I worked at Spence's Farm for a summer about ten years ago. Overall it was pleasant and very laid back which I prefer to a bureaucratic environment. I was left completely to do whatever I wanted: I was teaching arts and crafts. However, I agree about the safety issues. The swimming lake/pond was not secured and there was no lifeguard. It seemed dangerous to me and I was surprised about this particularly as water safety is such a critical part of camp management. The other aspect of daily camp life that was unpleasant although not necessarily dangerous was the really unhygienic conditions both in the outdoor eating area and indoors. Really sloppy waste disposal, tons of flies, poor facilities for washing hands etc. The big problem for me was the political indoctrination; I was genuinely shocked to hear Spence personally lecturing the kids with a completely biased attitude, no questions asked. At the time he was opposed to the government's policies in the Iraq war. It's a free country but it is not appropriate in a camp setting to lecture children on how evil their government is. :Politics and religion are traditionally out of bounds for good reason, in education. I would never have sent my child there. Pity, as the place has so much to offer that can be good.
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Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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