Liability for Sexual Molestation / Abuse at Summer Camp


Parents send their children to summer camp with the thought that their children are supervised in a fun and safe environment. Various activities are provided at camp including camping, hiking, sports, horseback riding and other outdoor activities. Unfortunately, some camps fail to provide children with proper supervision. As a result thereof, some children are subject to abuse, humiliation, and sexual abuse and molestation. At times, children are abused by camp counselors. At other times, campers are abused or molested by other campers. One problem that has been reported at camps is called Dutch Ruddering. What is a Dutch Rudder? It is a slang term that is sometimes used to refer to the act of one person masterbating another person. Sometimes, there is a counselor or adult involved with a camper. At other times, two or more campers are involved in the activity. Whatever name is used – sexual molestation or assault at a summer camp is wrong. Often times, there is peer pressure involved in these activities. Each incident or situation should be evaluated on the facts presented. Camp owners and supervisors should be diligent in monitoring campers within and outside of their cabins. Furthermore, when a problem or complaint is lodged by a parent or camper that involves the inappropriate touching or molestation of a child, immediate action should be taken to protect all respective campers and to take remedial actions to prevent any further incidents from taking place.

All suspected incidents of abuse or neglect should be reported to camp owners and supervisors. Furthermore, it would also be appropriate to report the incident to local and state authorities so that an investigation can be completed. What supervision was provided by the summer camp? How many incidents took place over the time? What actions, if any, did the summer camp take to protect the children? A parent may have a legal case against the summer camp if the summer camp and its employees failed to properly supervise and protect the campers.