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Camp Lohikan Summer 2020

 

LAST SUMMER WAS AMAZING!


WE DID IT! We provided a fun, exciting, COVID-19 VIRUS-FREE 8-week Summer Camp experience this past summer! We also operated our One-Week, Mini-Camp in August (August 20-26) without a case of Covid-19! That’s a total of 9 weeks with no virus contracted in camp!

While we understand the difficult decision parents faced last spring when deciding whether or not to send their children to camp, we know that our decision to operate Summer Camp had a significant, positive impact upon our campers and was the right decision.

After four months of being quarantined at home, we watched our campers thrive at camp - making new friends, enjoying the outdoors, learning new skills, and simply having FUN! It was one of the most gratifying experiences for all of us working at camp.

Through our policies and procedures, we proved that we can provide a safe environment for children to enjoy camp... even with the threat of Covid-19 just outside our camp community. While we do not know what the Covid-19 situation will be next Summer, we are confident that with the assistance of our staff, parents, and campers, we can handle whatever comes down the road.

Currently, all sessions have space this Summer and are offered at early registration discounted rates. Our regular camp season extends 8 weeks and is available in segments of 2, 4 and 6 weeks. We are also continuing to offer two One-Week Mini-Camp Sessions (June 19th-25th and August 20th-25th). Regular session dates, tuition rates and online registration details are available by clicking here.

Our demonstrated ability to provide a fun and safe experience for our campers this past Summer will likely be an important consideration for many families researching camps for 2021. As a result, we expect that we’ll fill earlier than in previous years and we advise everyone to enroll early. You’ll avoid being closed out and, because of our early enrollment discount, you’ll save money in the process!

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact us at info@lohikan.com or 908-470-9317.

Best regards,

Mark Buynak
Camp Director

 

 

Summer 2020 Letters


"Thank You" letters continue to pour in from last summer and we thank you! Nothing provides more satisfaction or produces more pride than the letters we have received from parents and campers expressing gratitude for the hard work and dedication we invested to make last summer happen. We thank you for the opportunity to share this experience every summer!

Below we have printed a few comments from parents we received that made us feel GREAT!

We look forward to Summer 2021!

8/21/20

Dear Mark,

I hope you and your family is safe and healthy. I just wanted to tell you that with all this craziness in the world right now, the last place I thought I would send my child is to sleepaway camp. If you asked me back in March, I would have definitely said NO WAY. I need to let you know that Lilah had a terrific summer! I cannot believe you guys pulled it off! I wondered if it would be "loosey goosey". I wondered if you would have to shut down. I wondered how you would be able to get the kids to keep their masks on at all! I got a call from Lilah week 2 (of 6) saying she wanted to leave at the end of the 4 week point as opposed to 6 weeks. Of course, that is not something a parent wants to hear. That being said, this is not my first rodeo and we encouraged her to stick it out. I think that she was scared that none of her old friends would be coming back this year and that she would have to start over. Well, she was pleasantly surprised because she met a ton of new friends (and some old) and she had a great summer! My kids have always had great summers but I felt the need to praise you for this year in particular. Again, I can't believe you pulled it off and were so diligent about keeping things sterile and the kids safe.

Thank you so much.


8/26/20

Hi Ian,

So wonderful to know you had a successful summer with no Covid cases! I applaud you and your team for giving our kids a real summer, despite all the chaos. Cooper only went for two weeks due to our late decision, but five minutes after getting in the car on pick up day he asked to go back next year for 6 weeks!

This was his first time at sleep away camp and he truly enjoyed every moment. He said his favorite part of camp was all the new friends he made. I went to sleep away camp my entire childhood, so I am grateful to all of you that he got to create those same memories. Even with the masks and protocols - it didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits.

Thank you very much for the wonderful experience & we look forward to camp next summer. Hopefully mask free & without the two day drive from Miami and to PA!

Wishing you good health and wellness!


8/20/20

That’s great news and thank you again Ian for such a great summer.

I really have to commend you for making camp work so smoothly during these weird times. We gave our daughter a Covid test when she got back home as we were doing some traveling in August - she came back negative. But more importantly, she came back happy and healthy and in a much more 'normal' mental state then she had been when we dropped her off.

I know many people were trepidatious about sending their children to camp during the pandemic. The effort you all went through to keep our kids safe and healthy is immense and I am forever grateful for it. Our daughter desperately needed time with her peers, away from the worry of illness and the stagnation of being stuck home. Because of camp she is in a much better position to start what will again be a difficult and unusual school year.

Have a wonderful end to your summer. See you again in 2021!


