Hazing News

Cedar Bridge Military Academy Summer Camp in Toms River, N.J.–Reminder: camp season is fast approaching: a few bad camps have had major hazing problems.

This story today reminded me of the long list of camps with past hazing issues. I’m sure the good camps far outweigh the bad, but why not be diligent in selecting a camp?

Here are helpful tips.

And some from my old column.

Excerpt Pittsburgh Post Gazette

According to the suit, the Cedar Bridge Military Academy Summer Camp in Toms River, N.J., was advertised as a “private, faith-based” camp whose mission was to “foster a love of Corps, country and God by providing a vehicle for the application of leadership, strengthening character, teaching responsibility, improving self-discipline, developing an understanding of the role of our military in today’s society, and building informed and productive citizens.”

But the plaintiff, who is identified only as “M.S.,” claims that when he attended the camp in 2007 at age 12, he was subjected to relentless hazing that “exceeded all possible bounds of human decency.”

During his two-week stay at the camp, the suit says, M.S. was made to eat his own vomit, threatened with having to clean up human feces with his hands, was nicknamed “Puke Bucket” by staff and called that name by other campers and made to listen to sexually explicit stories told by camp employees and counselors.

Plaintiffs attorney Edward S. Shensky first sued Cedar Bridge and its owner, Steven Baryla, who was later indicted on charges of possessing child pornography and pleaded guilty in federal court in New Jersey. He is in prison awaiting sentencing and faces a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, court records show.

News accounts said the criminal charges against Mr. Baryla led to the closing of the Cedar Bridge Military Academy camp.

In an amended suit, Mr. Shensky later added the Boy Scouts of America and its local chapter, the York-Adams Council, as defendants.

Read more:

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. 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 new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer, former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird, finished a stint as managing editor of the Celina Daily Standard to accept a new position as 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--

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