Lost In Translation

This one is a long time coming. What’s your worst fear? Losing your child I am sure would make most people’s top 3. I am not a religious person but I must recount the events of the last month,and accordingly, I may be getting out the prayer shawl. On July 21 I picked up Bryan at sleepaway camp. It was the end of what seemed to be a very successful 19 days on his own at the same camp he had been to for 13 days the summer before. Let me just say that I have been completely invested in this camp emotionally and socially; I have been a parent reference, a huge local supporter, supporter on facebook etc. We are not just another family there; we have totally engaged! Ok, back to the story. I pick him up, he is delicious and warm and anxious to get home. He looks so good, lost some weight, hair overgrown and has that pre-pubescent slight sweatiness. I am in heaven.

Get to the airport to check in (lots of stuff happens, lost on the way to airport, trouble with luggage and check in, blah blah blah). We get in line to check in and Bryan is up to his usual chatter, “Mommy are you  happy?”; one of his typical phrases, is uttered over and over. The woman in front of me turns around, looks at him and says to me, “I know your son, I found your son”. So began what turns out to be some sort of divine intervention.  Long story short… turns out this woman and her family found Bryan lost on a trail, separated from his camp group about 1/2 mile away from anyone from the camp.  The camp never told us this info. Are you getting this scenario in the airport? Is this freaking insane? Nuts? Inconceivable!! It is, but this is what happened. Now after  almost 4 weeks of processing this, several calls with the camp, company that owns the camp, etc, we know that he was lost at least 4o mins and if it was not for these wonderful people that were “taking him to the Ranger Station to find his parents” and found the counselors along the way, something horrible could have happened to our son.  They never told us. THEY NEVER TOLD US. Parent call the day after, nothing, pick up, nothing. Why didn’t they tell us? Because they knew, due to his limited language skills, that he couldn’t. And really, what is the likelihood that we would meet the people that found him in a small airport on the one flight per day to Ft. Lauderdale, standing in line at check in? come on, this doesn’t happen, except that it did. I am devastated, my trust in people was in some ways totally shaken from the camp, yet affirmed by this warm family that saved him. What a crazy situation.

So you are thinking, what did we do. We asked for the most important thing we could; do not let this happen to another child or another family. Come clean, tell the other parents, get rid of the one in charge who failed to tell us, and make some damn changes. We are making progress… but it’s slow. The investigation is ongoing, changes are being made, we are approaching our goal…

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2 thoughts on “Lost In Translation

  1. You are by far one of the stongest women that i know, and if ‘everything happens for a reason’ didnt apply to anything before, it does to this now. It is amazing to hear how things worked out the way that they did. I wish you the best in your pursuit of accountability and welfare of all others.

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