Camper dismissed after bullets found in backpack

MOUNT DESERT — One camper at Camp Beech Cliff has been dismissed after rifle bullets were found in his backpack by camp staff on Tuesday.

Executive Director Debra Deal said in an email to the parents of campers on Wednesday that the camper had reported finding three bullets in the Junior Maine Guide area of the camp.

“While speaking with him, we asked to look in his backpack and found four more bullets,” she said. “A short time later an identical bullet was allegedly found in another area of camp by another camper. These two campers had sat next to each other on the bus.”

Deal said no rifle was brought to camp on the bus.

“Nevertheless,” she said, “we are taking this very seriously.”

She said that after the bullets were discovered, law enforcement was called and the parents of the two campers involved were called to come to the camp to discuss the incident.

“This was particularly difficult…especially knowing that the two campers in question come from homes that do not have guns or ammunition,” Deal told parents in her email.

She said the boy who brought the bullets would not be returning to camp.

She said a thorough search was conducted of the areas of the camp where the campers said they found the bullets and that no additional bullets were found. To be certain, though, she said the Junior Maine Guide area was swept with a metal detector Tuesday night and a sweep of other areas frequented by campers were made early Wednesday morning.

“We feel confident that we don’t have anything else on site,” she told the Islander following that sweep.

“This is of the utmost importance to us, knowing that having any [bullets] picked up by a camper is a potentially dangerous thing,” she said.

Deal expressed appreciation for the advice and support of the Mount Desert Police Department, including Chief Jim Willis, who went to the camp to look into the incident.

“We have a great police department to work with, and we have police officers whose children come to the camp, so they are a resource for us,” she said.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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