I love my children very much, AND I send them to camp - THIS camp, for nine years in a row now. As I type this, one of my sons is till there, and my other son recently returned from his first term there as a counselor, following seven great years of camp experience. It's heart-breaking that this happened to this poor child, but to blame the entire institution of summer camp, and to label any parent that sends their child to camp as neglectful, uncaring, or insensitive, is absurd. Sadly, abuse happens in schools, parks, churches, scout troops, and locker rooms too, but do we jump on parents and blame them for neglectfully and uncaringly putting their children in harm's way by sending them to any of those places? Having had children at this camp when this incident happened, knowing what the camp's staff did in follow up for months afterwards to make sure it hadn't happened to other campers (one of my sons was in the same cabin as this child, with this same counselor), and knowing the precautions they have put in place to protect the campers and train the staff, I am confident that this may well be one of the SAFEST camps a child could attend at this point. We will always have to be vigilant in protecting our children, and predators will always be out there. Summer camp is one of many choices parents can make among potential activities for their children. For mine, it has been one of the most valuable experiences they have had. I don't insist that parents who chose not to send their children to camp are doing the wrong thing, and for readers to suggest that I am an unloving parent by choosing to send mine to camp is equally ignorant. And, to suggest that this camp, which continues to provide great, and in some cases life-changing, experiences for more than 500 children each summer should be categorically "shut down" over the actions of one sick person is like suggesting that every school, church, activity center, youth athletic league, etc., in which a predator has managed to slip through the cracks, should be shut down.
And BTW, the counselors, and senior-level campers, almost all have sporting/utility knives in their pockets or hooked on their belt, at all times. It is a tool they are carefully trained to use, in their day to day responsibilities as outdoorsmen and ranch hands. The campers see them in use throughout every day. To sensationalize that detail in this story is incredibly misleading.