The Great Bag Debacle has caused significant disruptions for summer camps and has had a profound impact on the lives of parents across the Poconos to Maine. Camp Trucking, a long-standing provider for nearly a hundred camps since 1974, suddenly ceased operations, leaving camp directors and parents scrambling to find alternative solutions. Typically, campers arrive with large duffel bags that can accommodate a six-foot human, often bringing two of them for their three to four-week stays.
The sudden closure of Camp Trucking came as a shock to Gary Glaser, owner and director of Camp Nock-A-Mixon in Kintnersville, Pa. This camp serves approximately 500 campers and handles 1,000 duffel bags each summer. Glaser expressed disappointment in the owner of Camp Trucking, expressing that if they had communicated their financial troubles, he would have offered assistance in loading their trucks.
In response to the crisis, camp directors asked parents for patience while they sought solutions. Many camps chartered separate buses solely for transporting luggage, while others partnered with shipping companies such as UPS, FedEx, or U-Haul. Some even connected with competitors of Camp Trucking. Keith Klein, a senior partner at Laurel Camps in Readfield and Casco, Maine, managed to arrange for the transportation of 1,450 duffel bags to 23 states and seven countries within a week using the services of Ship Camps. All bags will be sent directly to the children’s homes, with the cost being covered by Laurel Camps. Ship Camps has transported over 10,000 large trunks and duffels for various camps, with only about 20 to 25 percent of camps paying for these services. This leaves parents to bear the additional costs.
Parents affected by the Camp Trucking closure have resorted to disputing the fees charged by the company through their credit card companies. However, no resolutions have been reached thus far. Mr. Aboudara, a representative involved in the situation, explained that parents may become creditors in a liquidation process and may only receive 20 cents on the dollar after a five-year wait.
Efforts to reach Camp Trucking for comment have been met with silence. Calls and emails to their headquarters have gone unanswered, and the company’s president, Stuart Seller, hung up when contacted. In a subsequent email, Seller simply stated, “There’s nothing to say.”