8/25/20

Dear Mark and the Lohikan team,

Each summer, I pick Grant and Jude up from camp and we head down the shore to enjoy the remainder of summer vacation with family and friends that we do not get to see throughout the year as we live overseas. Throughout the four and a half hour drive, the boys typically talk non-stop about all the fun experiences they had-- the new activities they tried, their counselors and mentors, the friends they were reunited with, the new ones made, etc.,-- and this summer was no exception. Like other camp parents, we were really unsure whether or not to send the boys to camp this summer. But, in the end, we decided that the safety measures put into place and shared with parents, coupled with the boys' needs to socialize and be with kids their age, even for just a couple of weeks, was worth the trip back to the US knowing full well that we would also have to enter a government quarantine on the return to Doha, Qatar. In fact, I am writing this very email to you from our government quarantine hotel room.

Grant's big news from camp this summer was participating in the play, which he loved. In fact, he shared that had it not been for the staff that oversee the camp production, he never would have thought he would enjoy being on stage. He plans to get singing lessons in the months to come here in Qatar (from a dear friend of ours who is part of the Doha Choir Concert and the World Symposium on Choral Music). Jude, our introvert, also had a good time at camp this summer. While it is harder for Jude to make friends as easily as his older brother, he did make one or two new ones which he hopes to stay in touch with during the year. He also enjoyed hours and hours of arts and crafts and hanging out and helping around the horse barn. A big, big thank you, Mark to you and your team. I'm sure these last six months were unlike any other. The uncertainty, the months-long planning, and daily logistics must have at times been overwhelming, but as you note in this email...it all paid off. We are incredibly grateful for Camp Lohikan; for your steadfastness to operate this summer; and most of all, for your demonstrated commitment to the important role camp plays in developing our kids. We are proud to be Camp Lohikan (our third year) and will continue to share our campy stories with friends and family.

May you and your family enjoy a much deserved holiday in the months ahead. And, most importantly, stay safe, stay well and we'll see you all next summer!


8/19/20

Mark,

Thank you for following up and thank you and the staff at Lohikan for a well-run summer. Given the prior months of isolation, it was very important for us to have Caroline attend camp this year and have social interaction with other kids to have a small slice of normalcy. We appreciate all of the safeguards put in place and were very happy to see everyone wearing masks in the daily photos. If only the adults would wear masks as easily as the kids!

I’m sure when we pick Caroline up tomorrow she will already start talking about attending camp next summer!


8/24/20

Hi Mark,

I want to thank you for opening Camp Lohikan this summer. My kids were first year campers, had a GREAT time, and made lots of new friends! They previously attended another PA summer camp, and I wanted to let you know the difference between Camp Lohikan's staff and their previous camp's staff was tremendous. Both of my kids utilized the infirmary during their 8-week stay at your camp. I was informed each time they were there and spoke with Dr. Cohen several times. At one point my daughter was even taken to urgent care for x-rays, and the Division Director Megan who took her was wonderful! She kept me informed every step of the way and was so caring and friendly. I knew my daughter was in good hands throughout the process. At no point did I feel like she was in danger or was worried for her safety. My son also had to be examined several times for a swollen eye. I initially spoke with Dr. Cohen, and the next day Dr. Cohen called to advise me that my son required antibiotics. Once again, I was very happy with the communication. Every infirmary staff member I spoke with was so friendly and helpful, and this was the complete opposite of what I experienced with their previous camp. Being new to Camp Lohikan, I didn't know what to expect, especially since I couldn't tour the camp or meet my kids' counselors. After speaking with Ian and discussing your COVID-19 protocol, I took a leap of faith, and it paid off! From beginning to end, the entire Camp Lohikan staff was wonderful! Even before camp started, I was in contact with Ian and Ivan a few times and they responded quickly and in friendly manners. I know your staff was under an additional amount of pressure this summer, and I want to commend them for making this a memorable summer for so many kids. Your dedication to your staff and to the campers truly showed through your precautions and 0 cases of coronavirus. Please keep doing what you're doing! Thank you again for a great summer! Please commend your staff on an excellent job!


8/24/20

Yes. You did it. BRAVO!

The first thing Xavier said? Mom...I want to go all summer next year. Thank you for giving my son such a great experience.
He came for 2 weeks during a pandemic...coming from an epicenter...and he was safe there. And LOVED it. You really have no idea what this meant to this kid and what it meant to me as a recovering covid survivor. You did it. You pulled it off. GOOD for YOU. I love it.


8/23/20

Mark,

On behalf of my daughter Julia, I wanted to thank you for a terrific summer. Being able to get out of the house and have a semblance of normalcy amid the current craziness, especially after sitting inside for Zoom school from March-June, made all the difference in the world. She had a fantastic time. Thanks again for all the hard work you and the staff did to make it happen.


8/24/20

Hi Mark,

Thank you for the update and your candor about the Covid issue. We have been so completely satisfied with the way you have handled this entire summer. Bringing these kids together under such challenging circumstances was a very brave thing to do. I can’t even imagine the extra work involved and the sleepless nights you must have had making sure that everyone stayed safe and healthy this summer.

