Indianapolis camp resumes after lightning strike injures three children


An Indianapolis summer camp it has resumed its normal schedule a day after a lightning strike injured three children.

Goldman Union Camp Institute, a Reform Jewish summer camp at 9349 N. Moore Road, posted a message on its Facebook page that camp director Rabbi Mark Covitz sent to the parents of campers saying it had resumed its normal camp schedule.

This was the complete message:

"This Shabbat afternoon, lightning struck URJ Goldman Union Camp. Three campers were injured. Camp personnel and emergency professionals responded quickly. The children were taken to local hospitals and we have spoken with each child's parents.

We are resuming our normal camp schedule, which will include dinner and evening program.

Please know, the safety of your children is our highest priority."

Two of the injured children were taken to Riley Hospital, with one of them in critical condition. A third child was transported to St. Vincent Hospital.  All three are now at Riley Hospital today.

According to Indianapolis Police, camp counselors had begun lifesaving efforts when Pike Township firefighters and EMS arrived. The lightning strike occurred around 2:00 pm Saturday.

The three children are from out of state. They include a 12-year-old boy from Loveland, Ohio and two nine-year-olds: a girl from Chesterfield, MO and a boy from Louisville, KY.

The names of the three campers have not been released. Police say the most seriously injured is the 12-year-old boy. He was initially taken to St. Vincent Hospital in critical condition.

When the fire department arrived, camp counselors were doing CPR and mouth to mouth resuscitation.

The camp attracts hundreds of kids from all over the country, and they have asked the fire and police department to keep a lid on information

"One of the reasons that there is no information being released at this time is not only do we need to make notification to family of the incident and the kids that were transported, but we also have to make notification of those that were not injured," said Deputy Chief Russ Shoaf, Pike Township Fire Department.

The three injured children were with other campers and counselors on the far east end of the camp. Police are not saying what they were doing or how many other kids were in the same area. They did say it was the quick action of the counselors that may make the difference for those injured. But a storm packing powerful lightning popped up and before they could take cover, lightning hit the camp. By the time the clouds moved on and rain stopped, parents were streaming into the camp to collect their children.