For decades, thousands of families have entrusted their children’s hearts, minds, and safety to Kanakuk Kamps—one of the largest Christian sports camps. Tragically, in a deeply troubling array of instances, the safety of children took a back seat to other considerations as years of child sexual abuse at Kanakuk Kamps have been covered up by the organization. This was and is a violation of trust, and ultimately a failure of leadership. Read more and take action below!
Following an investigative piece published in March 2021 by David and Nancy French in The Dispatch, there have been at least two additional deep-dive investigative pieces published detailing the abuse and efforts to curtail discussion of crimes at Kanakuk – CBS 11 and VICE NIGHTLY NEWS – with extensive testimony from sexual abuse survivors and/or former employees of Kanakuk Kamps. Dozens of additional news outlets have carried stories as well.
An open letter from survivors of sexual abuse at Kanakuk was delivered personally to Kanakuk President, Joe White on Feb 11, 2022:
We are survivors of Kanakuk abuse and their allies. We have endured child sexual abuse, extortion, silencing, physical abuse, harassment, aggressive legal tactics, public denial of said abuses, and much more, all at the hands of Kanakuk Ministries and its affiliated entities, and all while under your family’s leadership. We are only a small fraction of the Kanakuk survivors, yet our collective abuse experiences span from the 1950s to 2022. We have been abused and silenced for far too long and are now joining hands to stand up for accountability and justice—and to stop ongoing and future abuse.
Between April – June 2021, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation was contacted by three survivors of sexual abuse allegedly taking place at Kanakuk. One survivor we spoke with said that finally at age 70 he was sharing what happened to him for the first time when he was a young counselor at the camp. Another was a dad of young boys who was abused as a “kamper” while a young teen.
Despite the survivors who have come forward, at least a dozen lawsuits, and the news investigations that have uncovered practices at the camp that enabled the reported abuse to fester, Kanakuk has continued to minimize the reality that they have allowed abuse to flourish. For this reason, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has named Kanakuk Kamps to the 2022 Dirty Dozen List.
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse at Kanakuk Kamps and are interested in counseling, legal resources, or to connect with other survivors, FactsAboutKanakuk.com can help you here.