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

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