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Red Hook camp denied access to its own hood’s pool — again! • Brooklyn Paper

Red Hook camp denied access to its own hood’s pool — again!

For the second year in a row kids at the Red Hook Recreational Summer Camp were denied access to swim at their own neighborhood pool by the Department of Health.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The pool’s out for Red Hook kids — again!

For the second summer in a row, bureaucrats have denied children in the Red Hook Recreation Summer Camp access to their own watering hole, leaving bummed-out tots sweating on the sidelines in 90-degree weather while other city camps have had no hold-up getting access to their pools.

“It’s an outrage,” said Alan Mukamal, whose 8- and 10-year-old children are in the camp. “They’ve deprived good kids of a summer camp experience — and I can’t conceive of why.”

The camp, which is run by the Parks Department, has used the public pool at Red Hook Recreational Center for years to give underprivileged children swimming lessons.

But last summer, the Department of Health denied the Red Hook campers a pool permit for three weeks, refusing to say why — even as it approved permits for five other camps at the start of the summer.

This year, when camp started on July 5, the agency again blocked the Red Hook campers, even as the nearby Park Slope Day Camp’s permit was approved. Other camps in less-affluent areas — like at Brownsville Recreation Center and St. Johns Recreational Center in Crown Heights — were also denied permits, causing parents to wonder if the whole thing is class-based.

“It’s suspicious,” said Mukamal.

The Department of Health again would not say why it blocked the permit. But a Parks Department spokeswoman, who wouldn’t explain the hold-up either, told the Brooklyn Paper that the Red Hook campers would be clear to swim by the end of the week. We could not confirm by our sink-or-swim deadline if the permit was indeed approved by that time.

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