FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) — A Fort Lauderdale summer camp is being investigated for leaving two campers during a field trip.
Riverland Park Camp, which is run by the City of Fort Lauderdale, is accused of leaving behind two campers at the Gameroom inside the Sawgrass Hills Mall.
As the group was about to leave the mall, William Azan noticed his brother, Alex Azan, was nowhere to be found. “I asked before we got on the bus,” William said. “I said, ‘I don’t see my brother.'”
When the counselors could not find Alex, they left, leaving behind Alex and another camper. “We were playing a game,” Azan said. “We went outside and saw no one in our search. We asked where was Riverland Camp, and they said, ‘I think they left a while ago.'”
The camp would return to the mall almost an hour later. The camp also failed to contact any of the children’s parents and when Amy Marsee, Alex’ mother, found out, they never gave her a straight answer. “The bus had actually left without Alex on it,” Marsee said. “I’m like, ‘So what’s happening? How did this happen? Do you not count heads? Who said that the bus could leave without children accounted for?’ [The counselors responded], ‘Um, we don’t know.’
“They left an 8-year-old boy, two of them, with no supervision,” Marsee continued. “They didn’t call me, their father, their grandmother, my fiancé, to let us know that they were even missing.”
The Department of Children and Families is also investigating the case.
The City of Fort Lauderdale responded with a statement: “The situation that occurred last week is unacceptable. The safety and protection of the children who attend our summer camps is our priority. The counselor responsible was terminated and the city has taken steps to ensure that this situation does not happen again.
The City of Fort Lauderdale also said that all camp counselors at all of their camps will be trained, so the incident does not happen again.
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