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Boy, 5, nearly drowns at Camp Lion Knoll

Staff Writer
Published: 6/24/2019 6:52:01 PM

LEYDEN — A 5-year-old boy was airlifted from Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield after receiving CPR following a swimming incident at Camp Lion Knoll on Monday afternoon.

Leyden Police Chief Dan Galvis said Sgt. Tina Riddell, who works as a lifeguard at the camp, was conducting a head count of children getting out of a pool shortly before 3 p.m. when she noticed a boy that seemed to be fooling around in the water. Riddell reportedly yelled to the boy several times and realized he was not playing.

The boy, Galvis said, was pulled from the water and Riddell immediately administered CPR while a staff member called 911. Galvis said the child became responsive and his vitals improved on the way to Baystate Franklin, where his parents met him.

Galvis had no update on the child around 5 p.m. Monday.

The camp is offered by The Girls Club of Greenfield. Club Director Nadine Benzaia said she could not comment on the incident Monday, which was the first day of camp.

Galvis said there was a delay in the ambulance’s arrival at the scene because no one knew the camp’s address, which Galvis said is 77 Oak Hill Road. He said the camp is about 0.4 miles from a sign, at the intersection of Oak Hill and Barton roads, that lists the camp’s name and phone number but no address. The chief said he stressed to staff members the importance of having the address listed on that sign and at the camp’s entrance, as well as making staff aware of the address.

“There were just a lot of things that need to be addressed as far as protocol,” Galvis said, adding that he was told the camp would be open today.

According to The Girls Club of Greenfield’s website, the camp was established in 1958 and consists of 40 acres of open fields and pine forests. It includes a swimming area, a dining hall with an attached kitchen, a craft room pavilion, nature cabin and a bathhouse. The camp caters to children 4½ to 12 years old.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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