Summer camp is a rite of passage for kids. Amanda Winters says her 10-year old daughter, Ainsley, stayed at the 4-H Memorial Camp earlier this month. She’d never been away from home before.
It was her first time and she was extremely excited about it, but when she picked her up a few days later, it was a different story.
"She was crying and she said that she hurt and when I started looking at her she was completely covered in serious mosquito bites,” said Winters.
It was even worse when she took her clothes off to get a better look.
“They were everywhere. She was completely covered from the bottoms of her feet to the scalp. Her scalp," she said.
Ainsley told her parents she got most the bites from the bathhouse and the cabins where they slept. Winters started calling camp staff the next day. She says the camp director didn’t take her concerns seriously.
“He said that, 'Maybe when she gets over this little ordeal, she'd be ready to come back to camp,” she said.
Camp director Curt Sinclair says they have no plans to address the problem. Winters says her child was better off than others.
“There were children who were there for five days who came home much sicker. They saw doctors; they came home with antibiotics, from the mosquito bites because they were so severe," she said.
The 4-H Memorial Camp is run by the UI Extension Office. They sent a statement they sincerely apologize to kids and families affected and that mosquitoes are part of the outdoors. They also suggested parents send kids to camp prepared.
Winters says she sent her daughter with bug spray and she used almost the entire bottle.
“I expect certain things when she goes to camp, including bug bites. Not over 200," she said.
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