Children attending a day camp at a south Fulton County nature center were allowed to slide down rocks into water and swim before a 5-year-old drowned, an attorney for the boy’s family said Tuesday.
But that’s different than what a camp spokesman said happened three days after the July 21 drowning at the Cochran Mill Nature Center. More than three weeks after Benjamin “Kamau” Hosch III died during his final day of Camp Cricket, his parents still need answers, attorney Chris Stewart said.
“The only thing they do know now is that they definitely did swim and slide down a waterfall,” Stewart told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Kamau and 12 other children at Camp Cricket were taken for lunch near a waterfall at the Cochran Mill Nature Center in Chattahoochee Hills on July 21, board member Steve Hurwitz said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution three days later.
“Following lunch, the children were allowed to splash in a shallow adjacent creek,” Hurwitz said.
When the group gathered to leave, adult supervisors realized Kamau was missing, Hurwitz said.
On Wednesday, Hurwitz said he stood by the camp’s written account of what happened. Hurwitz was not the center the day Kamau drowned.
In the days following the boy’s death, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning determined the camp was not licensed and shut it down. Georgia law allows for a child care service to file for exemption from state licensing requirements based on the ages of children, duration of the program, hours of operation, specific activities, or when services are offered free of charge, a DECAL spokesman previously said. Camp Cricket had not applied for exempt status from the state.
The camp also did not have a business license to operate, Stewart said Tuesday. Both the Chattahoochee Hills mayor and the city attorney serve on the board of directors for the camp.
Although the nature center is non-profit, the camp charged a fee of $120 to attend, meaning it was making profit and required a license to operate, Stewart said.
The boy’s death remains under investigation by both DECAL and the Chattahoochee Hills police department, a city spokesman said Tuesday.
“The investigator has met with the DA’s office,” Robert Rokovitz said in an email to The AJC. “This meeting resulted in recommendations for some further investigation on our end before it is finalized.”
No criminal charges have been filed. Once the investigations are complete, the Hosch family intends to file a civil suit, Stewart said.
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