As previously reported by American Family News, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has added Kanakuk Kamps, located in Branson, Missouri, to the 2022 Dirty Dozen List. NCOSE spokeswoman Lina Nealon says there has since been no improvement in its record.
"The most well-known is serial child molester Pete Newman," she gives as an example. "There were a lot of red flags about him. He would straddle naked children while riding four-wheelers. He would have naked hot tub parties. This is all something Kanakuk leadership knew but continuously dismissed."
Newman was convicted later and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Six other Kanakuk counselors have also been convicted, and additional incidents have been reported, most recently by USA Today. Nevertheless, Nealon says the camp has been largely unresponsive.
"They need to come clean about everything they did know about the allegations, which I might add spanned several decades and as recent as 2022," the NCOSE spokeswoman says. "They need to make very public what steps they are going to take, including any revisions to their child protection plan."
She also insists the camp release abuse survivors from their non-disclosure agreements so they can talk publicly about their experience.
"I have four children," Nealon adds. "I would be terrified if they were signed up to go to the camp."