This year was Alexarya’s first at Lohikan and she only came because her camp of many years was not able to open. She loved her other camp very much and had planned just to spend this one Covid summer at Lohikan but after these amazing 7 weeks at Lohikan she has told me, several times, that Lohikan will be her new summer home. She loves so many of the activities, the staff, the kids, the lake, the circus, the horses and her bunk is so “comfy and homey” as she says.

I’m sorry to hear about the Covid scare. I’m sure it put a great deal more work on your plate but I am very happy with the way the situation is being handled. I was quite pleased to read that you will be doing testing. That’s great news and definitely puts our minds at ease. We had planned to test Alexarya when we picked her up, before any of this happened, because we will be spending the following week at the Jersey shore with her grandparents and we wanted to be sure she wasn’t a carrier so having that test done before camp ends just makes things easier for us so thank you very much for making that happen.

Overall, Mark, I just really hope you and all the amazing staff at Lohikan, give yourselves a big pat on the back and a bottle of champagne when this summer is over. You accomplished a tremendous feat. The Covid lock-ins have been so challenging for everyone but for the children especially and with a tough year ahead and lots of time trapped at home these kids needed this summer away at camp so badly. I can hear from each phone call and letter home how much Alexarya has grown emotionally since the summer began. She’s had several issues with fellow campers to work through and she’s had great support to problem solve her way through them all. It’s helped her grow up and given her a chance to make compassionate choices on her own without me there to guide her which is really invaluable. She had her first boyfriend (for 2 whole days) and they held hands walking to the prom (which was her first time holding hands with a boy). It’s a memory she is always going to hold dearly in her mind. She worked her way up to canter 1, which she's so proud of, and has really connected with the horses at the barn the responsibility of taking care of those amazing majestic beasts. She is a very picky eater but she has raved about the food (which is completely shocking to me). She has made some very close friends and really connected with several of the counselors. Kat in particular has really taken her under her wing.

Even though Alexarya misses us here at home and her friends are all waiting to see her (she has 150 text messages to answer when she returns) she is in no rush to return. In fact, as I’m sure Ian has told you, she requested to stay on for mini camp if there is space. We already have a trip planned to Hershey Pennsylvania on the 25th so she wouldn’t be able to stay the whole time but we have requested for her to stay at least till the 23rd. Hopefully that request works out but if not, that’s fine too. I’m ready to see her little smiling face again. 8 weeks away is quite enough time for me!

Again I just wanted to say that words can’t really express what u have given to our family this summer. It’s really been an incredible, priceless gift.

We are so grateful that you rose to the "summer of Covid challenge" and really just changed the lives of so many kids (and burnt out parents) I think we all feel a sense of rejuvenation that will surely help with the challenging Fall and Winter ahead.

We look forward to many summers at Lohikan. Alexarya is already sure she will be a C.I.T and a counselor there when she grows up.

Really job well done Mark and the entire staff at Lohikan.

Thanks for all the hard work.


8/19/20

That’s quite an accomplishment! We are very impressed with the amazing job that you have done! They should actually print a success story like yours on the web rather than focusing on the negative.


8/19/20

Thank you for keeping our precious children and the Lohikan staff safe! Camp Lohikan is amazing!


8/20/20

Hello Mark,

Thank you for this information. You and your team are dedicated in keeping our kids safe and are very proud of your efforts during this pandemic. Please count on us to return Emerson next year as I am sure she had a moment of a lifetime at your facility. Stay well, stay safe and enjoy your remaining summer. Thank you again for everything you have done.


8/20/20

Just wanted to applaud you guys on all the care and due diligence you've taken. I tell everyone what care Camp Lohikan has taken to keep our children safe. Thank you so much!


8/20/20

Dear Camp Lohikan Staff,

Thank you so much for making Kayla’s camp experience so special and safe. I am so grateful that you were able to make this work this summer.


8/20/20

Dear Lohikan Staff,

Thank you for all your hard work this summer. Micki had a great time. It was a welcome respite during this pandemic and was very beneficial to her mental well-being. Thank you for a fun, safe summer.


8/24/20

Congratulations. Great job keeping the campers safe and navigating through this new normal. Kudos to you and your team. I am sure it wasn't easy but you all rolled up your sleeves and really worked hard. Thank you.


8/23/20

Congratulations on making it through the summer even with Covid-19! Our daughter Charlotte had an AMAZING time at camp, which I’m sure is due to all of the hard work you went in to preparing. Thank you!


8/23/20

Thank you so much for making this happen. All the protocol was so worth it. We live in a small apartment in New York City, and I can’t tell you how much my kids needed this. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you do.


8/23/20

You sure did, and we are very grateful!

