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Cuscowilla closes overnight camp due to multiple incidents

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Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Alachua County’s sleepaway summer camp closed almost as soon as it opened.

Major concerns were identified one week after kicking off this year.

“You know, we are continuing to look and investigate these issues,” said Alachua County Communications Director Mark Sexton.

Camp Cuscowilla is in search of new management after campers were put in unsafe conditions.

Parents reached out to county commissioners through email and said no nurses were present in the camp. They claim some dinners were not being given to campers.

They also reported that a boy at camp mixed feces, urine, and sunscreen into substances that he used to chase and throw on girls.

Alachua County officials tell TV20 Camp Cuscowilla’s overnight camp was canceled due to the issues.

“An immediate change in leadership and immediate gather of staff needed to react quickly,” said Sexton.

The previous camp manager was put on administrative leave and then resigned. The county staff is now in search of the right person for this role.

This week, Alachua County Commission Chair Marihelen Wheeler, paid a visit to the camp multiple times to analyze the situation.

“We are following good rules to make sure that the kids are safe and happy at the same time,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler says the county aims to push a well-structured and memorable program for campers.

“Activities are going on that have inspired them and enriched their day,” said Wheeler. “And that parents don’t have anything to worry about that we’ve got the situation well in hand because they’re our children too.”

Alachua County officials say their investigation is ongoing.

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