CLARK, NJ – Summer camps can open according to an announcement from Governor Murphy on Friday during his daily briefing.   According to Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso and Clark Recreation Director Ralph Bernardo, parents should not start celebrating just yet.

“It’s like I am telling you that I’m letting you out of jail,” said Bonaccorso. “But not telling you that you will be chained to the front door of the prison with six feet of space to move in.  There are so many restrictions it’s almost impossible.”

Bernardo mirrored the sentiment in a Facebook post to Clark residents.   “What he (Gov. Murphy) failed to mention was the restrictions that will come along with this decision. We are currently reviewing the long list of restrictions to see if it is even feasible to hold the camp,” wrote Bernardo.

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According to Bonaccorso he will be meeting with Bernardo and members of the administration on Monday to go through the lengthy limitations issued by the state as guidance for opening a safe and compliant camp.

“There are pages and pages of restrictions, so we have to sit down and sift through them to see if it is even possible to run a decent camp,” said Bonaccorso.  

The mayor gave some preliminary examples of the state’s constraints on summer camp programs:

  • No one inside of buildings
  • Outdoor porta-potties needed instead of inside restrooms
  • No outside entertainment could be brought in 
  • Campers would need to be socially distanced

“I’m telling you this is just a couple of things on long lists, there are so many more, that is why we have to meet and figure out if we can even provide a camp anything like what our residents expect of us after all these years,” said Bonaccorso.

In the end Monday’s meeting will help town officials to determine the fate of Clark’s Summer Recreation Camp for the 2020 season. 

“We want to provide this great service to our community but only if it makes health, safety and financial sense,” said Bernardo.

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