Bennington, summer camp strike deal over noise complaints

Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 5:24 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 24, 2020 at 7:29 PM EDT
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BENNINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A camp for Orthodox Jewish children operating at two locations in Vermont has run into more complaints from local residents. Our Ike Bendavid has an update.

There have been no reported issues recently at the camp in Rutland at the Holiday Inn but there have been issues reported at their sister site in Bennington.

The camp with hundreds of kids from New York and New Jersey rented out two locations in the state: the Holiday Inn in Rutland Town and the former campus of Southern Vermont College in Bennington.

Both communities expressed concern about whether the presence of a large group of out-of-staters put local residents at risk of the coronavirus.

Those concerns were answered when all of the visitors tested negative for the virus and camp organizers pledged no campers or staffers would venture off the properties.

But in Bennington, there were additional complaints about noise. Camp organizers acknowledge that they didn’t respond right away.

“We didn’t differentiate between the fake stories and then people jumping on the bandwagon and exaggeration of the issue-- between both of that we didn’t take the story seriously,” said Moshe Perlstein, the camp director.

Perlstein acknowledges the camp’s large gatherings in the evenings, including singing, chanting and megaphones, generated a lot of noise.

The town met with the camp and worked out a resolution-- getting an air-conditioning system for the campus gym so they could move the gathering inside.

“Putting in an air conditioner system, getting rid of a tent that we spent a lot of money on to show the people in Bennington we care,” Perlstein said.

“We are optimistic that the noise complaints that have been filled-- will be resolved through a negotiated agreement,” said Donald Campbell, the chair of the Bennington select board.

Bennington officials tell me if the mitigations are not successful and the noise continues, they plan to take the camp to court.

Related Stories:

Vt. officials working to provide waiver to camp staying at Rutland hotel

Out-of-compliance camp group to remain at Rutland hotel for now

Orthodox Jewish camp in Rutland warned over COVID violation

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