Boone camp trip ruined by bed bugs

By: Rafael Lopez


BOONE – A group leader at a local girls scouts camp reached out to Local 5, saying two girls in her troop came home from camp covered in bites.

The Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa say they inspect every campsite both at check-in and check-out.

The group leader we spoke with appreciates their work to remove the bed bugs, but wants the girls affected to get a refund.

Kelley Gerling is just one of several parents ticked off with the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa.

“I thought they’d have little girl fights, but never getting bit by bed bugs,” Gerling says.

She says while her daughter and two other girl scouts were staying at this camp in Boone — they were bit by bed bugs.

“It is no an exaggeration to say thousands were on her sleeping bag,” she says.

The two girls snapped pictures of their bites to prove it.

Beth Shelton with Girl Scouts for Greater Iowa admits the pesky creatures were found in one of the homes. She ensures everyone that the organization religiously inspects for pests — and this wasn’t the exception.

“Upon check-out, we called pest control and they found two bed bugs they professionally got rid of it, and we have not had any more contact with any of the parents who girls were impacted,” Shelton says.

But, Gerling says otherwise.

She claims that she and other parents have contacted staff on numerous occasions about getting compensated for their daughter’s nightmares.

“If you are in a hotel and something like that happens you get a refund, I am not even asking for a full refund, just the cookie dough money they have, that’s money they raised from selling all of the cookies,” Gerling says.

“We will have a discussion with parents who felt affected by that, I don’t feel comfortable making a black and white statement to the public,” Shelton says.

Shelton said this is a rare case and she doesn’t want to ruin the reputation of the Girl Scouts organization.

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