Christian camp added to 'dirty dozen' list

Christian camp added to 'dirty dozen' list

Christian camp added to 'dirty dozen' list

An anti-trafficking organization wants more transparency from one of the country's largest Christian summer camp ministries concerning the sexual abuse officials have allowed to take place there.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has added the Christian-based Kanakuk Kamps, located in Branson, Missouri, to its 2022 Dirty Dozen List because of the proven cases of counselors sexually abusing young campers. Dawn Hawkins, NCOSE's CEO, tells American Family News two of the counselors are serving prison terms for what they did.

Hawkins, Dawn (NCOSE) Hawkins

"Kanakuk knew that one of the predators, his name is Pete Newman, was riding four-wheelers in the nude with children," Hawkins details. "He was playing basketball in the nude. He was inviting many kids to the hot tub."

Newman is serving two life terms, plus 30 years, in prison for the irreversible damage he imposed on the kids. He was recently imprisoned following his 2010 sentencing on seven felony counts of sexually abusing boys in connection with his role as a Kanakuk counselor. In his case, Hawkins says parents and children reported the instances to camp officials, who did nothing and have gone on to do little else to prevent such things from happening again.

"We've taken a look at their child protection policy that they claim is supposed to be top-rated, that they implemented after Pete Newman was arrested, but this policy falls short in many areas," Hawkins adds.

Kanakuk has already paid out millions because of lawsuits, and Hawkins says her anti-exploitation organization will not be satisfied until a better policy that includes transparency is employed there. She adds that the concerned public can encourage Kanakuk to make the necessary changes.

Kanakuk contends that NCOSE has not done sufficient research to label the nonprofit as an entity that covers up sexual exploitation, and the ministry wants to be taken off the Dirty Dozen List.