Overnight Camp Ends With Staff Walk-Outs, Mystery Illnesses Among Children & Meals On Dirty Dishes

Parents who sent their children to a pricey summer camp were ordered to come to pick them up after just six days due to unsanitary meals, staff shortages, and more missteps.

Directors for Camp Quinebarge in New Hampshire demanded parents to retrieve their kids from the two-week overnight camp after a week due to a “summer of challenges.” One camper attacked staff members and children, while many others fell sick and experienced heavy vomiting, which may have been attributed to lunches served on dirty dishes. The cost per child was $3,400.

The first red flag was the camp having difficulty securing staff as enrollment increased rapidly. Two weeks before the campers arrived, executive director Eric Carlson emailed parents, explaining the dire situation to them. Carlson has run the program since 2012 with his wife, Lesley.

“We are in desperate need of additional staff for this summer,” Carlson wrote in the email. He revealed to them that 15 employees had recently quit the job abruptly.

One counselor, 21-year-old MJ Lowry, says that he was hired quickly, despite not being the most qualified. He was hired just four days before camp started.

Parent Rebecca Grove says that the directors displayed an “atrocious lack of communication.”

The camp was to include fun daily activities such as horseback riding, field trips, and crafts making. However, after being dropped off, children began informing their parents of the poor conditions at the camp. One child wrote a letter home saying that children were “bored and devastated the whole day.” The camper told their parents that the directors were also lying about the actual circumstances.

In a statement, Carlson apologized to the families and staff who “had their summer plans interrupted by our premature closure.”

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