Many adults have fond childhood memories of summer camp, and Mason Goldberg, the owner of Meadowbrook Country Day Camp in Long Valley, is one of them. Camp was an important part of Mason’s childhood, starting when he first attended sleepaway camp at age six. Mason turned his love for summer camp into a year-round career and today is helping make memories for the next generation of happy campers, including his own children who sleep with their camp backpacks ready to go.
Born and raised in New York City, Mason began his career in real estate and the fitness industry, but ultimately felt called to run a summer camp.
“Summer camp can have such an unbelievable effect on a young child. You put all these kids together and they bond through amazing activities and great staff leadership. They find their common ground and realize they’re part of something, which truly allows them to grow and communicate,” says Mason.
He continues, “At camp, you feel like you're part of a group. It's important to feel comfortable and like you’re really getting to know someone, and that someone is taking the time to get to know you."
After an extended period being homebound, summer camp is something to look forward to and is an even brighter ray of sun for children this summer.
The beautiful 53-acre Meadowbrook serves hundreds of campers from pre-k through ninth grade and functions as Valley Brook Day School during the school year. The facility offers three heated pools, two lakes and a wide variety of activities customized to each grade level.
Tiny Toons introduces pre-k and kindergarten age campers to a nurturing environment. Main Camp offers first through sixth graders a diverse group of fun activities, and the unique Travel program for seventh through ninth graders combines an in-camp experience with outside field trips.
As a parent of three children ages seven, five and one, Mason understands the needs of his families.
Mason explains, “I’m living and breathing exactly what every other parent is going through, and I want my children to have the most fabulous experience, make great friends and learn the TIGER philosophy."
TIGER, an acronym that stands for Teamwork, Integrity, Generosity, Enthusiasm and Respect, is part of the Meadowbrook culture. Being recognized by a camp counselor staff member for “Tiger” behavior is a compliment sure to bring a smile to the face of any camper.
Structure, routine, and qualified, caring camp counselors contribute to the positive Meadowbrook experience. Deliberate planning goes into designing 39 unique, engaging and stimulating summer camp days. Even rainy days are fun, with activities like karaoke, dance parties and game shows in the camp's extensive indoor and covered areas.
The dedicated staff encourages the social and emotional growth of each child. Many are teachers during the school year. The Tiny Toons head counselor is also a mother.
This inclusionary approach also applies to the allergy policy designed to ensure a safe experience for children with allergies or dietary restrictions. The food service director works with each family to address any individual and allergy needs. For example, last year a camper with dietary restrictions was able to participate in a chocolate-making activity because the camp deliberately provided the one type of chocolate that the camper could consume. This gave the child an opportunity to partake in something she would normally have been excluded from in other environments. Mason recalls how much that gesture meant to the family, and as a parent of a child with allergies, he fully understands how meaningful this is for them.
Beyond the state of the art facilities and activities, Meadowbrook offers something special. The camp is grounded in attention to detail, relationships and inclusion.
To learn more, visit meadowbrookdaycamp.com