Thursday, November 1, 2012

LLDC Families Surviving Hurricane Sandy

Thank you to the hundreds of Camp families who responded to our "How are you faring" Email yesterday.  While many have regained power in the homes, and many have not, it was very positive to read how well the kids were adapting, as well as the heroic stories of families traveling to "rescue" relatives (or even strangers) who were in danger.  At Liberty Lake, we lost a lot of big trees (and will replant) as well as our new greenhouse (too sad to show a picture of).  

One common question was "How can we help those in need?"  Well, besides contributing to the red cross directly, one of our veteran staffers Leanne Summers created a T-Shirt to help "Restore the Shore" - Check out this link.  For more updates, check out our Facebook fan page as well.  Enjoy the positive energy below from our beloved Camp Families:

Big Tree at Point made a BRIDGE across Crafts Creek- Should we Keep it?
Our power went out Monday at 7:15 and is still out. We are fortunate that we bought a generator about 5 years ago because we live on the Delaware and are prone to flooding. We have been using our generator to keep our life as normal as possible. As we speak the kids are drinking hot chocolate and watching a movie on Netflix. Our biggest issue is no heat. Luckily blankets and warm drinks keep us as warm as possible. Hope other camp families are doing okay.  Stay safe! Jennifer

As you know, we live in Forked River but we were very lucky that our home was spared and no damage came to us. We only lost power but we had hot water and gas stove top to keep us going. We got our power back Thursday morning and I am back at work today. The boys don't have school until Monday so they are very happy with this little school break. My neighbors right behind me were not so lucky, the main road (E. Lacey Rd.) that leads to the marina flooded and many restaurants, tiki bar and docks were destroyed. I know that we will all be the better for this, because of the many people who have been so giving and caring in this time of need- This is the true silver lining that will come of the devastation- Stay safe my friends!!!

Andy and LLDC family, My prayers are with you and your family. I know what’s most trying in times like natural disasters, but family time is so important too.  We’ve hunker down in living room where the steam from spaghetti pots heat the house. The warmth from our large dog keeps us comfortable with body heat. Last year, we anticipated a lot of snow and bought a generator. Thank goodness there’s still gas stations with working pumps even though there are down trees and power outage across Pemberton. Even the military base lost power due to a transformer blew on Monday night. We are still without power here. Over the weekend, my husband was at golf tournament in New York and had to deal with traffic northbound from evacuee on the coast. But was able to find shelves not yet empty of water, batteries, & extension cords. Thankfully he bought a sweatshirt for each of us as a golf souvenir. Yes, we’ve turned off our Iphones, shut down the computers, and there is no TV. Just a portable radio, board games (J. loves chess and checkers) doing our yardwork. I’ve cleaned out both refrigerators and instead of watching TV the kids went trick o treating last night on base. Ft Dix has power restored. J. is playing shadow with flashlights and hide and seek in the dark. Both kids love the black-out but are freezing due to the lack of heat. I am just glad that the basement isn’t flooded, the cars weren’t demolished by down trees, and the house is still standing with just a window’s shutter that flew off and hit our fence. And kids didn’t have to sit in the storm waiting for the school bus Monday. Thank you for reaching out. We are a bit out of touch with the rest of NJ due to the lack of power and cable service. I keep chatting with neighbors and co workers to see how they made out in the storm. Take care, Sarah

Thank you for the note.  Just another example of the type of person that you are, which is reflective in the heart and culture of Liberty Lake.  I am grateful for the day that I saw your Ad and visited the open house.  The S. family is doing well.   We never lost power, but our neighbors across the street did, so they are happily using our generator.   My Mom on Long Island (89), didn’t fare as well.  She refused to come my way before the storm.  Her house had damage and no power (All electric including heat)  I was able to get there yesterday and bring her back to NJ so all is well.  If you or your family need help in any way please let me know.  J.

