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Diatribe: Kicked Out Of Summer Camp For Kissing.

07/31/2013

Don'tKissAtCampEmersonDuring my high school years I went away to “camp” every summer.  It was a music camp held on the campus of a large Midwestern college.  We stayed in dormitories and not cabins and we spent up to ten hours each day in rehearsals.  They kept us very busy, assumed, to keep us from getting into trouble.

The teens involved in the program all got good grades, they were considered by some to be socially awkward and they weren’t necessarily the most popular students in their respective schools.  They were Band Geeks.  They were horny teenage band geeks under minimal supervision far from the eyes of their parents and peers.

They went nuts.  But they never got kicked out for kissing.

On Monday, the parents of a fifteen-year-old Connecticut girl sued a summer camp in Massachusetts claiming their daughter was kicked out of camp last month after a boy kissed her.  Camp Emerson and one of its officials apparently accused both the girl and the boy of “sexually provocative behavior”, according to the lawsuit.

The suit alludes that the relationship between the girl and boy “became the summer romance that most teens yearn for” and seeks more than six hundred thousand dollars in damages, alleging negligent infliction of emotional distress, defamation and other claims.

“This summer romance made plaintiff Jane, a child of divorced parents who suffers from anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and treats with a psychiatrist and medications, and who always felt insecure and inferior to her peers, feel confident and beautiful for the very first time in her life,” the lawsuit said.

Neither the girl nor her parents are named in the suit and, according to the family’s attorney the boy was also kicked out of camp.  Apparently, male counselors at the camp had encouraged the boy to kiss the girl.  A camp handbook does not prohibit kissing and the camp director has declined to comment.

Sadly, the young girl was escorted from the camp by an armed uniformed police officer and was forbidding from saying goodbye to her friends and counselors.  The family had spent $6,450.00 to send the girl to the four-week camp and has not been offered a refund.

I feel this girl’s pain.  For me, those summer camps were the first taste of independence that I was offered in my life.  The possibility of romance for this troubled girl may have felt like a fairy tale come true but quickly became a nightmare.  Unless the pair violated camp rules or there’s much more to this story, I have to side with the girl and her family.

I really hope this unfortunate saga doesn’t turn either the girl or the boy away from the possibility of romance and that the parents get a refund!  Kids are supposed to make GOOD memories at summer camp!

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10 Comments
  1. We as a society are going nuts. Plain nuts.

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  2. Maybe sue for the money you paid, but that kiss ain’t worth 600K.
    Note to the public: not every ‘wrong’ is a lawsuit.

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  3. Seriously? Aren’t kids allowed to be kids anymore?

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    • Right?! There must be more to the story. The camp is refusing to comment. Regardless, I think a $600k settlement would be silly. The girl and the boy should get an apology and their parents should get some sort of prorated refunds.

      Thanks for reading!

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  4. I think the way the camp went about this was very wrong. If they wanted to discourage this behavior or there is more to the story warranting this action, they could have called the parents to come get the girl – giving the parents a chance to lobby for their daughter before she was removed from the premises. This young girl will probably be scarred for life after being escorted away by authorities!

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    • That’s exactly the problem that I have with the situation. The more I learn about it, the more I think there’s much more to the story that isn’t being reported. Perhaps the definition of “kissing” needs to be examined at Camp Emerson.

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  5. What ever happened to using those five inches of space between your ears? Asking the kids to leave over such a natural thing was very poor stewardship on the camp’s part. The camp leaders have taken a wonderful memory and made it into a crime.

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  6. Very true. And, I would wager those camp employees are doing more than hand holding this summer as well.

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