Friday, August 17th, 2012
A San Francisco mother is alleging that United Airlines failed to keep track of her 10-year-old daughter, who was flying to summer camp on her own and was supposed to be tracked by a child-care service offered by the airline. MSNBC.com reports:
Ten-year-old Phoebe was headed for a summer camp in Traverse City, Mich., when she boarded her flight from San Francisco in June. But she failed to make her connection in Chicago because the person hired to help her make the plane change — a United contractor — never showed up.
After getting the call from the camp counselor, Annie Klebahn called United, who insisted her daughter was already in Michigan. “So at that point is when I really knew that they had lost her at some level; they didn’t know where she was,” Klebahn told NBC News. “All the worst possible things go through your mind as a mom when you think you have no idea where your child is and she’s 2,000 miles away.”
Phoebe said a United employee eventually walked her to a waiting room for unaccompanied minors.
“I asked several times to call my mom because I knew she’d be worried because no one really knew where I was,” Phoebe said. “But they kept saying, ‘Hang out a minute, we’re busy.’”
Image: Empty airport waiting room, via Shutterstock
Friday, July 27th, 2012
Three adults and two juveniles have been arrested for allegedly infiltrating a Jewish summer camp in Pennsylvania and terrorizing campers and staff with hateful epithets and threats. CNN.com reports:
Authorities say Tyler Cole Spencer, 18, Mark Trail, 21, Cassandra Robertson, 18, and two juveniles intimidated Jewish campers and staff at Camp Bonim on three separate occasions on July 14 and 15.
Spencer allegedly drove a white Ford pickup truck “recklessly” through the camp, “narrowly missing several campers and staff” and damaging fields, yards, buildings and fences, the police criminal complaint said.
The group also allegedly used paintball guns to shoot Jewish campers and staff, hitting one 18-year-old camper leaving a synagogue, according to the complaint.
Authorities allege members of the group also shouted anti-Semitic slurs at campers and staff.
Image: Campsite, via Shutterstock.
Thursday, August 25th, 2011
A moving story from The Boston Globe reports on a summer camp in western Massachusetts that has, since 2002, been a source of support and much-needed fun for kids whose parents died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Because the kids are aging out of “America’s Camp“–many original campers are now serving as counselors or counselors-in-training–this, the 10th anniversary of the attacks, will be the camp’s last summer.
From the Globe:
For campers, the 10th anniversary marks the end of an era.
“The friends you make here,’’ says Michelle Mathai, a senior at Colby College, “have an understanding of each other no one else has. And it’s the first time people treated us as normal kids.’’
Some campers note that they’ve known their friends at America’s Camp longer than they knew their lost parent.
Michelle was 11, Robert was 9, when their father, Joseph, died in the World Trade Center, where he was attending a business meeting. The following summer, America’s Camp opened. The idea was to give children who had lost a parent in the terrorist attacks a haven where they could escape the grief and curiosity that dogged them.
Seventy-eight children showed up that first summer. Later the camp welcomed a handful of children of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty during the past decade. This year there are 170 campers between ages 7 and 15 – and 105 former campers who are now counselors or counselors in training.
Michelle Mathai is in charge of 9-year-old through 11-year-old campers.
“It’s been funny meeting kids who are the same age now as I was when it happened,’’ she says. “They didn’t know their parent, but they’ve grown up with a sense of exactly what happened.’’
Each August, many of the children return for a week. They have laughed, cried, and formed close bonds. During the year, many keep up with one another and arrange get-togethers. Some say they consider camp a second home, their fellow campers and the counselors a second family.
(image via: http://www.americascamp.org/)