Jul-26-13 Christie Administration Celebrates New Jersey Summer Camps
Labor Commissioner Highlights Youth Employment Opportunities and Economic Boosts as Morris County Day Camp is Recognized for 50 Years of Service
Greeting campers, counselors and camp directors during the tour, Commissioner Wirths said that many of those employed in the camping industry range in ages 16 to 24, a young segment of working people who have the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
“At the same time that New Jersey’s summer camps nurture the self-confidence and team-building abilities of young campers, they also service as an important employer for older children and young adults.” said Commissioner Wirths. “Summer camps offer opportunities for college-bound students to earn money and to develop a strong work ethic they will carry through life, and along the way they also gain invaluable experiences in responsibility and compassion.”
The camping industry carries a $3.2 billion benefit in nine Northeastern states, including New Jersey, according to the American Camp Association (ACA). Camping is part of the Garden State’s larger Retail, Tourism and Hospitality industry cluster, around which the LWD recently launched a new Talent Network designed to enlisted employers in the workforce development process in the Garden State.
According to an economic impact study released last year by the ACA, an estimated 7,000 camp programs in the Northeast employ 11,000 full-time and 190,000 people seasonally. In New Jersey, according to the ACA, an estimated 1,010 overnight summer camps and day camps employ 27,400 seasonal workers and 1,600 full-time employees.
The industry also is a source of summer employment for school teachers and school healthcare professions, as well as young adults between the ages of 18 and 24.
“Certainly the economic impact study demonstrated that the youth camp industry is a large and reliable employer of that age group and that, in recent years where that age group is having increased unemployment nationally, the numbers are going up, not down, for the Northeast youth camp industry, particularly in New Jersey,” said Claudine Leone of the New Jersey Camps Government Affairs Project, an industry group.
Harbor Hills Day Camp was launched in the summer of 1963 in the Mount Freedom section of Randolph, which has a long history of summer camps. Since then, the camp has continued to offer activities such as swimming, sports, performing and creative arts, as well as outdoor adventures.
“We like to say that Harbor Hills set the standard for day camping in northern New Jersey,” said Herb Tannenbaum, owner and director of the camp.
“We service approximately 500 campers and the staff is about 160 division leaders, specialist and counselors and bus drivers. Counselors are all college age with a few counselor aides who are high school seniors. The Division Leaders and Specialists are college graduates who are teachers during the year,” Tannenbaum explained.
The camp is accredited by the American Camp Association, licensed by the State of New Jersey and adheres to over 200 safety standard to insure the safety and welfare of campers and staff.
“Summer camp is often a child’s first steps towards independence and is a place for children to build confidence, independence and forge lasting relationships,” said Leone of the New Jersey Camps Government Affairs Project. “For 50 years, Harbor Hills Day Camp has been providing children with a fun and safe environment to enjoy exciting activities, build strong life-skills and make indelible summer camp memories that last a lifetime.”
New Jersey Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths (long sleeve blue shirt) greets campers
at the Harbor Hills Day Camp in Randolph, Morris County. Commissioner Wirths visited
the camp to highlight the important role summer camps play in employing young people
in New Jersey and boosting local economies. The young campers also entertained the
commissioner with two camp songs during the visit.