Thanks for your message.  We was on the LLDC website yesterday, trying to find out how the camp made it through the storm.  It sounds as if things could have been much worse than they are, thank goodness.  We hope Justin is doing well and are glad that your family has power again.  We were without power for 27 hours and enjoyed candle light meals (fortunately, we could cook on the gas stovetop) and, of course, board games (specifically Monopoly and Trouble, as well as card games).  We also took advantage of the daylight hours to do some much-needed painting in our house (I bought paint on Sunday, in anticipation of losing power)!  You probably heard E’s scream of happiness when the power suddenly came back on Tuesday night!  We were just getting ready to break down and light a fire for warmth, so the timing couldn't have been better.  We cleaned out the refrigerator/freezer yesterday, so that's done. I understand from Brandi's note that tomorrow night's LLDC Teen Event has been postponed, so we look forward to a reschedule of that and definitely plan to attend.  And like you, we are horrified at what destruction has hit NYC and the Jersey shore.  It will be a long road back for many people who are much less fortunate than we are.  Thanks again for your message, and we hope to see you soon!
 L & E

 The F’s got their power back last night around 9 pm. We had a tree top come down in our backyard landing in the 1 spot I would hope, missing the kids swing set our fence and most importantly our house.  I will miss the games of uno and monopoly though, and the family candlelight dinners. I hope everyone else fared as well as us.  M

Andy, Thanks so much for your kind and caring words. We were on of those without power for 30 plus hours and made the most of it. We had no damage other than a section of fence blown down thankfully. That was such an eloquent heart felt email. I will be sure to tell my son that you, and his counselors were asking about him today. I personally am about to leave Burlington with my boat in tow, myself along with a few others have collect 20 some cases of water 2 generators various food items as well as assorted batteries and extra flashlights. We will be leaving the main land side of Barnegat City and motor across the Barnegat bay to deliver much need supplies to some of the residents there without power and phone lines. There is no access in or out by vehicle as the roads are covered with debris. Thanks again for your concern !!

The Lake was calm on Tuesday- No Flooding- Phew!!!
This was one of the classiest notes ever. Thank you so much for thinking of all of us – just shows the heart behind the camp!  No power but praying dearly for it today.  Glad you are well and your family is well. We continue to keep your son in our prayers!  K.

Thanks Andy. We were lucky. We never lost power! Unfortunately, I work in NYC so I haven't been able to get into the city all week. Some may not see that as a bad thing right? :-) Kind of an extra week of vacation though because I have connectivity, I could work (shhhhh...that's a secret) Seriously, thank you so much for your concern and offer of help. I know lots of folks were not as blessed as I was and were happy to know there was some additional support out there.  I'm glad you now have power and life can start getting back to "normal". Take Care.

Hi Andy, It was nice to hear from you and we are glad you have managed through the storm.  We only lost power for the better part of 2 days and no damage except some more leaves and branches than usual.  Having this electronic-free time allowed us to actually eat dinner at a decent hour and there was no TV on to distract us from our conversations.  Our hearts and prayers were given to those less fortunate and in looking at the pictures – sadly there are many.  All said it was a little colder in the house than usual – now if I put it to 64 it seems like summer – but our spirits were never down – we even had a wager on to when the power would come on – we could have made it for how long the power would be out but that is not positive thinking. H. was bummed I won – no money or favors were exchanged it was just for bragging LIGHTS!  We will think about purchasing a generator in the future – that could be a good investment.  This gave us an excuse to clean out the fridge and buy new salad dressing – the only thing we lost in the freezer was ice cream and that makes the dieting easier.  If you are ever in need of an extra set of hands for clean up or to move things – please let us know – I am not that much of a craftsman but I can hold my own with most tasks. Thanks, The B. Family

Hi Andy – thanks for the note; the J. family is good. We lost power for about 19 hours – which is nothing compared to what others are going through.  It’s been a long week for DJ, working since Sunday – but he’s been coming home for dinner/rest before heading back in each day. The kids welcomed the three days off from school – and it was nice to see them use their creativity to keep busy. My parents and brother are in Little Silver and Oceanport, near the Monmouth County shore – declared disaster areas, but luckily they are all OK. No power, but OK. Trying to get them to come down here, but my dad recently had hip replacement surgery, so they want to stay home where he’s more comfortable. I will be heading up there tomorrow with gas to replenish their supply for the generator. Growing up at the shore, I’m hearing the areas we ‘played’ in are devastated and have simply washed away. Our old stomping grounds of Sea Bright, Sandy Hook and Long Branch will never look the way I knew them, but I’m sure they’ll rebuild, in time.

We are fine over here and have electric. Our house is surronded by tall mature Oak tree. We sweated out the night sleeping downstairs in makeshift tents. Woke up to gigantic tree limbs in the front and back yard.  No falling trees !  We are very blessed. If there is anyone in the Lawrenceville area that might need some help just let me know.  Chef John & Family

We are right here in Columbus/Mansfield. We made out very well in the storm, thankfully, with only minor damage and only 3 days of no power, water or heat.  My heart often turned to Liberty Lake and the devastation it might suffer at the hands of Sandy. I am not a praying woman but I did this time. For the camp and for your family and for the other families out there who may not have been as lucky as we are.  Thanks for checking in and continuing to show, through your actions and words, what an amazing place/family Liberty Lake is.  Take good care,  K, T & E

We are back at work & the kids are at school today, though so many people in the area are still w/o power the parking lots here in Trenton are pretty empty. We were lucky, our home is fine, our trees are fine and we were able to borrow a generator for a few hours to keep the refrigerators running and cold.  Phil was crazy busy w/ the fire dept and our local OEM.  He's still a little sleep deprived, but back at work too.

