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Bedford Daily Voice serves Bedford, Bedford Hills & Katonah

Bedford Summer Camps Combat Bullying

BEDFORD, N.Y-- Bullying at summer camp can happen just as easily as bullying at school. To the bullies and the bullied, it is only a change of venue: from school desks and hallways to soccer fields and picnic tables.

The Bedford Recreation & Parks Department’s three full-day summer camps share a comprehensive policy that addresses this issue.

Bedford camps, which are held in the Bedford Hills, Bedford Village and Katonah Memorial Parks, each have the same written discipline policy in the packet given to parents, stating that discipline problems will be noted in the director's behavior logbook and handled on a case-by-case basis.

The document states: “It is the policy of this camp that staff members will work as a team to develop an appropriate plan to help campers who are exhibiting poor or antisocial behavior.”

According to the policy, the camps reserve the right to suspend or dismiss any child, without a refund, in the case of extensive discipline problems.

Jen Stroud, director of Bedford Hills Day Camp for the last four years, said the camp directors will always step in and talk to parents or do whatever is necessary to make the bullying stop.

“I think people like to throw the word ‘bullying’ around often nowadays. I think there’s definitely the usual kid issues where it’s a hot day, they’re together all day and things do happen,” she said.

Stroud, a third-grade teacher, said she sees bullying and cattiness with her seven- and eight-year-old students. "It's starting younger and younger," she said.

She said she hopes the camp’s policy is helpful to students during the school year.

“They’re with these kids, most of them, in school as well," she said, "so I would hope [anti-bullying lessons] would carry over."

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