Illegal Houston Day Camp Raises Questions; Local Club Responds

By: Pachatta Pope Email
By: Pachatta Pope Email

The drowning death of John Pluchinsky sent shock throughout Houston.

According to reports, the four-year-old was taking part in a day camp program that was being illegally run by the Houston Racquet Club. Those same reports say the club was not operating according to state standards.

Aerofit Health and Fitness Center's Children and Youth Services Director Dina Webster said the type of summer camps they offer fall under what the state considers regular care.

"Our camps are set up in four-hour increments and they are half day camps and they're only one week long camps," Webster said.

Webster said for years, Aerofit has checked state guidelines before implementing any type of summer kid programs, and it's a question parents ask.

"A lot of parents do and we are open to any questions," Webster said.

The summer camp's coordinator, Ashlaa Horton, says to ensure the well-being and whereabouts of their little campers, there are four to five counselors on staff to oversee the kids throughout their activities.

"When we go for bathroom breaks or a snack break, we're always making sure they line up," Horton said. "We count them, make sure we have the same number."

If more kids show up, Horton says extra counselors are brought in, especially when the kids are going to the pool.

"We usually have two life guards on duty and then we actually have two to three camp counselors who are actually in the water with the kids," Horton said, "and all of the camp counselors are CPR certified."

These precautions provide reassurance to parents like Mike Hanik.

"They've got a good number of counselors to campers," Hanik said. "You know that someone has always got an eye on your children."

Tracy Ray has her young daughter enrolled in one of Aerofit's summer camp, and says because of the staff, she's comfortable letting her child be a part of the program.

"I feel with these instructors and these life guards, I know them, and I feel safe here," Ray said.

Aerofit staffers say following the rules keeps kids and themselves safe.

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