In-Person Summer Camp Canceled, Naaman Pool Readied For Opening

Saying there’s no time to arrange for the program, the township has canceled the annual summer camp in favor of a virtual camp.

Township Manager Robert Vornlocker made the announcement during the Township Council’s June 9 virtual meeting.

“We’ve gone past the line of no return and we’re going with a full-blown virtual summer camp,” Vornlocker said. “There’s no cost to participants, and it will be very robust.”

Vornlocker said there will be a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) component to the camp, and that materials could be picked up weekly from the township senior/community center in the municipal complex on DeMott Lane.

“It will be a fully involved virtual summer camp,” he said.

Vornlocker said that the go-ahead for summer camps was just recently given by Gov. Phil Murphy, which left the township no time to prepare.

The guidelines, he said, “make it so burdensome that we wouldn’t be able to do it properly. I don’t feel comfortable putting staff members and campers at risk without being properly protected from the disease.”

“We have to hire a great number of staff,” he said. “More than what’s ordinary for a regular summer in the park.”

Any hires would have to go through a full screening and background check, but, Vornlocker said, “There’s not enough time to go thorough all those screenings and background checks in less than a month.”

Vornlocker said some kind of an in-person camp period isn’t out of the question.

“We are leaving the door open at this point, if things continue to improve and we are able to bring on staff, there is a possibility of a shortened in-person summer camp,” he said.

Vornlocker also said plans are being made to re-open Naaman Williams Park’s swimming pool.

“We’re targeting the beginning of July for a pool opening,” he said.

Vornlocker said there will be a restriction upon opening of 50 percent of capacity.

“I gave direction to the public works manager today to apply for licenses and to get pool ready. All of those things will be in place so we will have a pool at Naaman for the summer.”

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