On Saturday night January 12, over one-hundred and twenty-five children from communities across the south shore of Long Island enjoyed a night of interactive activities at Rolling River Day Camp as their parents earned a much-needed free night of babysitting. Rolling River’s “Great Date Night” is a semi-annual event held on Rolling River’s private campgrounds and encourages parents to take the night off and the leave the babysitting to the camp professionals.
The evening was broken up into separate activity offerings according to the age of the children. Children currently in 3rd grade and younger were treated to a pajama party and Movie Night, where they played games such as freeze dance and BINGO and watched popular kid-friendly movies in Rolling River’s Sea Breeze Theater. Children in 4th grade through 10th grade experienced a supervised DJ dance party complete with snacks, games and of course dancing under the disco lights! The after dark activities allowed campers to reconnect with their camp friends as well as make new friends with local children from the community.
The event was a symbolic new beginning for a community devastated by the flooding and destruction of Hurricane Sandy. Specifically, many of Rolling River’s camp families in East Rockaway, Oceanside and Long Beach were severely affected by the aftermath of the hurricane and parents have been pushed to the limit while dealing with contractors and insurance companies. Associate Director Marissa Allaben added, “After many hard months of rebuilding our facilities, we wanted to show the community that we have persevered like many other businesses and we were happy to give parents a night out to themselves.”
This is not the first time Rolling River has stepped up to provide support for their local community. The camp sponsors numerous community events and festivals and holds many fundraisers throughout the year to send deserving children to camp at no cost to the families. Their popular “Campmates Program” has sent over 25 local children to Rolling River since 2010.