My son, Jorgie, had an amazing 4 weeks, he made new friends, enjoyed sports, grew taller and more confident. It was his first sleep away experience and we couldn’t have asked for a better one. We are so impressed with how you managed to keep everyone safe (and happy) in our current environment, thank you again! We know it takes a full team. So please pass along our thank you to everyone. Jorgie can’t wait to go back next year.


8/23/20

Thank you so much for pulling off this summer!! We feel so lucky that our two boys, Nash and Cole, were able to get out of the city to get some much needed fresh air and a return to normalcy for a few weeks.

We appreciate all of your hard work and can’t wait to be back next summer!


8/22/20

Thank you so very much for all that you did to keep our kids safe and happy!

It's a true testament to Camp Lohikan's excellence.


8/22/20

Dear Camp Lohikan director and staff,

Congratulations for tested zero positive! Thanks to your great job, my daughter got used to the mask even in hot weather, and she is very careful in public. Thanks and congrats note for you all!


8/23/20

Thank you so much for opening your camp this summer! We are so glad it went well and especially for all of the kids. My daughter had an amazing time and cannot wait to come back next Year! Thank you so much for your efforts. Cannot wait to see you next summer!


8/23/20

Wow. I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for making this happen. Barrett and Clayton had an amazing time. So needed too. We hope to see you all next year.


8/23/20

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! and THANK YOU!!! The hard work and diligence of you and your staff helped create a wonderful summer memory in the midst of chaos! Thank you all for providing an escape from the pandemic for our children. Looking forward to next year!!! With deepest gratitude from first time camper mom! Stay safe - Be Well!


8/23/20

We sincerely appreciate everything you did to make the summer a huge success! Now, we just need leaders with a can-do mindset like you to get our schools back in session!


8/23/20

Dear Mark and all Camp Lohikan,

I am blown away by how amazingly well you managed camp this summer. It proves that social distancing and doing the right thing really works! I know it was not easy to bring and keep everyone on board, but you did it and it showed!

Thank you for creating an unforgettable summer (that for many otherwise might have been unforgettable for very different reasons!)


8/23/20

I wanted to send a personal note of thanks! Our daughter had such an amazing time. You guys breathed new life back into her after losing out on her last year in Grade school before the big high school jump. She came back so energized!!! She told us she is definitely going back next year and wants to come for 4 weeks... actually more but we have a family trip planned.

Many thanks to you all for your hard work to make this such a great and safe experience.


8/23/20

Thank you so much. Edward had a blast!


8/23/20

THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE! SEE YOU NEXT SUMMER!


8/23/20

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Brandon was part of the first two weeks - he arrived nervous and scared. He left transformed, exhibiting confidence and excitement. Brandon said this year was better than last year! I asked, why. "Our cabin was a family for two weeks and I met some great people and learned a lot - geo-caching, unicycling, fitness, canoeing..." (the list went on).

I want to send extra thank you to Richard Malik and "Big Tex." On our way leaving Camp Lohikan, Brandon said mom I can go one more year, yes? Please! Of course - 2021 deposit in the mail.

Hats off to you all, what an accomplishment! Best and be well.


8/23/20

That is awesome news! I really appreciate all the work that went into making this summer so safe and still so much fun for the campers. They really needed a break from reality!!!


7/30/20

I cannot even imagine what a herculean task you were/are faced with in the age of Covid 19. What I can tell you is that my 11 year old is having a ball. He wanted so badly to stay the extra weeks! That’s fantastic.

Where we are in Northern NJ got hit hard and fast. I had a severe bout of covid in March and it was terrifying for Xavier. My older son (aged 16) has his first love...and her father died of covid on June 30 at 48 years old. My point is....these kids have been through so much.

I am grateful that Xavier gets to run around and be a little boy for a month this summer. While I of course miss him, I am so happy to know he’s in an environment of conscientious professionals who did their due diligence in the face of this and managed to pull it off. There are no guarantees anywhere. But, life has to go on however cumbersome the new world order may be.

Again...hats off. You deserve it. And I really mean it when I say I am grateful Xavier has this experience. He’s a high energy and bright kid who is a bit of a smarta** sometimes. But he’s sweet natured and loves people. He can be a handful, but he finds the good in everyone. He’s fiercely competitive and loves to be on the move. He was voted Class Clown of the 5th grade this year. I hope you are enjoying him as much as he is enjoying camp.

Best Wishes as the summer continues.


8/24/20

Hello Mark and Joe,

I just wanted to send you a note of congratulations for having what I've heard was a very successful summer amidst Covid-19. I'm sure there were many skeptics, but I understand there were not positive tests at all!

In any case, I am not all that surprised because I know how attentive to detail you two are - and that is true of the staff as well. I was in the area a few times (even ate at Villa Como) - and though I was tempted to visit, I wouldn't think of piercing the bubble and putting Lohikan at risk.

Well - I hope I have the chance to work with you all again - and I'm just so proud of what you accomplished! Get some rest!


 

 



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