Yes, old fashioned ways to stay busy. While P. was out w/ the fire dept on Monday & Tuesday, the kids & I played scrabble and the original trivial pursuit by candle-light.   CP

We have been been without power for days but are blessed with friends that have big refrigerators and extra beds.  We are lucky and are glad to hear that everything is holding up rather well on your end. All the best, Michelle & family

The W. Family is alive and kicking. Just a few down trees and no power for 2 days. Basically, nothing to complain about.  Please let me know if you are going to collect food, clothing and othe things to help out the less fortunate. I will help in any capacity that I can.  Thank you for your concern and we are still praying for your son.  We get great compliments about our orange Justinsanity shirts, especially now in the fall.
The Cedar at the Vista snapped in half

Thank you very much for your email!  Our family is okay; we were only without power and some damage to our roof, so we feel fortunate. I know how busy you are, but please let us know if you are taking monetary collections for families affected by this tragedy as we will be happy to help.  I hope your family is ok and your son is doing well.
Thank you very much again, Margaret 

Your email brought tears to my eyes. During difficult times, is often when we are reminded most, how fortunate we are. We are living in an amazing community surrounded by so many loving, kind, generous people!  The B’s are FINE! We definitely had our Guardian Angel watching over us. We didn't lose power, direcTV didn't lose its satellite, and not a single shingle is missing on our roof! As NJ and NY clean up from the devastation, I can't help but think about how life can surely change in an instant!  So grateful that my children have shared in the Liberty Lake Camp experience! Thank you and your family for providing my children with memories that will last their lifetime! If there is anything we can do to help at camp or at your home, please ASK!

Thank God we are ok, with no damage and only lost power for 12 hours. A & M both went back to school on Wed. and Hamilton is still closed. On Wed. I had to go pick up my son from Rutgers because 3 of the 5 New Brunswick campuses were under water and without power. He was on a campus that was without power for a day but otherwise safe. The school asked parents to pick up their children if possible so the two dining halls are able to handle everyone. Classes are cancelled until Monday.

Glad to hear your power came back on!  We were extremely lucky and managed to NOT lose power.  BMS is finally open today so I’m back at my desk, although it still feels strange as the parking lot is mostly empty.  Moorestown schools are still closed.  Even though I knew Halloween was moved to Monday, I still faithfully put a bowl of candy next to the front door yesterday.  The doorbell did ring once, but it was just friends, not trick or treaters.  I gave them candy anyway J  Hope all is well and life is getting back to normal. HM

Thanks so much for your message. Glad your power came back on. Ours was off in Burlington for 42 hours. It came back on yesterday around 4:30 pm. We are thankful for everyone that is working around the clock to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Our son Antonio has been asking about camp every day since last week before Sandy came through. We appreciate the updates you’ve been posting. We are lucky to have only lost power. We still have a home and we’re all safe. The devastation at the shore is heartbreaking and unimaginable.  Hope you and your family remain safe.  Wendy

Please let us know if we can help with water, food, batteries etc. to families who my reach out to you as we are grateful and to have experienced only minor loses compared to many.

Hi Andy, What an uplifting note to receive.  Thanks for that.  Just want you to know we are all fine and surviving without Electricity since Monday.  The boys stayed with some friends who have electric and heat last night. They had a great time the first 2 nights without power, I was surprised at how they used their resources and played games and hide & seek. E, W & I stayed at the house with the dog.  But have been hanging with our neighbors until bedtime, who have a generator and heat. Praying for electric soon, but they are saying not until Monday or later.  So we will see. Thanks for the note.  Looking forward to summer already?  Yes I am!  Take care and be safe.

