Parents and guests at Great Wolf Lodge upset they were not info...

Full story: WTKR 20
Guests who stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge recently say they didn't know anything about the sexual attack and they are concerned that a sexual predator might have been sitting next to their child. Full Story
JEN

Virginia Beach, VA

#1 Feb 15, 2010
WHY on earth would anyone allow their 8 yr. old to roam the place alone?!
notTHIS MOM

Chesapeake, VA

#2 Feb 15, 2010
You would be surprised at the stories that come out of GWL.. Kids there going on like they run the place, parents staying in hotel room while johnny goes and does whatever. and no one says anything, since the majority that run there, Bg and WC-USA are teenagers. Like the kids at ocean breeze, dont try to get a life guard, if you are not 16/n Bikini... One family went there, the 7 yo son went to get into the bed, when the mom notice the sheets were messed up underneath,, the bed was never changed from the night before hotel guest. the sheets were total gross.
sam

Hayes, VA

#3 Feb 15, 2010
JEN wrote:
WHY on earth would anyone allow their 8 yr. old to roam the place alone?!
A VERY good point. Folks seem to do it all the time though don't they? Parents on vacation seem to forget their safety sense and wind up doing things they would NEVER do at home.
Melinda

Chesapeake, VA

#4 Feb 16, 2010
What a disturbing story. I know where we won't be spending our upcoming birthday parties. One year we rented out a two story suite there and had a blast with our kids. Nevermore. One problem is they let people come and go freely. They should require each person have something that shows they belong there, ie. have paid for a room/ admission. And why arent there security cameras with someone actually monitoring them? I have serious concerns about this facility now.
Jen

Chesapeake, VA

#5 Feb 16, 2010
Family lodge or not, it is still the partents responsibility to watch their children. Everyone seems to be looking for a place to just let their kids run free these days......how about just watching your kids at all times....that is the only place they will be truly safe.....under your watchful eye.
Melinda

Chesapeake, VA

#7 Feb 16, 2010
I agree that parents should keep a close eye on their kids. However, a predator is a predator. They will find an opportunity where there is none. I am always telling my 9 yr old son the rules of stranger danger... when we are at the mall, I can't take him into the restroom at that age. So I have to send him into the mens room without me. I stand by the door and watch who comes in and out, but you can't always be there. Which is another reason why he is a black belt in TaeKwondo. The self defense moves would hopefully be able to get him out of a situation he might not otherwise be able to. I am so sick and tired of these disgusting predators seeking out children. And I refuse to blame parents for these situations completely. Especially in an area where you expect there to be some type of adult in the area... from my memory, this is a video game area, similar to that of chuck e cheese where kids run from game to game. Wasn't there an employee in the area? Again, I just feel like they should start giving a darn about who comes and goes at these facilities.
unknown

Richmond, VA

#8 Feb 16, 2010
By the way, a GWL manager in WBURG said they do welcome outsiders to come and eat in their dining facilities AND to play the Magiquest game, specifically. I feel *strongly* that if they are welcoming outsiders to play Magiquest, it should be monitored.
Parents are responsible, and I have played MQ many times with my kids (sore legs). This is the first sexual assault, not the first incident. There was also a drowning here. Things happen in resorts, but I have also experienced and seen first hand life guards not responding to events. One child spoke of difficulty breathing and coughing-- felt tired... I was in ear shot and thought dry drowning. The lifeguard didn't know what that was, but I suggested getting checked out by a DR. Either way, they encounter many people, they have a responsibility.
c defoor

Portsmouth, VA

#9 Feb 16, 2010
It definitely makes leary of staying at the Great Wolf Lodge again. We have stayed several times, we've even had a family reunion there so the kids would enjoy being with all their relatives but still have some fun at the Lodge. The management should have issued an alert--the other guests would have probably spotted this guy and he would have been apprehended. People should always be given the information and let them decide what's best for their family--not what's in the best interest of GWL making money on a holiday weekend! Shame on the management for making a bone headed decision--this is really going to backfire on the GWL. As for our family--no more GWL--we will never be able to trust that it's safe after their horrible reaction during this incident.
Kim

Galena, IL

#10 Feb 16, 2010
In this day and time why would you ever let your child walk around anywhere alone? Just because it's a family resort does not mean that is 100% safe from predators. It's not like they wear name tags announcing. Maybe the guest should have been notified but as stated first....why would you let your child go unsupervised in any type of public place?
theresa338

Yorktown, VA

#11 Feb 16, 2010
Sad Situation....You go on Vacation, kick back & RELAX...enjoy time with your Family..Kids running around, it's loud, Water EVERYWHERE! And BAMM! You realize 'We need to be careful, someone may get to our kids here too!' Now, You remember that You had left "home" life/worries at The GWL Entrance! Come on folks, WE are ALL HUMAN & want to leave our worries behind, even if it's for a second..or two! Unfortunately this can happen ANYWHERE! Busch Gardens, Water Country, Presidents Park, Ocean Breeze....& so on!!!! I would think with as much as it costs to go to The GWL, they would have "tighter/stronger Security"! ALL of The Guests there should of been notified asap of the situation! So each Parent in turn could do what was right for Their Family! Is there Security Cameras in place COMPLETELY around The Facility? When You are welcomed to a Vacation Spot for Your entire Family, do you stop & say to yourself, "Joe Smo might touch My Kid", ex: Mental note: Eyes NEVER off the Kids-No down time, no 1 minute to breath..on our family vacation!??
mary

