It is with a very heavy heart that we’re writing this today.
In July of 2019, a camper at Ranch Camp made allegations of misconduct against a village leader. Immediately our emergency reporting plan was set into action—we removed the village leader from all duties, and we contacted Child Protective Services. We have been fully cooperating with the Cass County Sheriff Department’s investigation.
Up until this point, this has been an active investigation, and therefore we’ve been unable to share any information. However, we have now learned that charges have been filed against the village leader.
These allegations of misconduct are discouraging to us, too. You trust us with what is most valuable to you—your children—and we don't take lightly our responsibility to care for them physically, mentally, and spiritually.
That’s why we have a child behavioral specialist and certified therapist on our summer staff. Each year our Summer Ministry Team undergoes an intensive, two-week training prior to camp starting that includes sessions about boundaries, child development, trauma, abuse, bullying and more. We meet the American Camp Association’s safety standards, in addition to conducting background checks, reference checks, and personal interviews with our summer and year-round staff members.
We’re parents, too. We care for each and every camper as if they’re our own. We are reviewing our training and camp procedures with extra scrutiny to uncover what additional changes we could make to further ensure each camper’s safety.
Because of privacy reasons, we cannot speak about any individual case, but if you have specific questions about your camper’s time at camp, please call or email us.
Robert M. Bell, NLOM Board President and Jason Gerdes, NLOM Executive Director