Mother Seeks Answers After Son Drowns At NJ Summer Camp

A New Jersey mother is grieving after her 6-year-old son drowned in a pool on the first day of summer camp. The incident happened Monday (June 24) at Liberty Lake Day Camp in Bordentown.

A lifeguard reportedly found Michael Stewart lifeless beneath the water and jumped in to save him. Camp staff members attempted to administer CPR to the boy, but he never regained consciousness. Stewart was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Stewart was reportedly assigned an advocate to help supervise him but their whereabouts at the time of the drowning remain unclear. The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Mansfield Township Police Department have launched an investigation into the incident.

“This senseless tragedy took a life that was far too young.”

Enjoli Stewart, the boy’s mother, said her son was excited about swimming that day.

“Someone asked me how my day was going, and I told them about Michael and how Michael fell asleep the night before with his goggles on,” she said, “and he was excited about swimming and then my phone rang and I was told I needed to rush to Mount Holly-Virtua.”

A spokesperson for Liberty Lake Day Camp declined to respond to Stewart’s criticism of the camp.

In a statement, the camp’s owner, Andy Pritikin, wrote, “All of us at Liberty Lake Day Camp are devastated and grieving over the tragic passing of our young camper. This senseless tragedy took a life that was far too young. There are no words that feel appropriate enough to capture our heartache and mourning.”

The Township of Lumberton declared June 29, 2024 as a celebration of life for Michael and as a tribute the Township will be purchasing and installing a bench in his memory.

GoFundMe campaign has been started to support the Stewarts amid the tragic incident.