Leave it to summer camp counselors to find creative solutions in the face of adversity. They do it every summer outside in 100-degree weather and “liquid sunshine,” and Liberty Lake has taken the initiative of bringing “fun in the sun” online through the magic of social media and technology, teleporting their camp spirit and programming into thousands of living rooms.
Liberty Lake Owner/Director, Andy Pritikin explains, “We feel that our role in the lives of families is to figure out how to make lemonade out of lemons, while being a resource of youth development, and helping keep focus on the important things in life- like quality time with family, and the opportunity to learn and explore together.”
Virtual Camp kicked off this past Monday with a full-on “Monday Assembly” including a military flag raising at the backdrop of their lakeside amphitheater, as traditionally done at Liberty Lake. Burlington native, and current East Brunswick Science teacher Regan Gillespie started things off with an improvised version of “The Wake Up Song.” Regan, who started her Liberty Lake career as a 5-year old camper and now supervises the extensive high-ropes adventure program, showed great resourcefulness as she filmed herself on her phone, turned it into a Tick Tok.
Also on the docket this week is photo scavenger hunt, in which children are taking pictures of specific beautiful blooming flowers and posting them into an event page for judging by the camp photographers. As Liberty Lake has always positioned themselves as “a step back in time,” they also have a video up of their summertime chef, Sean “Stu” O’Brien of Pemberton, teaching kids how to make the ultimate paper airplane (spoiler alert- it’s the one your parents taught you when you were a kid!)
While today’s cutting edge technology enables the live and recorded streaming of online events, Pritikin is very upfront that this is an off-season phenomenon. “During the summer camp season, Liberty Lake is proud to be an outdoors, screen-free environment. And when this current situation thankfully ends, kids and parents are going to want to be outdoors, away from screens like never before. We’re all overdosing on screens right now, which may be what society needs to re-appreciate the virtues of nature, face-to-face communication, and true social connection.”
Liberty Lake’s free resources and online presence can be found on their Facebook page, Instagram, extensive new Pinterest page, and on a dedicated Liberty Lake Virtual Camp webpage which includes an online Virtual Tour of the 60-acre facility, located in Mansfield Township.
For more information and updates on the HOPEFUL start of the real camp season, visit www.LibertyLakeDayCamp.com.