Anyone know what happened to Sky Life Flying Camp?
I found this thread after leafing through some childhood material my mother gave me including my brochure and application for Sky Life which eventually brought me to this thread.
I attended the camp in the summers of 1989/90 as a 15/16 year old. If I remember correctly, in'90 I attended the camp for 2 weeks with about another 7 or 8 other campers from all over the US. 2 campers I ended up being buddies with during my stay, one from MI and one from NJ.
Jay Treat and Bill Quegan were the flight instructors at the time and we had a camp counselor that bunked with us and of course Lee in the main house.
I have mixed emotions about the camp. I have fond memories of morning runs to the "tower" before breakfast, watching the weather to see if you were going to get to fly that day, the grass strip runway, snack bar, building model airplanes, etc.
Thank goodness I did not receive the same level of abuse some likely received there, however, I was not immune either.
2 instances come to mind during my stay.
- One of the campers during pre-flight engine check shut the ignition off in error causing the plane to back fire. I was in the tower with the camper from MI and we laughed are heads off. I vaguely remember the camper getting punished for the mistake and wanting to go home after being punished. Me and my buddy got yelled at by Lee for laughing on the tower radio.
- The second instance was on the road trip to Dayton to visit Wright Patterson AFB. We stopped at a KOA in the RV, I think only 3 -4 boys made the trip along with Lee and Jay. I don't recall if I had requested a shower or if it was my "turn" for a shower, however, I do vividly remember Lee telling me due to limited water supply he would monitor me taking a shower. Watching me take my clothes off, getting wet in the shower, shower off, lather with soap and rinse. All under his watch to ensure I didn't waste any water.
What's most interesting is I did not recognize this as abnormal due to my trust and respect for authority figures. Only until much later in life, maybe even as a parent did I reflect on the incident as totally inappropriate. I feel a bit guilty that if I had spoken up at the time as my father is a pediatrician and has dealt with sex abuse, perhaps others would not have received the same or worse treatment in the future.
As with other posters, I found this email thread cathartic to share. I am overly protective with my kids around male authority figures and will likely not allow them to spend nights away at camp. (right/wrong)
To those other young men I shared a couple summers, I hope you did not experience any of Lee's evil. And if you did, I hope that were able to overcome..