY WAR RE-ENACTMENT out on the Liberty Lake Point Field, with the 2nd PA Regiment:

Below is their press release- We hope you can make it out this Saturday, for some unique and truly memorable fun, that truly matches our name LIBERTY LAKE!


The rattle of musketry and thunder of cannon will mix with the sounds of fife and drum as The Second Pennsylvania Regiment of the Continental Line opens a window to the past and presents a vivid and exciting look at the soldier of the American Revolution at Liberty Lake this Saturday between 12 and 5pm.

The Second Pennsylvania Regiment is a colorful and exact recreation of an actual patriot military unit that fought in the War for Independence.  Founded in 1966, the organization is made up of history buffs from five states who have dedicated themselves to show the true appearance and tactics of the 18th Century soldier.

This respected living history group will provide a lively and accurate look at the typical infantry company of the period as the men perform the drill taught by Baron Von Steuben to Washington's troops at Valley Forge and stand almost shoulder to shoulder firing smoky volleys from their flintlock muskets. The unit is supported by blasts from one of the finest reproduction colonial field guns in existence. At the end of the demonstration, which includes an enthusiastic bayonet charge, the audience will be invited onto the field to talk with the members and see their uniforms and gear firsthand. Several firing demonstrations are scheduled throughout the afternoon.

Each man has dressed and equipped himself as a soldier of the original Second Pennsylvania appeared when it fought the British more than two centuries ago as part of Gen. "Mad Anthony" Wayne's division. All the items worn and carried by the individuals are painstakingly hand-crafted from existing specimens in museums and private collections--from the black tri-corner hats down to the buttons on the blue and red wool regimental coats.

The men are joined by a number of camp followers dressed in 18th Century costume who will demonstrate various camp skills used by the many women who accompanied their husbands on the long campaigns.

Renowned for its authenticity, the organization has appeared in films, television programs and major commemorations at historic sites in both the United States and Europe. Information about becoming a member of the organization will also be available at the event.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Liberty Lake Day Camp 2012 PRICE FREEZE - Early Bird Enrollment!

This morning I woke up and read the front page of the NY Times- and it wasn’t pretty.  Unfortunately, the economy doesn’t seem any better today than it was two years ago, and consumer confidence continues to lag behind.  Since 2006, Liberty Lake has been fortunate to have the same number of campers each summer- despite the economy, unemployment, etc.

We are tremendously appreciative of your patronage over this time, and sympathetic to your financial situation- We are all in the same boat- all of our expenses have risen, while revenues have not.

With that in mind, we have decided to FREEZE PRICES at Liberty Lake.  

The prices for 2012 are the same prices that have been in effect since October 1, 2011, and we will hold these prices until we see an uptick in the economy.  It is our goal to be partners with you in raising your children, and we want to do everything we can on our end to continue our relationship in the future.  

If you Re-Enroll before the end of September, you are guaranteed the cheapest rate possible, and get the first opportunity to request friends in your child's group- PLEASE REMEMBER that our system wipes our all of the prior year's friend requests, and you need to enter them again to be placed into the same group with them.  Also, the Early Bird Rate becomes SUPER Early Bird if you choose the option to pay in full by November 15, and receive and additional 5% discount.  Besides that option, there are monthly payment options, as well as simply putting down a fully refundable deposit now, and paying the balance by April 1, 2012.

This is the link for the 2012 Early Bird Re-Enrollment Application:

And if you’re in the mood to be filling things out today, this is the link to petition the DEP to have a public hearing on the local Water Management Plan which includes the gigantic warehouse development behind Liberty Lake:

Last week was one of the best ever at Liberty Lake!  Our latest issue of the Liberty News will be uploaded with the other Summer Issues shortly- Check them out:

And don’t miss out on the amazing pictures that we upload every day onto our CampMinder photo album (password protected).  Just log into CampMinder to view the photos by day, and by category: 

The BEST OF THE WEEK are uploaded onto our Facebook Fanpage as well:

Next week should be amazing- kicking off with our 10th Annual Ga-Ga Tournament- Somebody is coming home tomorrow afternoon with a FOUR FOOT MEGA-TROPHY- Consider this your warning…
Thank you as always for entrusting your most prized possessions with us- It is an honor to be your child’s summer home!