We got our power back on in Burlington twp 2 nights ago. Lots of family has come to stay. Please let me know if anyone needs any supplies or if we can help in any way. Glad you are all ok and my kids can't wait for summer!  Jennifer

We came through the storm just fine, fortunately. You are correct to pray for those who have lost so much...but also jump into action, lend a hand, or simply a shoulder that someone can rest on. God Bless you Andy for caring and all you do. BOB

We are still without street power. We have been running the generator one hour on, four hours off since 7:30 pm monday. We have propane for cooking inside. They grilled outside last night--a nice change from canned food. Mark pulled out the Magic cards and attempted to teach his Dad how to play. When he tired of reading, he rediscovered Kerplunk and other games.

Some chipped benches, but that's it!
I, like you, did not see the pictures until today when I went back to work and was overwhelmed with sadness that so many people are hurt, have lost so much and for all of us, a part of out childhood has literally been washed away.  Robbin 

Doug learned to play Monopoly. lol   All in all, no problems here but we see how many others were not so lucky!

We are doing ok; everyone is fine. We have no power and have been "camping" in the house as are many others. The most recent update from PSE&G is to receive power sometime before midnight on November 9. I liked your mention of the word "grit" - we heard a homily a few weeks ago about the fact that we didn't necessarily need GPS in our lives, but, rather, we needed more GPT- Grit, Persistence, and Tenacity. I'll be reminding the boys of that when they wake up soon. 
Take care, The Z's 

There is never a day when H. doesn't talk about camp and we actually played a lot of indoor games that he learned at camp during the storm. Thank you so much for your email, With best regards, P, M & H

Dear Andy and Liberty Lake Family,
From Spain we'd like to send you all our strength and support in these tough times. As we have been seeing the images of the disaster on TV, we were thinking about all of you fearing the worst, because Sandy passed just over Liberty Lake neighborhood. As you say, fortunately things can only get better from now.  Mafalda and Oriol ask me what could we do for you from Barcelona. But I really don't know. Please tell us if we can do something to help anyone from here. We wish all of you a speedy disaster recovery, and our deep heartfelt wishes. The Mariana Family.

I was able to get our grandma out of Freehold last night because she still didn't have power and it was 58 degrees in her house!  She is safe and warm in our house with us and the kids are loving their time with her.  On a scarier note we had to go to queens on Long Island to get our Aunt Patti who's house and car were completely under water from a storm surge!!! And she wasn't even in an evacuation zone :/. We helped her salvage as much as we could and she is safely resting with us tonight until going back tomorrow to finish packing the few things that survived. And then Saturday we will move her out of the town she lived in most of her life! The things I saw there today I will never forget!  Families clearing their entire house to the side of the street while their kids watched in the yard....broke my heart.  Anyway we were so lucky to be able to help our family and I am happy and grateful they are safe!!!!  I'm so happy your power is back on and your family is safe.  I hope your son Justin is being strong and hanging in there.  We look forward to seeing you at camp next year!!!! Sincerely, TS

I wanted to tell you, once again, how grateful I am for the experiences I have had at camp over the last few summers.  During Hurricane Sandy with the wind blowing and the rain pouring down, my children and I played The Game of Life in the basement of my parents' home.  I knew that the key to keeping the children calm was to be calm.  That being prepared beats being panicked. I knew that I needed activities that didn't take electricity and that I could vary with time to keep the kids distracted.   And that most of all, I know my kids have a little grit.  We have danced in the rain at camp, and sat together under the tents to wait out the storm.  That was great practice for the 'real deal' that was Sandy.  We didn't go dance in the rain on Monday or Tuesday, but we didn't fall apart either.  As we sat laughing about how many kids we had in The Game of Life, I was hoping secretly that LLDC would be all right.  I am sure there are other skills we have learned there that we will use when the circumstances arise, and I'll thank you in advance for them.  With Love, Lara

Dark Waters after the storm- Liberty Lake fared well this time!
 We have been without power & water since Monday. We are being told it could come on Monday, Nov 5 at the very earliest. We have been doing ok though. No damage to the house or property so we were very lucky!  We were able to get our hands on a generator today, so hopefully that will help! L & B have really been enjoying it.  Playing games and reading books with their “head-lamps” and flashlights! We are happy that there was not too much damage at the camp!  Stay safe! Gail

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fishing Tips from Larry the Liberty Lake Fishing Guy

There's nothing like catching a fish on your FIRST DAY OF CAMP!

Greetings From the Fishing Dock!

Fishing at LLDC 2012 was a great success and will always be a cherished time in my life. I saw kids who knew nothing about fishing grow to the point that they baited their own hooks, could identify the fish they caught, and became able to remove the hook safely to put the fish back for another day. As we adjust to our post-camp schedule in my home, my son and I spend some great moments together reflecting on the great times we had at LLDC this past summer. Those moments will remain as wonderful memories, and the friends that we made will last a lifetime!

