Monday, July 7, 2008

More Camp Tracey

Is camp salvation or ruin?

This article from the Florida Times Union paints a disturbing picture.

Two men sued Harvest Baptist Church this year because they claim to have suffered 'repeated sexual and physical abuse by staff and senior residents in the late '80s and early '90s.'

The primary focus of the article concerns the brother of Harvest's pastor, Cedric McCormick. Cedric is no longer at the camp.

According to Kirk Griffin, the man who sued the church, he was forced to perform oral and anal sex on two counsellors.

Parents had to sign a contract that kept their children at the camp for a year. They were not allowed state counsellors, and dental and medical care was only for emergencies. Five minute phone calls to parents are only allowed on birthdays and visitation days.

Camp counsellors put older teens in charge of younger teens. The older teens, sporting gang tattoos, allegedly abused the younger teens.

Parents were told their children would lie and make up stories.

One parent wanted to remove her child, but was told she would face legal action if she did. They also blamed the victim for not defending himself and said they are not responsible for third party actions.

A Clay County mother had similar experiences with her daughter, according to the article:

"Her first sexual experience should not have been in a place like Camp Tracey or with a woman," the mother said. "I feel something very special was taken from her, and it now is a part of her life and memory forever."

The camp has refused regulation using the separation of church and state defense.

A mother sets the record straight about Camp Tracey.

In this response to the Florida Times Union article about Camp Tracey, BK, a mother who sent her daughter to Camp Tracey, sets the record straight. BK visited the camp and was shown a pleasing picture of horseback riding, farming, and rehabilitation.

She became suspicious when she was not allowed to see her daughter.

Upon seeing her daughter, the woman learned:

  • 'She (BK's daughter) told me about cutting her hand, and the only medical attention she received was having electrical tape wrapped around her hand with no salve, peroxide, alcohol, etc.'

  • 'She was tied to a chair to await swats during which time she was required to stand up and bend over.'

  • 'Children were disciplined with cattle prods.'

  • 'They were told no one would believe them if they complained or told anyone what was going on out there.'

  • 'My daughter was exposed to things there she had NEVER been exposed to before. The children were used as slave labor and entertainment for “campers” from other churches.'

  • 'they make a profit from selling the products grown and made by the child slave labor.'

  • 'Please listen to the children. It’s a true story they tell. No one has listened to them before and this has been allowed to continue for at least 25 years. It’s time for it to STOP!'
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