Andy and the Liberty Lake Team

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


This Thursday night is our annual FAMILY NIGHT, in which all Liberty Lake Families (plus you can bring extended family and friends too) come for an evening of fun, food and festivities.  The Camp Show: CAMP ROCK begins at 5 PM, and the evening starts for everyone else at 5:30 and goes until 7:30 PM. We will have our greatest Bar-B-Q ever, as well as boating, mini-golf, climbing tower, basketball, Ga-Ga, Hulla-Ball, Volleyball, Outdoor Laser Tag, and the Zipline (just for parents).  From 5:30-6:30pm, the Group Leaders, Counselors, CITs and Division Leaders will be at their arrival areas, eager to meet you- after that, they will be assisting at the program areas.

At 6:45pm at the Amphitheater will be our annual 5-Year Jacket presentation to well over 100 recipients, followed by the first ever DECADE CLUB induction ceremony to over 25 Campers and Team Members who have been with us EVERY SINGLE YEAR from 2002-2010.  We hope you can make it out- even if you re not attending this week- It's supposed to be a beautiful evening, and should be an amazing night.

All CAMP ROCKERS will remain in Camp, as will their siblings (unless you tell us otherwise).  They will eat before the show, to make the 5pm curtain.
AFTER CARE WILL END AT 5pm ON THURSDAY.  So all Campers remaining in Camp after 5pm, will eat dinner with the staff, and be at their arrival areas by 5:30.  We are expecting over 1000 people for this event, so please come early, and please be patient in the parking lot.  

In just a few days, we will be opening our 2011 Early Bird Registration. If your kids loved Liberty Lake this summer, then you can take advantage of signing up at the FROZEN 2011 WINTER RATES. All payments are refundable until June 1, and early birds are eligible to get the 5% November Pay-in-Full discount as well.  Last year, close to 60% of our Camp Families signed up for the Early Bird, and half of them paid in full by November. Another great reason to sign up early, is to get your bunk requests in now- Many families which sign up late are unable to bunk their children with their friends from the summer prior. Another note on that note- BUNK REQUESTS NEED TO BE MADE EACH AND EVERY YEAR, as our system annually wipes them clean.

For entering 9th and 10th Graders, we hope you'll check out our awesome TEEN LEADERSHIP PROGRAM.  Justin Brown will be available to explain in on Thursday night- he will be shaking the trees over at the WE LOVE LIBERTY LAKE Coalition table.  We have a petition that needs to be signed in order for the DEP to recognize Liberty Lake as worthy of a public hearing in regards to the Mansfield Township Wastewater Management Plan- please sign the petition (it takes just a minute):

Thanks, as always, for entrusting us with your children.  We hope to see you on Thursday night, and we will Email you again when 2011 Registration goes LIVE for 2012!


Liberty Links:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fundraising Fest 2011

During the next two weeks, Liberty Lake’s Teen Leaders (CITs and LITs) will be facilitating our second annual Fundraising Fest. All proceeds from the Fundraising Fest will be donated to our newly formed Liberty Lake Foundation. The Liberty Lake Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit corporation that is committed to enhancing the well-being of youth in our community. Thus far, the Liberty Lake Foundation has sponsored campers to attend Liberty Lake, purchased medical equipment for children in need and donated money to several organizations, including Morry’s Camp, Family Services and Scatter Sunshine, a foundation created in memory of Rachael Bungarden, a former camper.

