The day the camp closed, Connecticut’s Workplace of Early Childhood and the state’s Division of Kids and Households carried out an investigation of the camp due to considerations about campers’ security and well-being, mentioned Maggie Adair, an company official. The investigation is pending, she mentioned.
On its web site, Camp Quinebarge provided campers teasers of what awaited them within the woods of New Hampshire — crackling campfires and cannonballs into the lake.
However by spring, the camp’s director was scrambling. Of 60 staff that had been employed by June 1, solely 36 confirmed up, mentioned Mr. Carlson, in written solutions to questions.
In previous summers, seasonal staff on J1 visas, who Mr. Carlson described as “nice staff and fewer prone to give up,” made up between 1 / 4 and a 3rd of the workers. Greater than 25,000 summer time staff normally journey to the US to work as camp counselors and workers, however most have been grounded by journey restrictions.
On the identical time, the camp had enrolled 20 p.c extra kids than it had in 2019, he mentioned.
In interviews, 5 workers members mentioned they have been employed unexpectedly and thrust into positions of accountability with little coaching.
M.J. Lowry, 21, a university pupil, mentioned it was clear the camp’s director was determined to make hires. To sweeten the deal, Camp Quinebarge paid for a aircraft ticket from Louisiana, agreed to permit Ms. Lowry to proceed school coursework on-line and convey alongside a cat, an emotional assist animal.
“I used to be like, OK, I’m capable of fly out,” Ms. Lowry mentioned. “I’ll do it. I’ve labored with children earlier than.”
Ms. Lowry arrived two days earlier than the primary group of campers, and it grew to become clear that there could be no time for learning.