Either former Kanakuk Kamps director Pete Newman was using an unfortunate bit of hyperbole or perhaps he was flaunting illicit activities in 2008.
In a June 18, 2008, entry, the blog The Go-Go Chronicles, written by a mother with children who attended the camp, wrote the following:
We arrived at Kamp on Thursday afternoon for closing ceremonies and she was waiting for us. She thinks she is ready for a month now. She LOVES it! For those who have not experienced Kanakuk, save your money, give up vacation, whatever you have to do to make it possible for your kids to go. It is an amazing experience. It is an opportunity to have so much crazy fun and get the kids to see that being a Christian is so cool. The counselors are all super cool and cute college students who have it all together. As Pete Newman, the director of K-Kountry put it, "your kids are going to follow and admire older kids. Why not have it be a really cool Christian kid? Maybe if your lucky your kids will just get so caught up with the excitement that they [the cool counselors] will just suck your kids right up to heaven."
Newman, of course, is free on bond awaiting trial on charges of statutory sodomy and enticement of a child, all involving underage boys.
The details of the crimes were noted in this passage from the Nov. 16 Turner Report:
The allegations against Newman were outlined in Taney Count court documents. From the Sheriff's Department's investigative report:
"Between 2005 and 2008, Pete Newman became a close friend of his by attending family dinners, sleepovers, bible studies, taking vacations together and writing letters. Pete would hold one-on-one sessions with (the boy) in Pete's hot tub (at Pete's residence) and would request they be naked. Pete would discuss life's struggles with (him) and talk about masturbation. Pete would explain that if (the boy) would masturbate with him in his hot tub then there would be no lust and therefore (the boy) would not be sinning."
The boy told Roberts he and Newman masturbated together 10 times over a four-year period.
The sex went further than masturbation with another teenager, according to the report. After beginning with the masturbation sessions with the 13-year-old, the report said, "Pete started masturbating (the boy) and (the boy) would then masturbate Pete." That led to oral sex when the boy turned 15.
Newman allegedly used the hot tub trick on a 14-year-old, again resulting in mutual masturbation sessions.
When the Sheriff's Department began contacting former campers from other states, they heard more disturbing stories. Parents from Tennessee told the deputy their son, who was 14 at the time, reported engaging in the same type of activity with Newman.
Roberts described Newman's tactics, saying Newman became close to boys aged 11 to 15, hung out with them, gained their parents' trust, then beginning slowly with the hot tub and leading to sexual experiences. Roberts referred to it as "the grooming process" used by sexual offenders.