Camp Serving Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Broward County Starts In Days, But Parents Fuming Over New Policy. Area Communities Say It’s A Security Risk.
BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Eagles Landing and the Night Owls, a day and overnight camp operating out of North Broward Prep in Coconut Creek, is again in the midst of controversy just days before the season begins.
The camp, currently facing a lawsuit for its handling of COVID-19, apparently told parents in Boca Raton and Delray Beach that they must drive their children to one of a few area gated communities for bus pickup this summer. But those communities were never told — nor did they approve — non-homeowners entering. Parents say driving to other communities to meet a bus is absurd, and violates the terms of their agreements with the camp.
Eagles Landing and the Night Owls had previously operated buses from most of the major communities in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, but announced that it was cutting back — ending pickups in Woodfield Country Club and other communities nearby. Parents of those campers are being told to travel to communities further to the east and to the west for pickup.
While we are not identifying the communities for security reasons, BocaNewsNow.com has learned that at least one plans to generate a list of campers who actually live in the community. If anyone is found attempting to board the camp bus who doesn’t live in that community, trespass charges could be filed against the parents or guardian. Homeowners are being told not to add non-residents to their security “list” with the intent of letting friends or acquaintances access a camp bus. We have learned a second community may enact a similar policy.
“Permanent guest lists” are often a security nightmare for gated communities, offering unfettered access to non-residents. In the case of camps, a homeowner with ties to a camp often adds 20-40 families to their list so everyone can enter to board a bus.
Camp management did not respond to a request for comment.
Eagles Landing and the Night Owls, which underwent a partial ownership change during the school year, is facing a lawsuit from employees who say management lied about following COVID-19 protocols last summer. Among the allegations: directors did not enforce mask or social distancing requirements until inspectors were entering the property, then transmitted alerts to employees over two-way radios that they had to make it appear the camp was in compliance. The alleged scheme apparently didn’t work. As we reported at the time, the City of Coconut Creek and Broward County logged multiple complaints and issued multiple warnings. At one point, the then owner/director of the camp contracted COVID-19. The camp shut down several weeks early after the owner/director’s COVID-19 diagnosis.
Eagles Landing and the Night Owls is one of the major area summer camps, but the only one that opened last summer. American Heritage, Pine Tree Camps at Lynn University, and the summer camp at St. Andrews are all highly respected and serve thousands of area campers. They remained closed during the summer of 2020.
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