When it comes to childhood there seems to be a lot of rights of passage that have to happen for a childhood to truly be complete. Something of a right of passage for kids is to go away to summer camp. Countless kids have taken part in this tradition. With any luck, kids that go to camp will come away with nothing but good memories. However, camp is not always the ball of fun that 1980s comedies make them out to be.
Of course, they are also most likely not as nightmarish as 1980s slasher movies make them out to be. So basically 80s movies cannot be trusted to depict summer camp in a realistic way for the most part.
Nevertheless, things do go wrong sometimes, and they can go wrong at camp sometimes too. In fact they can go very wrong. The sad truth is that sometimes things at camp can get downright dark. When those things happen it is likely something that camp sites never want to talk about for whatever reason. In truth there are at least 15 dark camp stories that kids or counselors would never want you to know about - but now you will.
15 Camp Counselor Killed By A Falling Tree
When a kid goes to camp, obviously they will not have their parents to look out for them. What kids will have is a camp counselor to help take care of them. However, that kind of begs the question as to who looks out for the counselors. One camp counselor seemingly needed someone to look out for her since she was tragically killed by a tree.
Her name was Annais Rittenberg. She was killed when a tree toppled over onto a campfire circle. The tree crushed her, but it did not hurt any kids that were around which is about the only good news in all this. However, four other counselors were injured. Two of the injured counselors needed to be hospitalized. As most camps are up in the woods, it’s certainly something to be aware of.
14 A Camper Got Struck By Lightning
No one really expects trees to fall on anyone at camp. Nevertheless, accidents are expected to happen. Sometimes incredibly freak accidents happen. Take for example, the time a camper was struck by lightning while he was at camp. The boy's name is Ethan Kadish. He was only 13-years-old when he was struck by lightning at the Goldman Union Camp Institute that he was attending.
To some, getting struck by lightning may sound so freakish and unlikely to happen that it is almost funny. However, it was no laughing matter for the boy by a long shot. You might say that he was lucky, as he did survive. He had to spend 145 days in the hospital due to having a traumatic brain injury caused by the lightning that hit him.
13 A Fire Nearly Killed A Group Of Girls
In what has to be a great case of tragic irony, there are times when the very thing that is supposed to protect kids actually puts them in danger. Case in point, take the fire that started at Camp Pontiac. The fire was caused by an overloaded electrical outlet. The result was that the cabin outlet caught on fire while it was full of teen girls.
The girls were asleep at the time of the fire. One of the girls noticed something was wrong when a fan turned off by her bed. Naturally she alerted everyone and they all made it out okay. The irony is that none of that would have likely happened if the smoke detector in the cabin actually worked, which it did not.
12 Kid Commits Suicide At Camp
Parents that send their kids to camp may expect they could get hurt to a degree. However, they must likely expect that it is some external force that will hurt them and it probably will not be too bad. Scraped knees and elbows are expected. Sadly, none of these were the case for William Shook, however. He killed himself while he was at camp.
More specifically he shot himself in the head while he was at a Boy Scout Camp. What is somewhat disturbing about this story other than the actual suicide is that he shot himself in his tent while another boy was there with him. Apparently the Shook boy had Asperger syndrome and depression. He had expressed suicidal intentions before the actual act took place. This was a true tragedy and the children at camp were more than likely offered counseling.
11 A Teen Drowned At Summer Camp
One of the great staples of summer camp is swimming in the lake. Everyone likes to do that, and it is one of the most popular things to do. Unfortunately, things do not always go well when kids go swimming. Sadly, sometimes kids drown. When swimmers are supervised by staff, the activity is very safe.
That is the case for Jacob Waxberg when he went swimming at summer camp. He was only 15-years-old when he drowned. The problem was Jacob went swimming at night. Of course, there were rules that prevent kids from swimming at night. However, those rules were were clearly broken because Jacob was not the only kid swimming in the lake that night. Fortunately he was the only one that drowned in the lake that night.
10 A Kid Accidentally Gets Run Over
The thing about camp is that it is not all fun and games. At many camps the campers actually have some kind of chores to do. Of course, no one really thinks that anyone can get hurt from doing these chores let alone die. Sadly that turned out to be the case for one boy at a Boy Scout Camp.
His name was Bruce Rhiddlehoover or Rocky as he was known to his friends. His nightly chore was to clean up any trash that fell under a trailer, and that is what ultimately caused his death. The poor boy slipped and fell under the trailer. He ended up underneath the tires of the trailer, and that is what killed him.
9 A Virus Shuts Down A Camp
Up until now all these stories have primarily dealt with one person, which is a good thing. As it turns out, however, this next story pretty much involves the entire camp. The camp was a summer camp in Washington. It had to be evacuated when 67 kids got sick with the same thing.
