A children’s day camp has been issued a cease-and-desist order following the death of a 5-year-old boy in Chattahoochee Hills, Ga.
“Our investigation today has confirmed that Camp Cricket Summer Day Camp at Cochran Mill Park was operating without a license or [an] exemption from licensing,” Georgia Dept. of Early Care and Learning spokesperson Reg Griffin told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday, July 24. “Our agency is issuing a cease-and-desist order for the program. Our investigation into how the incident occurred is continuing.”
Benjamin “Kamau” Hosch, III accidentally drowned while on a field trip with Camp Cricket Summer Day Camp at Cochran Mill Nature Center on Friday, July 21.
Camp officials released a statement earlier this week expressing grief over the incident. Board member Steve Hurwitz said the camp wouldn’t make additional comments on the matter.
Local station 11 Alive News reported that children at the camp were taken to a rock ledge where they were set down to eat lunch, slide down a waterfall, swim and splash in a creek. Kamau did not know how to swim, however, but was allowed to do so without his parents’ consent, Atlanta attorney L. Chris Stewart said.
It wasn’t until the group made its way back to the nature facility that counselors noticed the child was missing.
“I’m sad, broken. I miss him,” Kamau’s mother, Ayisat Idris-Hosch, said at an emotional press conference on Monday. “I’m angry and I want him back. I would take his place in a heartbeat. I’m the fixer, I fix things. I’m a mom and I can’t fix it.”
Chattahoochee Hills City Manager Robert Rokovitz said Hosch was found floating in a pool of water shortly before 1 p.m. He was located in an area not far from the creek that had not been visited by the group.
A police report showed that the child was in cardiac arrest when he was rushed to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding. It’s still unclear whether Hosch died en route or at the hospital.
Griffin told the AJC that Georgia law allows for situations where child care services can be exempt from state licensing requirements based on the ages of children, the duration of the program and hours of operation, among other things. The camp had not applied for, or received an exempt status from the state, however, the newspaper reported.
“This is what they did to us,” said Idris-Hosch, stricken with grief. “I have to live, that I gave them money to kill my son for the rest of my life,”
On Monday, the child’s family said they plan to file a suit against the camp and everyone involved.