Vandals cause $1000s in damage at Conn. camp

LYME, Conn. (WTNH) – One of the oldest camps in Connecticut was hit hard by vandals this week.

“Just to have this kind of damage done for no reason is sick,” said Steven Mattson of Camp Claire, which opened nearly a century ago.

Mattson said vandals first broke into a medical building where they apparently got hold of a hammer and started smashing. The rampage spread to five or six cabins, he said, and by the time they were finished, they left thousands of dollars in damage.

“Every one of these cabins has our people’s blood and sweat in it,” Mattson said. “When you come in and start breaking windows we just put in last year, you feel it.”

Nothing appears to have been stolen, he said. But the damage is enough of a blow. And Mattson said it’s not the first time that the camp has been targeted.

“One neighbor kid we caught doing some small damage, we took him in and kept him at camp for a couple of days (with parental permission),” he said. “He loves the camp (now) and that has all gone away.”

But these vandals could face a more serious punishment as the amount of damage could fall into the felony category. Police say they are following several leads.

For more information on Camp Claire or to make a donation to the Lyme camp, visit their website.

Bob Wilson reporting

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