Dear Friends of NLOM,
We are writing this today with a very heavy heart.
As a friend of this ministry, we want to inform you about allegations of misconduct by a former village leader at Carol Joy Holling Camp. The incident took place in July of 2019 at Ranch Camp. Immediately upon learning of the allegations, we removed the village leader from all duties and contacted Child Protective Services. Throughout this process, we have fully cooperated with the Cass County Sheriff's Department investigation.
Up until the village leader's arrest this week, this has been an active investigation, and therefore we've been unable to share any information. We have notified 2019 camper families and Summer Ministry Team members, and now want to make you aware as well.
These allegations of misconduct are discouraging to us, too.
Parents trust us with what is most valuable to them--their children--and we don't take lightly our responsibility to care for them physically, mentally, and spiritually.
We do everything in our power to protect campers. That's why we have a child behavior support 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 requirement for background checks of summer and year-round staff members in addition to reference checks and personal interviews.
Our leadership continues to review all training and camp procedures with extra scrutiny to uncover what changes can be made to further ensure each camper's safety in the future.
Out of respect for all involved and the justice process, we are not sharing additional details of this case. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Your prayers for this situation are greatly appreciated.
Robert M. Bell, NLOM Board President and Jason Gerdes, NLOM Executive Director