Open Tour Days
Personal Tours are available:
If you would like a Personal Tour, please call
the office at (609) 499-7820
to schedule an appointment.
Click Below To Hear The Liberty Lake Song
We Love LLDC!
Please click here to join our Coalition and support us in our advocacy efforts towards the DEP!
By Andy Pritikin, Director/Owner of Liberty Lake Day Camp, as published in Curious Parents, Parent Guide of New Jersey, Parent Guide of New York, The Princeton Packet, Messenger Press, and Register News (2003).
Have you ever met anyone who has gone to summer Camp? Ever listen to them go on and on about that amazing counselor, or their close “Camp friends” that they still speak to years later? For those of you without this experience, it must sound quite strange- I mean, isn’t “Camp” just a bunch of kids and counselors running around playing games? Well, not quite. First of all, it has nothing to do with RV parks, or any movies made by Bill Murray or that Ernest guy. Talk to any camper, Camp parent, Camp director, etc.- and you’ll be told wonderful stories, filled with magical memories and positive life-altering experiences. But although we can describe the positive effects of Camp for hours, Camp is just one of those things in life, that unless you’ve been there- it’s hard to appreciate its amazing impact.
Like many first time campers, I was forced to go to Camp. So while the majority of my friends went to the local “Rec.” program or the Jersey Shore, I was sent packing up to the Berkshires for what was to become two of the best summers of my life. What I thought was a unique experience is actually enjoyed by over 10 million campers each summer at over 12,000 Camps (2400 of the finest accredited by the American Camping Association). For these young people, Camp is not about tennis courts, pools, lakes, art projects, etc. - It’s about the relationships they make, while finding out who they really they are, in a supportive setting of… Wait a second- We’re getting too intangible- Back to the nitty gritty!
Because besides being premium childcare, Camp offers educational programs, health & fitness, and a place to develop social skills. Many Camps offer just as many creative activities as athletic, keeping the brain and the body working at peak performance straight through the summer. In today’s society, technological advances coupled with fears for safety have influenced us in raising the most out-of-shape, sedentary generation of children. Playing in the streets/backyards with friends has been replaced with one-on-one PlayStation play-dates, or 3-hour instant messaging sessions. The inherent set up of Camp requires interaction as well as activity (two swims per day at most Camps). Groups of like-age children eat together, explore nature, function as teammates, and deal with the ins and outs of social relations- all under the supervision of trained Team, within the safe guidelines of some serious, (totally wacky at times) unadulterated FUN!
Because the average American child idolizes celebrities like Eminem and Britney Spears. While they may be excellent musicians- they’re certainly not great role models. Good Camps and good Camp directors create controlled, ideal communities with an alternative- more traditional- vision of what it means to grow up. A Camp can control its value system, maintaining a magical environment that can inspire children to imagine anything is possible, and that their potential is limitless. Many of my American Camping Association colleagues pride themselves in creating a Camp climate reinforcing virtues and traits of which most parents strive for. Personal responsibility, independence, self-confidence, respect, social ease, and cheerfulness are sought after by both fine colleges and future employers. We are talking about the life skills needed to become a happy, successful adult.
Because Camp teaches the important stuff that school does not. While the average IQ is 24 points higher now than in 1918 (better nutrition, schools, smaller family size, etc.), kids are lonelier, more depressed, angry and unruly, nervous, prone to worry, impulsive and aggressive. A recent study found that EQ- Emotional Intelligence (empathy, handling relationships, self-motivation, self-awareness, managing emotions) is three times more the predictor of success than IQ. Leadership (self-confidence, team skills, social awareness) accounts for 90% emotional intelligence. Ask any human resource person- without the ability to truly relate to others, you can throw the “Three R’s” out the window. The various group settings and activities of Camp provide a virtual classroom for social development, teaching children and young adults the important skills of making and keeping friendships.
Because 70% of American families cannot recite the names of their connecting neighbors, 50% of marriages end up in divorce, 35% of school age children are being raised by single parents, the average American parents spend only 15 quality minutes with their children each day… I could go on, but you get the idea. Great Camps manage to create something many of today’s children have never known: a safe, richly personalized, stable community. Remember the theme song- “Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name…”? All humans desire a sense of belonging and worth. Camp gives children and Team Members constant opportunities to feel good about themselves, as a valued member of the bunk, group, team, or even the entire Camp!
Because life (especially childhood) is a series of new experiences with inherent risks. Camp provides a safe environment for children to attempt risks, fail, try again, and succeed! I personally must have taken twenty (embarrassing) belly-flopping attempts before I stood up on water-skis at sleep away Camp. I would never have accomplished it without the fanatical support of the counselors and campers on the back of the boat convincing me that I could succeed. Why Camp? Because Camp is vital to those who live it. Just ask anyone who has been there- even someone who didn’t want to go, but was forced to- and be prepared for a very long, enthusiastic answer.
Other Published Articles By Andy Pritikin-
Choosing Camp is a wonderful thing for you to do for your children.
Check out this video, and hear from others you may know
CALL TO SCHEDULE A TOUR TODAY! 609. 499. 7820