They all got sick from the Norovirus. The problem with the Norovirus is that it can spread like wildfire. The virus is known to spread with 24 to 48 hours and it usually lasts three days. Symptoms of the virus include vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. So it is not a fun time at all for anyone.The virus is usually transmitted by contaminated food or water. Most certainly the camp was closed and the source of the contamination located.
8 A Kid Dies After Going Down A Waterslide
What is great about the camps of today is that they are hopefully better than the ones of the past. The truth is, that probably very few camps had water slides. However, they are gaining in popularity as camps. Many people find swooping down a waterslide a great deal of fun. Unfortunately, accidents do happen from time to time.
A boy actually died shortly after going down a waterslide. The boy’s name was Seth Oyola. He did not die from anything that actually happened on the water slide for anyone that is wondering. He died from a complication of an enlarged heart a condition that was undiagnosed in the boy. The poor kid was only 9-years-old when he died. Apparently, his heart couldn’t take the excitement.
7 A Kid Got Stung Over 30 Times By Wasps
The good news is that not every terrible thing that happens at camp involves tragic death. However, that is not to say that what happens at camp is not pretty painful. That is the case for one mischievous camper. He wanted to pull a prank on a group of counselors.
He did this by running off of a trail so that he could sneak up on them and scare them. This was not exactly a nice thing to attempt to do and it seems like fate wanted to teach him a lesson. The poor kid ended up stepping on a nest of wasps. He ended up be stung 30 times. So it seems the lesson is to not try and scare camp counselors. Thankfully, he wasn’t allergic, but we’re sure he had a difficult next couple of days.
6 Campers Put Laxatives In Juice
To be completely fair, pranks tend to be a pretty big part of summer. For example, at one summer camp a group of campers decided to pull a prank on some other campers. What they decide to do, however, was a little bit cruel. What they did was put laxatives in the juice pitcher of other group of campers.
That means some campers out there had a really interesting day. This begs the question of what the counselors think of this. They evidently didn’t think it was too bad of a thing to do because they actually helped them do it. In fact, for all anyone knows it was the counselors idea to pull the prank in the first place. The group apparently didn’t get many activities done that day.
5 A Man Got Attacked By An Ostrich
This next story brings up a lot of questions. The only problem is that very little is actually known about it at all. The only thing that really is know is that at a summer camper got attacked by a freaking ostrich. Obviously the guy was at a summer camp where there was an ostrich around for some reason..
However, what kind of camp would be anyone's guess. Also it is pretty safe to assume the guy was not hurt all that bad. Who ever heard of an ostrich hurting anyone badly or at all for that matter. It is really kind of one of those things that a person looks back on and laughs about, most likely.
4 Kids Have A Naked Disco Party
There is an old saying that boys will be boys. That basically means that boys tend to do pretty crazy and goofy things because that is just what boys do. However, whenever someone says that, they probably are not referring to boys having a “naked disco.” That actually happened at a summer camp.
At this particular summer camp a counselor was doing his job and checking out the cabins at night. That is usually is an uneventful job, but this counselor walked in on a group of boys having what they called a naked disco. It was complete with lights, music, and dancing all while naked. What makes this story even more hard to believe is that the boys doing all this were only in the 3rd grade.
3 Campers Doing It In Front Of Everyone
Pretty much any movie about camp in the 80s involved sex in some way. It got to the point that it seemed like camp was really just one big orgy. Crazy as it may seem, those movies might actually have some truth to them. As it turns out, sex does occur at summer camps from time to time.
Take for example the case where a camp counselor caught two campers having sex in a cabin. The thing is, the cabin was small, and there were girls in the room where the campers were having sex. Rather than be appalled by the act they were actually cheering them on. However, the guy did create a makeshift condom out of a plastic bag and rubber band. So at least he was thinking ahead.
2 Two Kids Get In A Fight Over Musicians
When kids go to camp they are obviously there with other kids. Whenever a whole bunch of kids get together, it is somewhat expected that there will be arguments. One can only hope the arguments do not turn violent. Unfortunately, sometimes they do turn violent and not for the best of reasons.
At one camp a counselor saw two kids having a fight outside. The kids then went inside a cabin to continue their fighting. By the time the counselor got in the cabin, he had to stop the right part of one boy’s earlobe from being ripped off, and had to carry him to get medical attention. The thing is the fight was over who was a better musician, Bob Marley or Eminem. They were clearly big music fans.
1 A Kid Threatened To Murder Another
It is one thing for kids not to get along at summer camp. It is even one thing for kids to fight with each other. This next story, however, takes campers not getting along with each other to a whole other level. It started with a girl sneaking out of her tent at night.
The girl then goes into another tent and then she straddles another girl that was sleeping. The one girls heavy breathing eventually woke the sleeping girl up along with everyone else in the tent. The girl that was straddling the other then leaned down and told her that she was going to murder her and write her obituary in her own blood! What might be most disturbing about this story is that the girl making the threat was only 9-years-old.