Child found wandering along road after being dropped off at summer camp
“It was my worst fear as a mother, my worst nightmare,” the boy’s mom said.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - A young boy was found walking outside, unattended, after being dropped off at a popular summer camp in Huntersville.
His mom said she felt something wasn’t right when she dropped him off Monday morning.
Stephany Steen, the mother, said she felt there wasn’t enough staff at Discovery Place Kids – Huntersville, and worried they wouldn’t be able to identify her son.
Steen left the summer camp, but came back to make sure her son was okay and told the staff to contact her if they encountered any problems. Less than an hour passed before her son was wandering by the road.
“It was my worse fear as a mother, my worst nightmare,” she said.
A nightmare that unfolded while her child was at Superhero Camp.
“I went to run some errands, on my way back I saw a Huntersville Police officer pull into the Discovery Place,” Steen said. “I saw my child being held by a firefighter right here at this stop sign, I threw my car into park, jumped out and asked what is he doing, what is he doing out here, why is he not in camp?”
Her motherly intuition kicked in and she was shocked by what she saw.
She said a good Samaritan saw her child walking along the road, and that person took her son to the fire station and called 911.
“They were very confused as to who I was, I had to explain that I was the mother and this was my son, I had dropped him off at discovery place camp this morning,” Steen said.
First responders realized the young boy somehow walked out of the building from camp.
“I’m unsure of how far he made it, I don’t know how long he was out here by himself, I left this parking lot at 9:05 and came back at 9:47,” the boy’s mother said.
When asked if she would take him back to the camp, she replied ‘no I would not, absolutely not, no, there’s no way.’
“I just want it to be known that this isn’t to be a witch hunt or anything against Discovery Place,” Steen said. “This is just to get the message out to parents to let them know that this was supposed to be a fun day for my son, and that this incident did happen where he was able to escape a building without adult supervision.”
She said she just wants to bring awareness to parents about safety measures at camps.
“Check the protocols and procedures for when you’re dropping your kids off at these camps to make sure that it is secure for the kids,” Steen said.
The mother said Discovery Place has reached out to her to apologize about the incident.
WBTV reached out to Discovery Place and they released a statement saying:
“Discovery Place takes the safety and care of children in our summer camp program extremely seriously. On June 20, a child attending summer camp at Discovery Place Kids – Huntersville was able to leave the building unattended. Our management team is conducting a full investigation to determine the details of what occurred. We do not have any additional details to share at this time.”
Huntersville Police is involved and investigating this incident as well.
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