“We have been in tears, bored, and devastated the whole day. [The camp director] is lying to you all,” a camper wrote to his parents.
A sleepaway camp in New Hampshire is drawing comparisons to the infamous 2017 Fyre Festival after closing its doors for alleged mismanagement, unqualified staffing, fights and terrible sanitary conditions.
Earlier this month, Camp Quinebarge threw in the towel after six days when directors asked parents, who coughed up $3,400 for a two-week stay, to pick up their children from the 85-year-old property in Moultonborough, according to The Boston Globe.
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A letter obtained by the outlet and written by one of the campers to a parent sums up what was reportedly going down at the campsite. “We have been in tears, bored, and devastated the whole day. [The camp director] is lying to you all. You have to trust us. You have to. We are not joking and we are not having fun. So many things are wrong with this place.”
One of the first signs of trouble was when the camp’s executive director, Eric Carlson, sent out a letter to parents letting them know 15 staff members had quit two weeks before the camp opened.
As a last minute hire, one camp counselor described their training, or lack thereof, to the Globe as playing kickball, seeing “a turtle and a frog in the pond” and learning about tadpoles.
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Another counselor brought in days before opening claimed he was attacked by a camper, who allegedly also hit an 8-year-old attendee in the head with a wooden block.
Much like the Fyre Festival’s promise of a luxury experience that resulted in cheese sandwich meals, kids were reportedly treated to meals on dirty dishes. Four campers were even quarantined for severe bouts of vomiting, per the outlet.
“We sincerely apologize to all those families and staff members who had their summer plans interrupted by our premature closure,” Carlson wrote in a statement. “Upon reflection, we know that camp is only good for the kids if we can ensure their health and safety. That is why as soon as we finish our closing work for 2021, we will begin preparing for summer 2022.”