BY Stephen Nartey, 10:20am June 27, 2024,

Mom reacts to 6-year-old son drowning at summer camp after paying $6,000 to attend

Michael Stewart (left)and sister /Photo credit: Facebook/Kayla Ogletree

A six-year-old boy, Michael Stewart, drowned in a shallow pool at Liberty Lake Day Camp in Lumberton, New Jersey, on his first day at camp. The incident occurred around 2 pm on Monday when staff found him unresponsive in the pool.

His devastated mother claims the camp “messed up.” Michael was participating in a swim session for first and second graders on his first day at Liberty Lake Day Camp, which charges $6,100 per child for the summer. It is an inclusion program for children with additional or special needs.

His mother, Enjoli Stewart, told Fox 29: “Liberty Lakes messed up. Big time. And now I don’t have a son anymore. That’s heartbreaking.”

Despite the camp’s assurance of adequate staff and lifeguards, it remains unclear how he drowned or how long he was underwater, according to Daily Mail. Michael was at Liberty Lake Day Camp for the first day of summer break, participating in a free swim session when he was found unresponsive in the water by a lifeguard.

Despite immediate CPR, Michael died at the hospital. At the time, a group leader, two counselors, and three adult advocates, including one assigned specifically to Michael, were supervising the pool.

“Michael came into this world a fighter from the day he was born,” a GoFundMe set up for the family said. “He was born as a Micropreemie at 23 weeks and doctors did not expect him to survive. Michael Jeffrey defied the odds and continued to grow into a very intelligent, loving, caring sweet boy. After his fight into the world, this is so tragic that on his first day of camp he would not return home that day.”

In a letter to parents seen by Fox, owner and director of the camp, Andy Pritikin, said: “I am so sorry this happened. We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken. Our thoughts at this most difficult time are with our camper’s family, friends, and loved ones – and we are respecting their privacy at this time.”

Camp officials stated that this was the first serious incident, injury, or death in over 20 years at Liberty Lake Day Camp. They plan to introduce additional safety measures, including a buddy system, at the pool.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 27, 2024


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