For a summer session that’s long been about putting down technology, Camp Veritans doesn’t want to add Zoom sessions to its schedule. Our goal is to provide campers with unique, fun and memorable outdoor experiences within a safe environment.
SIX DECADES OF EXPERIENCE
Creativity is a bit easier when you’ve been around for some 60 years. So, while Camp Veritans didn’t open last year, staffers have spent the time preparing safety protocols and safe programming. Staff will have what Rudow is calling “COVID bags,” equipped with masks, hand sanitizer and other safety and cleaning items. Bunks will be limited, and hand-washing stations will be plentiful.
“For more than 60 years, we still maintain the same thing: safety is our number 1 motto, and we let kids be kids and have a good time,” Rudow says. “We’re taking every precaution that we can conceivably put into place…without taking away what camp is all about, fun, friendships and lifelong memories.”
Campers range from children turning 4 years old (by October 15 of the coming fall) through 10th grade. Low camper-to- counselor ratios have always allowed staffers to tailor activities to the individual likes of their group, Rudow says. This year, it will make social distancing and safety easier, too.It doesn’t hurt to be located on a 60-acre campus in Haledon.
“The key thing is getting these kids to be outside,” she adds. “Get them to socialize as much as possible. Get them away from the computer screens that they’ve basically been tied to for school.” That’s not to say Camp Veritans doesn’t educate.
LEARNING TO TALK TO THE WORLD
There’s an air-conditioned multipurpose building—with plenty of windows for airflow—that is home to cooking and other activities. Rudow has introduced more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in recent years. But teaching is always in a setting that lets kids be kids—so the learning and growth happens naturally.
“It’s having conversations with one another,” Rudow says. “It’s learning interpersonal skills. They’re not getting those interpersonal skills now because you can just turn your screen off and just listen. You can’t turn a person off who is face-to-face with you. It’s really preparing them for life.”
225 Pompton Rd., Haledon