DANIEL BEER, an 11-year-old at Camp Nah-Jee-Wah in Milford, Pa., part of New Jersey Y Camps (NJY), died on July 10 at Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, N.Y.
In a prepared statement, camp administrators said, “There are no words to describe the sudden loss of a young life, and everyone in the New Jersey Y Camps community is grieving the passing of Daniel Beer.” The statement added, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Daniel and his family.”
State Police were called to the camp early Monday morning and are investigating his death. “There is nothing suspicious at this point but we treat every death with concern, especially that of an 11-year-old boy, and work backward to rule everything out,” said Mark Keyes, public information officer.
The camp brought in grief counselors for campers and staff.
On Friday, July 14, it was disclosed that Daniel tested positive for Neisseria meningitis, the bacteria that causes meningococcal disease, according to a statement from the camp. The statement also said the camp has been “working closely” with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and is following their protocols which included quickly notifying all camp families and providing preventative treatment for campers and staff. Anyone who had directy contact with him has or will receive a prophylaxis treatment that prevents infection.
In addition, parents of every camper had the option to request prophylaxis treatment for their child. “We have the antibiotic available at camp and an infection control specialist at camp overseeing treatment and monitoring everyone for symptoms.”
An email sent on Monday to parents, signed by NJY Camps executive director Leonard Robinson and Nah-Jee-Wah director Kari Grove, explained that Daniel, who lived in Norwood, had “gastrointestinal symptoms overnight, was treated in our infirmary, and was taken to the hospital this morning when the symptoms worsened suddenly.”
Administrators were “waiting for the full medical report to determine why his illness elevated to this level so quickly,” according to the email.
Three other boys in Daniel’s bunk had shown signs of illness and were taken to the hospital, examined, and released. No one outside of the bunk got sick, according to Keyes.
Daniel’s parents, Sam and Jill Beer, met camp administrators at the hospital.
On his Facebook page, Daniel’s father, Sam, posted a photo of himself with his son, who celebrated his 11th birthday on July 4. The funeral was scheduled for July 12.