Menu JTA Search

Children’s Camp Not in Sight

Commissioner Howe Friday placed in the hands of this reporter the report of a confidential investigator who visited the two camps. The investigator, whose name was not divulged, is understood to be a veteran social worker.

Camp Phillipsport, run by the United Relief Associations, formerly the Haven of Relief, was the first visited.

“A . . . creature was introduced to me,” the investigator reported, “as Rabbi Weinberg. It is obvious he is being used for his title, since he does not look as though he has the brains to work out any schemes.

“The whole place had an air of untold messiness. . . .

“On the whole, the place inspires little confidence, and certainly in its present condition does not warrant public support,” the report concluded.

CONDITIONS MISERABLE

At Camp Docen, erstwhile camp of the Downtown Center, formerly the Henry Street Center, the investigator found no electricity or plumbing.

“At the time of the visit,” the report stated, “which took place during lunch, the water had given out and the children went to the table unwashed.

“Mr. Stanley . . . is trying to clear up the place. He said that the community around was a Ku Klux neighborhood. . . .

“There was one boy quite obviously feeble-minded, but we were assured that they wanted all kinds of children and liked having that kind of boy.

“A boy was found sick with headaches and pain throughout his body and was lying on a cot to find out what was really wrong.

“There is no real medical supervision in the camp. . . .”

The report stated that the investigator found one medical student who may have been only a pre-med. This student, it was indicated, was the sole medical corps.

INVESTIGATE FIRST

Camps are the principle selling points of “charity” organizations during the summer months. Telephone solicitors brazenly inform prospective contributors of the relief work being done for poor children.

Most of the money collected for the camps goes into “expenses of collection.” Camps run by unreliable organizations are more often a menace than an aid to children.

Last summer a number of children were abandoned at one of the camps with no food or means of reaching home.

Parents are warned by reputable agencies against sending children to camps before checking up on their reliability with the Department of Welfare.

A person contemplating a contribution to some organization running a summer camp is advised to telephone the Department of Public Welfare, Worth 2-6420, to learn whether the organization is reputable.

NEXT STORY