As you have probably seen in the news over the past several weeks, culminating last week with the criminal sentencing of Dr. Larry Nassar—a former girls gymnastics team physician for Michigan State University and the USA Olympic girls gymnastics team—over 150 gymnasts and other girls have come forward as victims over multiple years of Nassar’s abuse.
Alfie and I have been heartbroken as we’ve read the many impact statements that Nassar’s victims read in court. We are parents of three children, all involved in gymnastics; our children are also campers (and staff) at Camp Solgohachia where we oversee the care of over a thousand kids and students each year.
And quite frankly, just as humans, we are terribly troubled and again sobered by this news, especially in light of what appears to be systemic break down of protocol intended to prevent such abuse and protect children, youth and young adults.
If you’re like us, such news causes you to pull your kids a little closer and do double diligence in ensuring their safety.
I want to take this opportunity as leaders of a ministry responsible for the well-being of hundreds of children and students each year, to assure you once again that their safety is our number one priority. We have multiple levels of protection and accountability in place, and we pay for all of our all-summer staff to complete certification training with the highly-respected MinistrySafe training program.
If you care to have a look at our Camp Solgohachia policy and what it requires of each staff member, especially their interaction with campers, you can view it here.
As summer camp season approaches I want to assure you that we are dedicated to creating an environment that is safe, fun, free and Christ-centered.
Should you ever have any questions or concerns about the safety of children and youth in our care, please do not hesitate to contact me by replying to this email address.
P.S. Former gymnast Rachael Denhollander, now a lawyer and gymnastics coach, was one of the first to finally go public about Nassar’s abuse. She is a committed Christian, and her speech in court directly to Nassar himself is worth reading. This article by The Gospel Coalition features some of the highlights.