Remember summer camp when you were a teen? Swimming in the lake, hiking, marshmallow roasting, snatching a kiss under a star-filled sky. Only now that will get you called a "slut" and escorted off the premises by a policeman. This at least according to a lawsuit filed against a sleepaway camp. A 15-year-old teen, identified only as "Jane," kissed another 15-year-old boy, identified as "Dick," at Camp Emerson, in Massachusetts. But when word got back to the camp's owner, Jane was allegedly outed as a "loose slut" and kicked out of camp by an armed cop. And this wasn't even Bible camp!
According to the suit, when camp owner Sue Lein found out that the two teens, who had fallen in "puppy love," had shared an "innocent" kiss, she falsely accused them of "sexually provocative behavior including the removal of each other's clothing," called the teen girl a "slut," and ordered her to leave camp. Her mom had to cancel a pre-planned trip to come pick up her daughter, who was escorted away by a cop.
Hmmm. I remember camp well. I wasn't much of a kisser at that age, but certainly I knew other kids who were. It all seemed rather tame and innocent. It's the kind of things teens do. Can we really expect teens to be bombarded with hormones and provocative behavior on everything from sitcoms to music videos, and not think that they might want to kiss each other -- or even more?
Of course, I get where Sue is coming from too. Camp counselors have to deal with a slew of things that they probably didn't in the past. Like lawsuits from parents claiming their virginal daughters weren't so virginal when they got back from camp. I wouldn't put it past a parent to sue over her darling snowflake getting a kiss at camp.
As a parent, I would expect my teen would probably have a campmance. Which may include kissing. And if any camp slut-shamed her over that, I would not be happy.
But did the owner really storm into Jane's bunk and call her a "slut" over a kiss? Seems kind of far-fetched, but if so, what does she think is going on at her camp? Why does she think teens even GO to camp?
Thing to do here would be to sit down with the teens and find out what happened and if it was all consensual. Then call the parents and let them know what you heard. Then either send them home, if the parents insist, or butt out. However, suing is a tad extreme. People really love to sue, don't they?
The silver lining? Dick and Jane are now boyfriend and girlfriend and can kiss all they want. Awww!
Did your teen ever strike up a romance at camp? Is it something you worried about?
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