Life in Camp, Without the Bullies

The New York Times, Editorials/Letters
July 5, 2004

To the Editor:

Bravo to summer camps requiring counselors to be trained in identifying and disciplining bullying behavior (“Hot Topic at Summer Camps: Ending the Rule of the Bullies,” front page, June 28).

Although owners’ motives may include bottom-line issues like fear of litigation and retention, ultimately all benefit. I’ve seen bullying both as a camper for six years and as a counselor for two more, and it ruins camp.

For new and returning campers, attending summer camp provides a respite from the daily grind of life back home. But it’s also a setting for children to feel free to be themselves, try something new, make new friends and mature into young adults.

Any bullying that threatens this environment should be dealt with swiftly. Not doing so negates the privilege of attending camp in the first place.

MARC B. ZAWEL
Purchase, N.Y., June 28, 2004

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