Last summer’s Fundraising Fest raised over $6,000! This summer’s group of CITs and LITs are striving to surpass last year’s total. The Fundraising Fest of 2011 will feature the following:
  • Morry’s Camp Swim-a-Thon: Thursday, July 28th 
  • Chinese Auction: Friday, July 29th 
  • Staff Car Wash: Tuesday, August 2nd 
  • Bake Sale: Thursday, August 4th 
  • Slushie Sale: Friday, August 5th
It is our sincere hope that parents, campers and team members will participate in our Fundraising Fest. With your support, the Liberty Lake Foundation can make a big difference in the lives of children in need!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Four years ago, when we had our last serious heat wave, I was taking campers out of their parents' cars at 8:30am, with sweat already soaked through my clothes.  As I opened the door of a car, and felt the WAVE of beautiful air conditioning, I looked at the Mom who was dropping off her two kids and said half jokingly that I couldn't believe she was dropping her kids that day. The Mom responded that she told her kids that she'd stay home from work to be with them at home in the AC, and they refused- saying that they wanted to go to Liberty Lake!  So while most families have tremendous trust for what we do at Liberty Lake, as a parent, I know that I'd want to know some specifics as to what the plan is- so here's the basics:
  1. Tonight we just finished an IN-SERVICE staff training with most of our 200 staff.  Yes, after sweating it out in the sun all day, we all came back at 6:30 to talk shop for a couple of hours.  By the way, despite the heat, it was an AMAZING training session- as we don't usually have the time during the fast-paced Camp day to really talk about issues that arise with the campers.  Anyhow, one of the main topics was WHAT TO DO IN THE HEAT THE NEXT TWO DAYS, and each division and activity area now has a brain-stormed list of great ideas!
  2. We will be doubling many swim periods.  So instead of 30-45 minute swims, we're talking about 60-90 minute swims. The Seniors are at the beach tomorrow, so there will be a lot more pool space, as well as other shady activities.
  3. No sports after lunch.  Campers scheduled for sports activities after lunch will meet at that activity, and then be brought to either the pool, the lake, a slip and slide, a sprinkler, or some sort of wet activity- most likely the pool or lake.
  4. Friday, we are planning a CAMPER CAR-WASH.  The ultimate Win-Win, our campers will get wet, while our counselor's cars will get washed!
  5. We have a new relationship this year with Lifecenter Academy, down the road.  Lifecenter sends us 50 campers on Friday morning to swim at the shallow side of the lake- which we aren't using at that time- and in exchange, we get to bring our kids to their multi-million dollar air conditioned sports facility 2 miles down the road on hot or rainy days.  We haven't used it yet, but I'm thinking that Friday might be the day.
That's the start of the list, and the basis that we will be going with tomorrow morning at our before-camp meetings.  Our nurses are on alert, and we have extra ice water jugs ready to roll.

As for the Seniors and Leadershippers going to the beach tomorrow, we also are sending extra water jugs, as well as bottled water- at least two per person.  Last year the kids were in the water for 90% of the time, and we expect the same.  The temperature is usually about 5 to 10 degrees cooler at the beach, so some of us are very jealous.  They are going with Jason, who is Red Cross Emergency trained.

As always, we welcome your feedback, suggestions, and your encouraging words.  We have an office full of staff at 9pm tonight working diligently to make sure that the next two days are the best they can possibly be for your kids.  Please dress them appropriately, send a water bottle if you wish, and expect them to come home feeling like prunes.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Week 3 at Liberty Lake- Plus More!

Greetings Liberty Lake Families and Followers~

Week 3 is upon us, and the Summer is truly in mid-season form!
NJ Ren Faire "Lords of Adventure"

The weather has been mostly exceptional, although the end of last week presented some challenges at the end of each day- with the impending storms of liquid sunshine that can result from "hazy, hot and humid".  We actually went "old school" on Friday afternoon, and ran our Friday assembly under the Lunch Tent.  Of course in 2002, the entire Camp could fit under the lunch tent.  In 2011, the Juniors and Seniors filled the tent, while the Turtles, Frosh and Sophs were at the Willows Pavilion.  Both areas were entertained by our friends from the NJ Renaissance Faire, as well as Big Chris Wells' Rap Elective- shout out to new camper/rappers Zach (senior) and Blake (soph) who showed MAD SKILZ with their rhythms and rhymes!