In the 10 weeks of Camp this Summer, Liberty Lake Campers caught a record number of fish: 1,542. 

In these numbers we had over 200 fish that weighed 3 lbs. or greater, including a 3 ½ lb. Large Mouth Bass and a 7 ½ lb. Brown Bullhead Catfish.  Check out all the pictures in your CampMinder Photo Album, and on the Facebook Fanpage!

I know that some parents have fished before, but many have not. Fishing is an affordable activity and is a great way to spend time with the kids and see what they learned at Liberty Lake.  I have put together some tips below for those parents that would also like to learn the art of fishing.
Even 6 year olds can have lots of success when fishing!

Fishing Made Easy

The very first thing you need to freshwater fish is the proper equipment. A rod & reel, hooks, sinkers and  floats will give you a great beginning. You also may want to get a tackle box to place your items in. These items can be found at your local sporting goods store or even Wal-Mart, however I have used the BassPro site for showing you examples of the items I use at camp. There are some additional items that I will also recommend for your tackle box.
  1. Rod & Reel- There are a variety of rods and reels available. The best way to begin is to get a simple “Spin Casting” combo set. I recommend the Spin Casting reel as it is the simplest to learn with. Here are some great beginner combo sets.  You can get a set that comes with some tackle but the tackle that I will recommend will be slightly different and easier to use.
  2. Hooks- As with all fishing equipment, there is always a wide variety of everything. The hooks I recommend are easy to use and also easy to remove. They are also good to use to catch any type of freshwater fish. The “Bait Holder” type hook is very easy to use and a “size 6” is good for both large and small fish. 
  3. Sinkers- I like to use sinkers that can be re-used very easily, help me with casting and keep by bobber steady in the water. I use a “Split Shot #5”. It can be attached or taken off with the use of a pair of needle nose pliers and they last a long time. 
  4. Bobbers/Floats- Once again, a number of choices and again I go with simple. I use the Weighted Round Foam Floats as they last a little longer than plastic and the colors are real easy to see. I have chosen the 1 ¼ “ as it works for all type of fishing and weather.
  5. Tackle Box- I have a tackle box the size of a small trunk. However, I have collected a great number of fishing items over the years. When starting out, you want some room to collect but not too big. Here is a box that will allow you to grow and last a long time.

The following are some extra items that I have in my tackle box to make fishing easy.

Boys, Girls, Athletes, Non-Athletes- All love Fishing!
  1. Pliers- These are good to have for cutting line, use with sinkers as well as removing hooks. 
  2. Fish Holder- Catfish have three spines (one on each side and one on the top) that are very sharp. They are not hard to hold but I like to use this tool. 
  3. Old Rags or rubber gloves- For those who are not quite comfortable holding fish or worms, these are good to have. I have shop towels and  these gloves that I bought at Home Depot. I keep my towels washed so that they can be re-used and are clean. Good Gloves, and Towels- 

Now, how do we use all these items? Once again, easy is better! Here are some sites that will guide you along your way.

Enjoy your new found hobby with your kids, and feel free to Email me if I can help in any way to make your fishing experience a good one!

Your Friend,
Larry ”The Fishing Guy” Pennypacker

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Talking With Your Kids About Bad Stuff

In case you didn't know, Liberty Lake Day Camp employs a dynamic resource counselor named Cathi Fischer, LCSW. Cathi works during the school year as a social worker in the New Brunswick Public Schools, has her own clinical practice, and drives into NYC to do grief counseling at Sloan Kettering Medical Center. Our Insurance Company also employs her as part of their consulting team which works with the finest camps across all of America.

Speaking from personal experience, I have trouble finding the right way to frame shocking and disturbing situations like what happened in Connecticut last week, Colorado this summer, etc- for my own kids. So when Cathi offered to write up some tips and tools for our Camp Families to help mitigate the emotional effects on our childen, I took her up on it- I hope you learn something from the below, as I did!

