Rolling River celebrates three decades | Herald Community Newspapers

Rolling River Day Camp in East Rockaway rolled out the red carpet for a special VIP concert celebrating its 30th anniversary.

More than a thousand campers, counselors and staff attended the August 12 special performance of up-and-coming country-pop group, On the Outside, hosted by SiriusXM Hits 1 radio personality Nicole Ryan.

“This is definitely the most ambitious event we’ve held during the day of camp,” Rolling River Manager Marissa Goodman-Allaben said. “For our big anniversaries, we are looking to do something special for campers and staff.”

In 2012, Camp celebrated its 20th anniversary as a special guest star on the hit TLC series, “Cake Boss,” where they had a replica Camp Cake made by Buddy Valastro and the team at Carlo’s Bakery. “When we planned this, we already had high expectations,” she added.

Goodman-Allaben’s background in marketing led her to the idea of ​​hosting a big concert for campers and staff. “What’s a special, cool, memorable experience you could have if you went to a concert? The coolest thing would be going backstage,” she said. identification and VIP access Just imagine the opportunity to feel unique and see behind the scenes.

Special guest host Nicole Ryan, host of “The Morning Mash Up” on SiriusXM Hits 1. “She visited the camp 10 years ago,” Goodman-Allaben said. “We thought she would be the perfect person to host.” With a 90s pop theme, the camp invited Out, a country pop boy group from Nashville with over 5.4 million followers on TikTok. “We knew they would be a good fit,” she added.

Rolling River Day Camp was established in 1992 by Goodman-Allaben’s parents, Rhonda and Mark Goodman, who met while working as counselors at a summer camp and eventually decided to open their own camp.

“Owning and running a camp was Mark’s dream,” Rhonda Goodman told the camp’s website. “Growing up in a single parent family, he received a scholarship to attend camp as a child and the experience changed his life.”

Goodman said since meeting in 1975 they have spoken fondly of their memories at Camp Kent and how amazing it would be to create their own one day. Mark said the location had previously served as a summer camp called “Camp Millett”, which had been in the East Rockaway community since the 1950s. So when the previous owners intended to vacate the State, they took the opportunity to buy the property.

“Although it needed major renovations, it was a beautiful waterfront campus with lots of potential,” Mark explains on the camp website. “We also lived nearby with three young children, so it was a perfect place to develop a strong clientele.

Today, their children – Marissa, Alison and Jonathan – help run the family’s summer camp. “We all went here as campers,” Goodman-Allaben said. “Now we all work as directors with our parents.”

Each summer, the camp offers over 40 different activities and programs for children, ranging from water sports and boating to more traditional sports and arts programs. In addition to innovative and fun activities for kids, the camp operates year-round by hosting community events and partnering with local businesses including Art of Self Defense in Oceanside, local basketball company Level Up , Five Star Gymnastics, The Dance Space in East Rockaway, and more.

Many camps were forced to close in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving more than 14 million children and adults without opportunities for summer fun, according to the American Camp Association. However, Rolling River administrators continued to make significant changes to comply with public health guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The number one reason we’ve chosen to stay open is because we love kids,” Goodman-Allaben told the Herald in 2020. “We know kids need us now more than ever because they’ve been so deprived of socializing with other kids.We are absolutely thrilled to be able to give campers and staff the opportunity to just be themselves and break out of isolation at camp this summer.

To meet sanitary requirements, camp administrators ran their usual programs for shorter hours and at limited capacity, reducing the peak population from 600 to just 300 campers. To ensure minimal contact, campers were kept a social distance of six feet from each other. They were also subject to mandatory temperature checks upon arrival and had to wear masks indoors.

As a result, no Covid-19 cases were reported at the camp throughout the summer.

In addition to celebrating its 30th anniversary in the community, this was a special year for Rolling River Day Camp, as it was the first time in two years that sanitary restrictions were lifted, providing campers with the opportunity to interact and have a more normal summer experience.

About Maria Hunter

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