The attorney for Camp Good News, the Christian summer camp in Sandwich that has been linked to allegations of past sexual abuse, told the Boston Globe that the 76-year-old facility is determined to provide as safe an environment as possible when the camp reopens this year.
“We have reflected on the allegations and the lessons learned and evaluated our abilities along with the mission of the camp,” said Jon Fitch, the lawyer, as reported by the Globe.
The camp did not open this past summer after repeated allegations surfaced about sexual abuse, including one from US Senator Scott Brown, who wrote in his autobiography that he had been abused by a male counselor at an unnamed Cape Cod camp. Camp Good News later issued a written apology to Brown.
Fitch acknowledged that the camp mistakenly described itself as accredited by the American Camp Association on its website Monday, despite a decision by the association in April to revoke the accreditation after the allegations surfaced.
The camp has removed that accreditation claim from its website.
Camp officials also said in their website announcement, titled “The time has come to unlock the doors at Camp Good News,” that they had revised their training for staff.
“I can’t give you the specifics,” said Fitch, who elaborated that the training has covered a wide range of safety precautions, including closer attention to the issue of sexual abuse of children.
“The allegations that caused us to pause all relate to some time ago,” Fitch said. “The environment over the past few years has been as safe as could possibly be.”
An investigation of sexual abuse allegations there dating to the 1970s, which have been lodged by more than a dozen people, is continuing by detectives assigned to the Cape & Islands District Attorney’s office.
In April, a long-time counselor at the camp committed suicide on the grounds after a probe of the allegations began.