Hazing News

Another camp hazard: sexual hazing. Simulation on 10-year-old alleged in California

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Excerpt from the newspaper account:

The teen’s family said he is a good kid, who has never been in trouble with the law, but the Sheriff’s Department said the hazing amounted to inappropriate and unwanted contact with campers.

“It’s very rare and it’s shocking it would happen at a camp where we would assume our juveniles are being cared for properly,” said Sheriff’s Sgt. Ed Komin, “so it does happen, but it’s not common.”

The Sheriff’s Department said the majority of the hazing happened in front of several kids last July.

Detectives said most of the kids called it typical camp pranks that went too far.

They said in one case, a 10-year-old victim was held down and the counselor simulated a sex act on him in order to humiliate him.

Family members of the teen charged in the case said the camp knew about the hazing rituals and did nothing about it.

Camp Condor’s Treasurer, Maryanne Hawkins, said that’s not the case.

“No, [the] camp does not condone that type of behavior,” Hawkins said. “In fact, all counselors went through training prior to kids arriving at camp.”

Detectives said they investigated charges that another counselor had inappropriate contact with campers, but said there was not enough witness testimony for the prosecutor to move forward with charges against that teen.

The camp said it no longer allows counselors-in-training to be with campers without an adult present.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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