CARROLL COUNTY, Md. (WJLA) - There is caution tape where campers should be running, a yellow band stretched to protect children from downed trees and debris
"It looks like a tornado went through a small section of the camp right where these campers were," says Executive Director Jon Bisset.
That section littered with heavy limbs is where a 12-year-old boy was killed as he ran with other campers towards shelter just 150 yards away.
The strong winds of a thunderstorm were a surprise, according to Bisset, who says their severe weather protocols were followed. They had to be used again today as a storm moved in as camp continued for dozens of other children.
Jen Patterson sent her six and eight-year-old back to River Valley Ranch today with a heavy heart, sitting her kids down to explain what happened first:
"It was important for us to send them. We thought it might be closed but it wasn't. We want them not to be afraid all the time. And it's something we have to get over too, to trust they'll be okay."
Protected by staff that watch over the most vulnerable, today they provided counselors of another kind and joined together to share their grief