Traumatic events can have profound effects not only on those who have been injured, but also on loved ones, survivors and witnesses. Extensive media coverage of tragedies means that the circle of witnesses has expanded to include those who were not present at the event. These incidents can be extremely disturbing to children, who thrive on predictability and security.
  • Ways to talk to your children after a traumatic event. Children frequently feel more vulnerable than adults because of their limited physical and emotional resources. Do not minimize your child’s concerns, even if they seem trivial to you. You can ask your children “What do you think kids will worry about the most?” Let them know it is normal to feel worried or upset.  They may ask the same questions repeatedly, they need the continued reassurance that they are safe.
  •  Limit the amount of TV watching: There is a great deal of mass media attention to this issue with sad, dramatic, and frightening images that are continually showing on the television. Watching these scenes may create feeling of vulnerability in your children. Please monitor what they are watching, limit their accessibility and talk to them about what they are viewing. If you feel it is appropriate to view media coverage, watch together.
  • Ask your children what they hearing and where they are hearing it. Make sure you give them accurate information without going into great detail. You should clarify terms they may have heard that they do not know the meaning of. For example, “homicide” is when someone killed another person, it is not an accident.
  • Deal with questions in a simple factual manner, without giving graphic details. For example “What happens when you get shot?” Possible Response: “When you get shot you might be injured in the part of the body that got hit. Sometimes the injury can be serious enough that the person’s heart will stop and they will die. Sometimes a person is not injured as badly and they will go to the hospital and the will be taken care of by the nurses and doctors.
  • “Why did this happen to these people?” Explain to your children that we may not know the exact reason why this horrible thing happened, but we assume that this person was troubled and did not know how to talk clearly about their thoughts and feelings. The result is they were not able to control their impulse to hurt others. They kept things to themselves. It is important for people to seek help when they have thoughts and feelings that make them feel angry, hurt, confused or scared. Everyone needs someone to talk to who can help them solve problems and feel better. Ask your child “Who would you talk to if you were feeling scared, hurt or confused inside?" Be available for them to talk. They may ask the same questions repeatedly, they need the continued reassurance.
  • Keep their routine normal. This gives your child a sense of security.
  • What if my child does not talk? You can ask your child to draw a picture of what they understand happened if they are young, or write about it if they are older.
  • Monitor your child’s behavior and seek help if your child displays any of the following:
    • Stomach aches, headaches or muscle pains that may not be medically based
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
    • Inability to stop thinking about the event
    • Changes in behavior (aggression, anger, more clingy or fearful of irritable)
    • Withdrawal from friends and family
    • Nightmares
    • Excessive worrying about something bad happening to them or a loved one.
Our generation has now gone through 9/11, the Space Shuttle accident, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and now this horrible situation in Newtown CT- These events can effect kids a lot more than adults. Being aware of it is the first step, and then having some tools int he toolbox is the second.  

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call Cathi Fischer, LCSW at camp, or Email her at

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Justinsantiy Blood Drive – This Thursday from 2 to 7 pm

Article By Christian Chang, Matt Cohen & Peyton Zelinsky (Liberty Lake Leaders in Training) 

Earlier this year, Justin Pritikin, son of Liberty Lake’s Owners/Directors Andy & Jill, was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the blood. Thankfully his illness was discovered early and he is responding positively to treatment, but Justin still has a long road of recovery ahead of him. 

Leukemia patients like Justin are in need of blood every day. In support of Justin and other leukemia patients, please take part in our American Red Cross Blood Drive on Thursday July 26 from 2 pm to 7 pm. The blood drive will be hosted at the Homestead Clubhouse ~ 25 Homestead Drive, Columbus, NJ, 08022. 

To schedule an appointment, please contact Linda Basim at 609-298-4846 or sign up at, sponsor code: 0229930. If you are unable to schedule appointment, walk-ins are welcome.

Donating blood is a very important service to our community. Here are some facts about donating blood – 
  • Nearly 4.5 million Americans would die every year without life saving blood transfusions 
  • Every 3 seconds, someone needs blood 
  • 32,000 pints of donated blood are used daily in the United States
To learn more about Justin Pritikin and his battle with leukemia, please visit 


Friday, July 20, 2012

It Ain't Easy Bein' Green!

Ever since I owned my own Camp, I wanted it to be as environmentally sensitive as possible.

 I quickly found out though, that it wasn't so easy- if I wanted to stay in business!

The cost of paper plates vs. styrofoam plates is STAGGERING.  We're talking 10:1.  So you could spend $5000 on plates, or $50,000 on plates.  Repeat: $50,000 on paper plates (the good ones that don't fall apart when they get some sauce on them). So sadly, Liberty Lake, for the first 10 years used styrofoam plates with our plastic cups- much to my dismay.

Every year I re-examined it.  Every year, the same answer.  Every year, we sighed and kept doing it- Until this winter...

This winter, we went to every paper goods supplier we could find, seeking out CLOSE-OUTS. I told them that I didn't care what was on the plates- Birthdays, Bar Mitzvahs, Superheroes, etc. Turns out that you can get closeout paper products at only 2-3 times the price of styrofoam- That pill, I can swallow!

