Today we learned that Camp Farley in Mashpee lost its 4H designation in the wake of the controversy surrounding Executive Director Michael Campbell. Mr. Campbell was arrested in March and charged with soliciting sex from two female undercover officers for $300.
Let's pause here and make two points. First, Mr. Campbell has not been convicted of a crime. At this stage he is a defendant. Second, there have been no allegtions that any child was harmed under Campbell's leadership at the camp.
With that out of the way, we must ask - Why has the Board not at least put Campbell on paid administrative leave? We understand how damning the case against him looks but, with an abundance of caution, a prudent Board might at least put this employee on paid leave pending the outcome of his case. Most organizations would put Mr. Campbell on leave, let his legal process proceed and then deal with his employment after he is either acquitted or convicted.
Had the Board put Campbell on leave pending the outcome of his charges, there would be little left to say. Instead, the Board persisted in leaving Mr. Campbell in charge of the camp. Escalating bad publicity and board member resignations ensued. Now 4H has withdrawn the camp's authorization,
The ship has now sailed as far as administrative leave is concerned.
A page on Camp Farley's own website proclaims, "There cannot be a more serious responsibility than taking care of children..." How right they are! Moreover, summer camp experiences can make a lifelong impression on a child's life. Camp leaders are strong role models for the children they serve. Mr. Campbell's position as such a role model is unworkable with the charges now hanging over him.
Why is Michael Campbell still employed by Camp Farley? With a nod to Joseph Welch, is there no sense of decency left among Camp Farley's board?