Camp Awful

  1. brettblumenthal says:

    That is challenging. It is a shame that last year the experience was so much better. This just goes to show how important good teachers are. I probably would have done the same thing, but I’ll tell you, given my propensity for upfront, call a spade a spade, attitude, I probably would have called or gone down to speak face to face with the director. It is hard to ignore someone if they are in front of you…emails get ignored ALL the time. Good luck. I think you made the right decision

  2. Paul Chenoweth says:

    You were (are) kind. I’m pretty sure that I would have fallen off the high road.  If this is a quality organization, the director needs to hear specifics.  Given the specifics, I would judge the camp by the reaction you get from investing time in letting her know.

  3. Amay324 says:

    Send her down here to Atlanta and we will play on my poodle & chicken farm. 🙂

  4. Oh, absolutely the same thing. I would have gotten her out of there so fast, but I wouldn’t let this die down. Make sure you are heard! And I hope this busts their butts to change up their deal for those other poor kids. 


  5. Beth says:

    I would also be sure that other (local) parents know about your experience.  Talk it up!  Spread the word!  From your description I bet you are not the only one who had a bad experience.  Some of the other parents may not have the option to pull their kids out (if they are working, etc…) but it sounds like they have no business operating a summer day camp for kids. 

  6. Lisa Martin says:

    I would have pulled her too.  My kids go to day camp and I’d be upset if their counselors didn’t know who they were!

  7. Dawniemom says:

    That’s so not nice. They should have at least KNOWN where the kids are – and be SUPERVISING, not ignoring. Grrrr.  I assume you had to pay for this camp, too?

    • suburbanturmoil says:

       Yes! We paid for two weeks. UGHHHH.

      • Rachael1013 says:

        I think you should insist on getting your  money back.  They barely provided the services you paid for in the three days Punky was there, and the situation was completely unacceptable.  She’s not a 10 year old who can be autonomous.  

  8. says:

    What a load of crud-ola.  How the heck do you get to the 3rd day and not know who your kids are?  but honestly, that junk on the playground bothers me as much, if not more.  I wonder what the parents of those little girls that were out of the line of vision would think if they knew that. 

    I would have blown a gasket that they weren’t up off their posteriors, or at the VERY LEAST, have their lawn chairs spread out to see all angles.

    idiots…sorry, no other word for it.  well, no other word I’m willing to type as I am making a concerted effort to not use big girl words. 🙂

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      Ha! I know what you mean. I’m trying very hard to not overreact because I LOVE this program in general- but the summer camp has ISSUES.

      I’m also thinking of every other summer camp we’ve attended- where the counselors have always met my daughter at the door and said “Hi Punky!” and acted very happy to see her. They even manage to do this at the Vacation Bible Schools we’ve attended. I would understand if her teacher hadn’t remembered her name, but SHE DIDN’T EVEN RECOGNIZE HER. What the hell?

  9. Rae Ann says:


    I’d have taken pics with my cell of the scenerios you described, time/date stamped, and attached them with captions as to what was going on, but sent the same message, as it was rather perfectly stated. 

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      That’s a good idea! Honestly, when I saw all of this, all I could think was “WHERE IS MY CHILD?” because I couldn’t find her for a few minutes. I barely had the wherewithal to stop and ask the crying boy if he was okay.

      In hindsight, of course, I would have done a LOT of things differently. At the time, I just wanted to find my daughter and get the heck out of there!

  10. sbh1cats says:

    I am a ‘Letter to the Editor” kind of gal.  I know you need to be careful about burning bridges if you use this camp during the year, but I would not let it die.  I also would follow through with the director.  If she is a good business woman, she will want to hear this.  Any chance she is out of town since you never received a reply?

  11. suburbanturmoil says:

    The director e-mailed me back this morning and said it was too bad Punky wouldn’t be returning, because she had a plan in place to deal with the situation. She even forwarded me the e-mail she’d sent to the teacher, as well as the teacher’s response that she was on it.