This coming week is RODEO WEEK, and again we have with us local cowboy Troy D'Imperio and friends.  By friends, we're not just talking about fellow cowboys, but also cattle, horses, calves and other animals.  We will be learning how to lasso and do lots of fun stuff that you'd see in rodeos- THIS COULD BE THE GREATEST ELECTIVE IN THE HISTORY OF LIBERTY LAKE- So we encourage you to encourage your kids to sign up for it on Monday or Tuesday- even if they didn't sign up for it initially last week.  It should not be missed!

The Week 4 Elective Sheet is Online Now!  Check out new electives "Giant Adirondack Chair", "Scrapbooking" and more.  Every week the descriptions change- So be sure to have your campers read the new sheets and update their elective "Top 10" list through the CampMinder system.  Speaking of CampMinder, also know that every day, our amazing photographer Lori uploads over 100 pictures of your adorable children!  Be sure to check it out the photo gallery regularly, and our weekly "Best of the Week", which we also post on our Facebook Fanpage.  Tracy in our office updates that page with posts throughout the day (if you are a Facebooker).

Please sign up for our EMERGENCY TextCaster service, that will text you if our phone system goes down, or any other important emergency (we have never used it, but want to be prepared!).  Click HERE to register your cell phone(s)

Another important link for today- Our WEEK 2 LIBERTY NEWS.  It's pretty amazing what these campers can come up with, and Lori and Chris did a great job preparing the newsletter.  Enjoy!

Last Link- For those of you that take the Bus- Liberty Lake Day Camp- Week 3 Bus Times are online, and will stay similar to these times for the remainder of the regular Camp Season.

OK, one more... Rumor has it that the developer who owns the land-locked 100 acre farm behind Liberty Lake is very close to obtaining the last remaining permits needed to start building (or at least have permission to build).  We will be contacting you soon as to signing a form letter- but for now, if you'd like more information, check out our activist website:

By the way, most of these links can be found on the Liberty Lake Day Camp SummerZone page of the Liberty Lake website.  Thanks everyone for a GREAT start to Camp, and here's to another awesome week of FUN IN THE SUN!

Andy Pritikin

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Getting Ready for Camp!

The summer of 2011 has officially arrived! The fun in the sun has already begun, as our pre-weekers have been having a blast -- especially with renown glass blower Jason Klein WOW-ing the kids with his extraordinary talents!  

The Liberty Lake Team could not be more excited for the beginning of our very special 10th anniversary summer. Among many other improvements to our program and facility, campers can look forward to exciting new Special Events, our Liberty Lake Garden, additional High Ropes Elements, Turtle Town and an enhanced Teen Leadership Program!  

We’ve put together the following packing list to make sure that your child has everything they need:
  • Camper Name Tag (for camper's first day of the summer) 
  • Camp Bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Towel
  • Bathing Suit
  • An extra set of clothing
  • Windbreaker
  • A smile : )
Things to leave at home:
  • Flip-flops
  • Any electronic device, including cell phones!
Also, please remember to LABEL all of your camper’s items with their name! Trying to find anything in our Lost & Found Mountain is hard enough, looking for a name-less item makes it even more of an adventure!

Here are some other pre-summer preparation points:
  • Week 1 Bus Routes are available online! Click here to see them.
  • Please have your child fill out their Top 10 Elective Preferences ASAP! We are finalizing Week 1 Schedules now.
  • Make sure you’ve returned the “Permission to Administer Medication” form
  • Sign up for Text-Caster -- our Emergency Notification System.
  • Update your family’s information and health history in CampMinder
  • Familiarize yourself with CampMinder -- your CampMinder Dashboard is your portal for viewing our daily photo albums. CampMinder is now also accessible via Facebook, check out our blog entry from May 9th, "Facebook Integrates CampMinder for You" to learn more! 
Contact us in the office at any time if you have questions about getting ready for the summer – especially you rookie Liberty Lake families, we are here to help!  

Only 5 days left until opening day of the Regular Camp Season! We can't wait!