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Liberty Lake is preparing to support local families

submitted by Andy Pritikin, Owner/Director, Liberty Lake Day Camp, Mansfield Twp., NJ

Times are crazy, especially for parents. Balancing careers with home life and co-teaching for three months has been beyond stressful. In our modern day society, families cannot return to any semblance of normalcy without school, childcare, or summer camp.

What about the kids? We thought kids and technology were a problem BEFORE the pandemic! Cooped up for months, unable to socialize with their peers, now with added fears, anxiety, and emotional deficits. While we should be concerned about the small amount of cases of illnesses with children, we should be MORE concerned about the declining mental stability and social skills of millions of children. For most parents I’ve spoken to, the latter is a much bigger and relevant issue.

Not all summer camps are able to, however. While they may wish they could, some are too small, don’t have the infrastructure, nor the outdoor space. Liberty Lake has been preparing since March for the opportunity to provide the essential service of giving children the ability to live childhood again, while unburdening working parents, and helping the economy get back on track.

How can Liberty Lake pull this off, you may ask? We are working with guidelines given to us by leading experts in applying the study of virology and epidemiology into the workplace, based on CDC guidelines and approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Will our plan eliminate risk? Of course not. Does this eliminate any traces of the coronavirus? Of course not. Camps can’t make those guarantees; there are too many variables. Just like there will be when the children return to school, whenever that may be. There are inherent risks for children doing anything beyond remaining isolated at home. But perhaps the benefits of being outdoors with other children in a closely monitored situation outweighs the risks- including the additional risks of continuing to quarantine them at home through the fall.

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