BORDENTOWN, NJ – Andy Pritikin, owner and director of Liberty Lake Day Camp, has been awarded the 2021 American Camp Association Special Recognition Award for his advocacy in opening summer camps in 2020-21, and the policies put into place to ensure a safe summers for campers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. His work motivated hundreds of camps across North America to open last summer, and most of the rest to open in 2021.
Pritikin, who authors nationally published parenting articles, and hosts one of the camp industry’s most listened to podcasts, has been advocating for years that “kids were already in screen/technology overload, and losing their social skills. Since the pandemic hit, these same children have been forced to stare at screens, while taken away from formative social interaction- causing bigger social, mental, and emotional issues.”
In the months leading up to summer 2020, Andy became the de facto spokesman for the camp industry, appearing over 35 times on local and national television, and virtual media outlets. Days after testifying at a Senate subcommittee hearing about the re-opening of childcare centers and summer camps, NJ day camps were given the green light. Other state governments followed NJ’s lead, and hundreds of camps throughout North America were inspired by Andy and Liberty Lake to open, following similar safety protocols.
Andy is passionate that the summer camp experience carries more significance right now than ever before, as in New Jersey, it remains as one of the only places for children to socialize with their peers, outdoors, without facemasks nor social distancing. Says Pritikin, “our unique environment really fosters the kind of socialization that can return the childhood experience to our kids.”
Liberty Lake forged a path to opening in 2020, creatively integrating precautions to ensure camper and staff safety. Hand cleaning stations were added throughout camp, activities were altered to fit CDC guidelines, rules about social distancing between groups and activities were put in place, and summer camp was as clean as could be! In the end, over 1000 campers and 250 staff enjoyed one of the most positive experiences of their lives, with no kids or families testing positive or getting ill.
ABOUT LIBERTY LAKE DAY CAMP
Liberty Lake Day Camp provides a unique experience for children to make lifelong friendships. The camp philosophy is centered around their five-star points: independence, integrity, aspiration, friendship, and teamwork. Liberty Lake is a tech-free environment, and is celebrating its 20th Anniversary Season! Liberty Lake serves families in five New Jersey counties as well as Center city Philadelphia in lower Bucks County. For more information, visit www.LibertyLakeDayCamp.com