So this summer, every Monday morning, Chef John runs to open up the next big cardboard box in our shed- This week... BIRTHDAY PRINCESS plates!  So not only are we GREENER than ever before, but now the kids get a big chuckle every day at lunch, depending on what's on the plates!  I think it has been hilarious- worth the extra money just for that!

Besides the plates, we are using paper cone cups at all the water coolers, we bought a composter, we expanded our garden and bought a greenhouse- and we are using our vegetables at lunch in the salad bar and in our pasta salad!

The Green Team elective, under the supervision of Chris Van Sciver and Tara Rambo (and overseen by Brandi Carnivale) look for ways for us to recycle, and be smart about the environment- I'm so proud of them, and all the Liberty Lakers for buying into our vision of being Green at Liberty Lake- If you have any ideas, please send them our way!!! 

Andy Pritikin
Liberty Lake- Owner, Director

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Liberty Lake 2012!!!
Dear 2012 Liberty Lake Families-
We are 30% through our Summer Season, but have LOTS of new campers starting on Monday. Thus, I figured that it was time for an all-encompassing update to remind everyone about some important protocol that can maximize your Liberty Lake experience.
Just click the link at the top of the page.  The bus routes have been running very smoothly for the past two weeks, but as always, we ask for your patience on Mondays.  Also, our 5:15pm LATE BUS SOUTH has been a huge hit, with 30+ campers riding it each day. This off-season we will contemplate running one to the north.
  • Also, and this is a little confusing, we post the next-next weeks electives each weekend- Let met explain. This past week (Week 2), we finalized the scheduling for next week (Week 3), and right now you can check out the Week 4 elective sheet, and then log into your CampMinder account, go to “Forms & Documents,” choose “Top 10 List” and update your selections for Week 4. The elective sheet currently taking selections is always posted on the Freedom of Choice pate of our website:
One of the hazards of running a 60+ activity elective program, is that sometimes some AWESOME new electives have a tough time getting rolling, as campers make choices of things they are confident with, and are averse to try new things- So parents, I implore you to encourage your children to Try New Things!  They can always change their electives on Tuesdays- Frosh, through their division leaders, Sophs+ through the change system we have set up.
Cool Electives you should sign up for:

  • Fitness & Nutrition
  • - Pro Trainer Anna combines Cardio Kickboxing, Water Aerobics and more
  • Balloon Art, Cartooning, Drawing/Painting, Multi-Medium, Sculpture-
  •  At LLLDC we have a great little Art Department that is generally underappreciated by the campers- Have them give it a try!
  • Rock Out-
  •  The Renaissance Man himself, John Williams runs an elective in which kids throw rocks at a target range, skip rocks, paint rocks etc. Now available for Freshmen
  • Videography
  • - We are lucky to have a professional filmmaker on staff, with a great new indoor facility.
  • Liberty Spa is alternating weeks with Face Painting
  • Twilight/Hunger Games is alternating weeks with Movie Magic (stage make-up)
  • Green Team
  • - We have a world-class garden and greenhouse, a composter, and a crack staff dedicated to the environment- Kids get their hands dirty, and love it.
  • Liberty News
  • - The 1st edition of the Newsletter came out on Friday (will be posted shortly), and it was amazing. The talented Jarrett  and campers will be creating a “Rolling Stone” magazine for distribution week 4.
  • Drums, Guitar, Jam Session, Ra
  • p- The Liberty Lake Music Department is simply amazing. Ray, Big Chris, and Mike & Mike from the School of Rock have kids drumming, strumming, rapping and performing like you wouldn’t believe- Try new things!
  • Into the Woods
  • - Next week is the last chance to be a part of the big musical production this summer. April has a great team, including Tara-Anne, a professional talent agent!

CampMinder online Photo Album- Besides logging in to change your electives, we encourage you to log in to view the many, many pictures we are taking each day of your beautiful children- compiled in our online, password protected photo album.

TEXTCASTER: Two weeks ago, our afternoon Homecoming Parade and Friday Assembly ran about 20 minutes late, making all of our buses 20-30 minutes late. Those parents who had signed their cell phones up through our “TextCaster”  emergency notification system were extremely grateful- Thus I encourage you all to take ONE MINUTE and sign up your cell phone for it. ***IMPORTANT*** It turns out that you have to do this EVERY SUMMER- So even if you did it in prior seasons, please do it again- We will NOT use this service for anything besides an important notification that has to do with your kids:

The above link, and many others are located in the “Parent Portal” in the SummerZone section of our website.  Also there are the links for the WebCam- Just choose “single” after clicking the link.- plus the INTERACTIVE SPIRIT CALENDAR (tells you what the special events actually are, and how to prepare) and INTERACTIVE MENU (including carb counts and ingredients).