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t Punky’s teacher.  Punky was in an entirely different class of children.


    • Rae Ann says:

      Talk about making a situ worse!

    • Kelleywinslett says:

      I’d have email again that “yes it a very unfortunate situation and I hate we won’t be able to try this solution w Miss X. The solution sounds nice, but who exactly is Miss X? Miss Y is/was Ps teacher”

      Don’t let that director NOT know she’d screwed up majorly by not knowing who Ps teacher was, too!!

    • Liz Miller says:

       Holy guacamole. That is unacceptable.

    • That just sounds like a hot mess. Sometimes our kids need to learn to suck it up and deal with things, but it doesn’t sound like this camp was one of them.

  12. Wow. I feel really bad for all those other kids in their care. I think you handled it very well. I would have done the same thing!

  13. Kelleywinslett says:

    Good job, Mama! As I former teacher, 3 days is long enough to know who your kids are! Ri-damn-diculous!

  14. I would ask for a refund. I am sorry that happened but there is absolutely no excuse for not giving your child an amazing camp experience. THAT is what they are there for. 

  15. Um. I know you’re too classy to “name names,” but this makes me really glad I don’t live in Nashville, because I would be afraid to send my kids to that God-forsaken place by mistake. Unacceptable.

  16. Also, my husband and I own a taekwondo school, and he knows every. single. one. of his 350 students’ names. No excuse for not at least recognizing her. I work a different full-time job and even I recognize most of our kids!

  17. Liz Miller says:

    I love your email to her. Summed it up perfectly.

  18. Heather says:

    You at least waited 3 days. We pulled Our daughter out of another local Nashville camp after one day a couple of years ago. I also highly recommend Camp Whippoorwill! We’ve done a lot of day camps and is by far my 8 year olds favorite two years running.

  19. Gertie says:

    Yikes.  Hopefully, if you know any of the other parents that send their kids, you will tell them so they can pull their kids out as well.  It honestly seems flat out unsafe to me. 

  20. Amestrube says:

    I would ask for a refund and tell other parents.  Talking with other parents kept my daughters, and some of their children out of classrooms with horrible teachers when they were younger.

  21. I’m not sure if that is the entirety of your email, but I certainly would have added even more based on what you told us! Goodness gravy! That is so heartbreaking and enraging at the same time.

    I hope you told them, “I am so blogging about this!”

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      When she wrote back to tell me that the problem had been addressed- (and included an e-mail that she had sent “addressing the problem” to a teacher who wasn’t Punky’s!), I sent another e-mail detailing the other problems. No response so far…

  22. Mary A says:


    I hate when my boys hate camp.  They HATE going to the Y.  Unfortunately, for a couple of weeks during the summer they HAVE to go to the Y because it is literally the only option. 

    It’s clear to me that the Y feels that their responsibility is to keep the children alive.  Anything else is gravy. 

    I guess it’s good experience for my boys.  They go to private school, so this immersion with the masses is a good experience.

    I assure you, if a better option presents itself, we will avail ourselves immediately!

  23. darthdoc says:

    I’m pretty appalled given the quality of camps in town. I probably would have requested a refund. 

  24. Rulefollower says:

    Well you can probably guess how reading this made me feel. 🙁
    Give Punky a big hug from me!

  25. Lisa says:

    Oh no…poor Punky.  We had an experience like this as well.  I think that you can tell the second you check your kids in how the camp is going to go.  It’s amazing to me how many camp just don’t think about welcoming and caring for kids!!

    My girls (5 & 7 at the time) told me that they were thinking about leaving camp and walking home (2 miles away!).  The worst part?  They totally could have done that and I doubt anyone would have noticed.

    Needless to say, we didn’t return.

  26. Natasha P. says:

    That is crazy! Did you ever receive a response from the director?

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  28. […] first half of your eighth year was bumpy. You endured a rotten summer camp. You dealt with your grandmother’s unexpected death. You struggled to make friends in your […]

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