Martha Snyder wrote in “Another Point of View” [see the Town Crier’s June 28 issue] that Idyllwild Pines Camp now prohibits pedestrians from walking through camp because children are being kidnapped, molested, abused and murdered. Really? How will preventing locals from walking through camp protect campers?

The article reads like a bad sermon: inflammatory, over reactive and filled with exaggerated half-truths.

She cites a list of pseudo-threats the camp has experienced, like, “a host of bicyclists rode through the middle of campus at warp speed.” Really? Is 5-6 a “host”? Can bikes travel at “warp” speed?

Second, “We’ve had our administrative offices broken into.” Really? A window was broken in the building that triggered an alarm. There was no entry and nothing stolen.

Third, “Almost naked, disoriented men sitting on picnic tables.” Really? There was one incident of a shirtless, homeless man who washed his clothes in Strawberry Creek and had no contact with campers.

Fourth, “Signs and lighting … are regularly destroyed.” Really? Is twice a year regularly? Most of what gets destroyed is by campers, not locals.

Fifth, “Someone broke into unoccupied dormitories and stayed the night.” Really? Nothing was broken into. Someone stayed in the dorms because they found lost keys and let themselves in.

All Ms. Snyder has done to protect campers from these so-called threats is post six ugly orange signs warning: “Private Property: No Trespassing.” She has not added any security lighting with motion sensors. She has never hired a security guard to patrol while campers are present. If camper security is her highest concern, why have these inexpensive measures never been taken?

Most of us in the big bad world off camp property don’t carry AK-47s. Neither we nor our dogs pose a threat to campers. We just enjoy a good walk in the woods. In fact, wasn’t the Strawberry Creek trail that runs through camp supposed to assure community access?

Ms. Snyder’s master plan, approved by the Idyllwild Pines Camp board in October — none of whom live in Idyllwild — will soon have the entire 50 acre property surrounded by a six-foot high wooden fence to accomplish her objective of preventing local access to the camp.

If Ms. Snyder actually became involved in the community, rather than remaining removed from it, she would find that the good people of Idyllwild would assist in addressing her concerns.

We are not the problem, but we can become part of the solution.

Ted Ewing
Former Idyllwild Pines Camp Program Director


  1. The safety of the children should be every residents first priority. I think you would sing a different song if a homeless man in his underwear was washing his clothes in your back yard. As for the fence I agree it will be a terrible eyesore, if residents would respect the camps property then maybe we could convince the camps board that another option is viable.