While we have had a few campers end their summer season with us already, hundreds of campers have already extended their stays with us. Couple that with the biggest/latest registration in the history of Liberty Lake (over 100 campers in June), and a majority of our groups are now filled up for many of the remaining weeks. So, IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING EXTENDING YOUR STAY, CALL THE LLDC OFFICE, OR EMAIL US ASAP- AND WE WILL LET YOU KNOW WHAT IS AVAILABLE!

Due to our attention being focused on the late registrations, we had to cancel our “Sunday Camp” idea for this Summer- We will do it in 2013. 

Save the Date for Family Night- Thursday, August 2, 5:30pm – “Into the Woods (5pm),” 5-Year Jackets, 10-Year Plaques, Zip Line for Parents, Boating, Fishing, Mini-Golf, Ga-Ga, Hulla and the big Barbecue spread.

Communication Contacts: Our main catch-all is, but we also have bus@, nurse@, swim@, and every director and division leader’s first name@. BUT- For things like early pick-ups from Camp, cancellations, etc- PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE, as Emails are great, but not perfect.

Lastly, below are the addresses in which parents/campers can can write letters if you wish to join our fight to get the DEP and local township to address our stormwater issues related to the proposed warehouse project.  We have a few days (July 11) to submit comments related to the 6/26 hearing.

Comments should be submitted to:
WQM Program Docket
Watershed Management Program
Division of Coastal and Land Use Planning   Mail Code 401-07C
P O Box 420
Trenton, NJ  08625-0420

A copy of the comments should be sent to:
Mr. Timothy Staszewski
Project Manager
Remington and Vernick Engineers
232 Kings Highway East
Haddonfield, NJ  08033-3899

A quick not on my Justin’s progress in his fight against leukemia- His chemo treatments have intensified, and the next 8 week will continue with a week in the hospital, and a week recovering at home. While he’s hoping to make it to camp for a limited time, we have to proceed with caution, as his immune system is pretty weak. Updates at
As always, if you have any 

questions, please either reply to this Email, or give us a call.

Andy Pritikin, Owner/Director
Liberty Lake Day Camp


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New for 2012!

Check out our amazing list of new things for the 2012 Camp Season!
New Electives!
Water Aerobics, Paintball for Seniors (two weeks), Balloon Art, Face Painting, Rock Out (literally a ROCK elective - throwing, skipping, painting, etc.), Golf with professionals from the Old York Country Club , Game Club, Movie Magic (make up), Twilight & Hunger Games, Jam Session 

Facility Improvements! 
Green House, New High Ropes Elements, Playgrounds, Twin Cedars Revamp, Tipis, Zoom Flume, Octagon Gaga Pit, Tee-Pee, Turtle Town, Floating Bridge
New Spirit Events! 
Walk Like an Egyptian, Holiday Hodge Podge & Fear Factor

New Lunch Menu Items! 
Chicken Fajitas, Raviolis + Pork Roll & Cheese 

Lunchtime Initiative! 
Following our 5-Points of Youth Development, we are creating a new DIY Camper-Clean-up initiative, with the incentive being that groups will be allowed to eat outside the tent, in new picnic areas! 

Website Enhancements! 
Interactive Spirit Calendar - you can now click on any of the 49 days in the Spirit Calendar, and a pop up will appear with all of the important details & information for the event!  

Interactive Lunch Menu - Featuring calorie & carb counts, ingredients + more 

More New & Nifty Initiatives!

Three Color War Teams: Red, White & Blue! 

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

Late-Bus: leaving from Camp at 5:15 & going south on 295 -

Martin's (Rt. 38 and Marter Ave) - 5:30pm
Woodcrest Shopping Cntr (Berlin Road) - 5:50pm
FunPlex (Rt. 38) - 6:10pm 

Decision 2012 (Week 6):  YOU are part of the process. We’re picking a BRAND NEW LLDC ELECTIVE- And YOUR vote counts! 

Sunday Camp:  July 15th! A day of camp for current campers and their friends - on a Sunday! More details coming soon! 

Tag Your Towel:  We will photograph our Lost & Found every Friday and post them on to Facebook!