Camp com­plaints

Three 13-year-old N.L. boys had hor­ri­ble week at Man­i­toba Tim Hor­tons camp fa­cil­ity

The Western Star - - Close To Home - BY BETH PEN­NEY SALTWIRE NET­WORK

Brady, Brody and Nathan all at­tended a Tim Hor­tons camp in Nova Sco­tia last year, and de­scribed it as the trip of a life­time.

“He didn’t want to come home last sum­mer,” said Nathan’s mother, Deb­ora Down­ton. “He said 10 days wasn’t long enough.”

All three boys were count­ing down the days un­til their trip to Whiteshell, Man., for their se­cond Tim Hor­tons camp ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Ev­ery­thing on the web­site looked ex­actly like the Nova Sco­tia camp last year,” said Brady. “I was so ex­cited.”

But for all three boys, this trip was a night­mare right from the be­gin­ning.

“The night the chil­dren ar­rived at camp, the par­ents were sup­posed to re­ceive a phone call stat­ing their child ar­rived safe and sound,” said mother La­tonna Rogers. “I called 10 times and emailed twice be­fore I fi­nally got an an­swer the next morn­ing. What a hor­ri­ble night I spent wor­ry­ing and fret­ting about my child.”

The itin­er­ary stated that all meals and snacks would be pro­vided for the chil­dren. When the chil­dren re­turned home, the par­ents learned they went 11 hours with no food while trav­el­ling.

The show­ers were ice cold, the chil­dren were bul­lied and one even left to sleep alone in a tent on an overnight trip.

But for Rogers, her big­gest fear came true when Brady re­turned home.

“My son takes med­i­ca­tion three times a day for a chro­mo­some dis­or­der he has,” Rogers said. “I sent him with 40 pills and 20 al­lergy pills. He came home with all of them.”

Rogers told SaltWire Net­work that, like any boy with ADHD ten­den­cies, her son has to be con­stantly re­minded to take his med­i­ca­tion. The coun­cil­lors at the camp failed to ad­min­is­ter his med­i­ca­tion, she said.

Jody Clarke said that when her son, Brody, ar­rived home, he was cov­ered in bug bites and scratches, and had some­thing mys­te­ri­ous un­der his skin.

“I was putting lo­tion on his bites, and then I saw a tick un­der his skin,” Clarke said.

Clarke went to the hos­pi­tal and was told to keep an eye on her son for the next 7 to 14 days to en­sure he doesn’t de­velop any symp­toms.

The par­ents say they weren’t in­formed about how to prop­erly man­age ticks if their chil­dren came home with them.

“When my son asked for sun­screen or bug re­pel­lent, he was told there was none,” Rogers said. “His body is cov­ered in bites, scabs, welts and rashes.”

The chil­dren were told that the red and brown ticks are OK, but if a black tick gets un­der their skin they must go to the well­ness cabin.

“In one bunk house, were more ticks than Brady said.

Deb­ora Down­ton’s Nathan, lasted a mere days at the camp.

“He flew by him­self one way to the camp,” Down­ton said. “He was com­fort­able do­ing that, know­ing that a coun­cil­lor would be there to pick him up at the gate.”

But there was no coun­cil­lor there when Nathan ar­rived, and he be­gan to panic and called his mom.

It took 45 min­utes be­fore any­one reached Nathan.

For the next three days, Nathan ex­pe­ri­enced bul­ly­ing and teas­ing, and begged to go home.

“He re­ally didn’t seem like him­self,” Down­ton said. “That’s when I re­al­ized that he hadn’t been given any of his med­i­ca­tion while at camp.”

Things took an­other turn for the worse when Nathan ar­rived home with­out a life-or­death item. there kids,”

son, three

“He trav­elled all the way home with­out his Epipen,” Down­ton said. “He has a se­vere al­lergy to tree nuts. He could have died.”

Down­ton got the Epipen back only a cou­ple of days ago.

To end the trip, Brady said he was jolted awake at 2 a.m. to be in­formed that his flight had been changed, and he had to leave right away.

“The wrong chil­dren were put on the wrong flights,” Rogers said. “I was in­formed at 2 p.m. of this change. Luck­ily, I don’t live far from the air­port, but other par­ents weren’t so lucky.”

All three boys told SaltWire Net­work they were of­fered trips to go back to the Nova Sco­tia camp, but they are un­in­ter­ested.

SaltWire Net­work con­tacted Tim Hor­tons head of­fice in On­tario, but the com­pany did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

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