Chesapeake, VA

#12 Feb 16, 2010
GWL should of let the the people know what was going on. I myself have stayed there with the girl scouts and I have been there 4 other times. My family and I will not be staying at the GWL Lodge again. This is terrible.
dmfangel

Deltaville, VA

#13 Feb 16, 2010
That poor little girl.This is why i never let my child out of my sight.You can't trust anyone.God bless her.And i hope they catch the disgusting pervert that did this.My prayers are with her and her family.
Virginia

Virginia Beach, VA

#14 Feb 16, 2010
Come on people. You need to watch your children all the time everywhere. This could happen anywhere in fact it does happen everywhere. You shouldn't be giving any one place a bad name because of this. You have to go after the ones that are doing these crimes. Keep your children close.
So are you saying that because you didn't know that this happened that you just let your kids come and go without watching them. They are your responsiblity. They could be in your front yard and this could happen.
Lisa in NC

Raleigh, NC

#15 Feb 16, 2010
While I am very sorry for the family involved, I direct my comment to Mrs. Redfern...why would you, as you said in the article above, even think of letting your child "run around by themselves"???? I have the pleasure of staying at this Great Wolf Lodge several times with my family, I also have 3 young children (their ages ranged from 8-12 on our previous stays) and I NEVER let them run around as you put it, alone! It is a family friendly place, there is no doubt, but the safety and security and responsibility of your children still are YOUR responsibility. I guess malls are out for you now also as there are more cases of this at a mall...Honestly, people today think that a vacation is a chance to let down your guard. Great Wolf Lodge, or any other destination outside of your own home are no place to let down you guard, ever, where your children are concerned!
Carol

Virginia Beach, VA

#16 Feb 16, 2010
GWL works hard to keep the place safe. And even if you watch the kids 24/7 they get into areas where you think they are safe and bam it turns out they are not where they should be. I raised 5 kids and all of them had some type of fright growing up. Be it a fight at school a bully and yes bad people doing bad things to them or to others. No child is always safe anywhere even in their own home. So don't be shocked they molesters get in where kids are. Stuff happens all we can do is use judgment and explain to the kids what to do if this type of thing happens to them.
1. To be aware of their surroundings,
2. Not to go anywhere with anyone without your expressed permission.
3. Go with a buddy donít go alone.
4. If they feel uncomfortable by someone Run to the nearest crowd
5. Donít be afraid to scream your head off! If you are (feel) trapped
6. TELL SOMEONE as soon as you can. Remember details see everything!
It may not be comforting but it may save some child a mental scare it is worth teaching it to you children ( BOYS TOO!)
Lisa in NC

Raleigh, NC

#17 Feb 16, 2010
Melinda wrote:
What a disturbing story. I know where we won't be spending our upcoming birthday parties. One year we rented out a two story suite there and had a blast with our kids. Nevermore. One problem is they let people come and go freely. They should require each person have something that shows they belong there, ie. have paid for a room/ admission. And why arent there security cameras with someone actually monitoring them? I have serious concerns about this facility now.
They do have armbands that all guests wear during their stay. Check your facts first before you slam a place for not doing something...
Lisa in NC

Raleigh, NC

#18 Feb 16, 2010
mary wrote:
GWL should of let the the people know what was going on. I myself have stayed there with the girl scouts and I have been there 4 other times. My family and I will not be staying at the GWL Lodge again. This is terrible.
I have also stayed there with teh Girl Scouts, that's why you make sure you have enough adults to watch all the kids that are YOUR RESPONSIBILITY! Again people, if you stop going to places because of the VERY sad situations like this family is now going thru, you would never leave your house! Don't drive because there are drunks on the road, or don't fly because the planes sometimes crach, don't swim in the ocean because sometimes a shark comes to take a bite...I could go on and on, bottom line is personal responsibility. No one ever expects something like this to happen to them, but it does, you have to be aware of what's going around you at all times, no matter where you are. It's just the way things are now. Places like GWL provide you the area and make it as safe as they can, but it's still upto the familys to watch their own!
Robert Ford

Quinton, VA

#19 Feb 18, 2010
That's why I pack a .45 pistol everywhere me and the family go. I feel sorry for the perv that touches one of my kids. Keep your kids close always, and remember "when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away" .
12414Mom

Norfolk, VA

#20 Feb 20, 2010
I know the Redferns, and they are an amazing family, so please do not question her parenting. We have stayed there many times the first week in March when many of the VAIS schools have their spring break as well. Many parents will come together and monitor the children on the different floors, but allow them to travel in groups to play the games, checking in as they go along. We have done that. My husband and I are both educated, informed parents, and we allowed the children to go in groups, and I did not question that decision then, nor do I now, in spite of this. Our children and children of our friends do not play the game alone, and they are well behaved and have to check in with parents frequently. We do not know the details of this case at all. I believe that the GWL needs to totally beef up security, and stop letting outsiders come in to play the games and eat/drink at the bars.
FamilyGal

Overland Park, KS

#21 Mar 7, 2010
I love the quote from Tom Redfern, "You question whether you go back, you definitely question whether you let your children run around by themselves," Tim Redfern said.
Just because you're in a family enviornment doesn't mean this facility suddenly becomes your personal babysitter. While I feel great sadness for the family of the little girl in this incident, I also would never leave my children to run around a resort of any kind with no parental supervision. Unfortunaly this is a place where people who have dishonest intentions come to prey on children. I've taken my family to this lodge as well as a few of the other Great Wolf Lodges and have never had an incident.
My thoughts and prayers are with this family during what I can only imagine is a very difficult time--and I'm sure we'll all hug our children a little tighter after hearing something like this happen.

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