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