MySpace goes to camp

Camp directors - and insurers - are now very worried that kids' postings may lead predators to follow them to camp.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

The long arm of the interent has even reach the idyllic world of summer camp, reports The New York Times and it has summer camp directors worried. Camp directors say sites like MySpace, Facebook and Friendster where young people often post personal information and photographs may lure online predators to tracking children to camp. They are concerned that inappropropriate comments posted online about camps will sully their image.

"This is probably the No. 1 issue facing all camp programs," said Norman E. Friedman, a partner at AMSkier Insurance, a major camp insurer.

Camps are taking proactive measures such as banning or limiting digital cameras and telling counselors, parents and campers to remove camp references from personal Web pages, blogs or social networking sites.

Some camps are going as far as trademarking their name, logos or slogans so they can legally order others not to use them online. They are beefing up security and talking to campers about appropriate behavior regarding the internet.

"There were some things that we found that some of the kids posted that were really kind of nasty, saying bad things about counselors," said Mark Stoltz, an Island Lake director. "Most of the sites were not negative," Mr. Stoltz said, and "most of the kids who had stuff up there were nice kids," but all references had to go.


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