President Trump’s 17-day “working vacation” in New Jersey spoiled a surprise for 250 children at a nearby summer camp.
The Tamarack Day Camp in Randolph, New Jersey, planned a special kickoff to their “color wars,” a traditional friendly competition between the kids. Camp officials spent months organizing to have skydivers dressed as superheroes swoop down and “rescue” the young campers from a group of bikers.
But the camp is one-tenth of a mile within a no-fly zone established by the FAA during Trump’s vacation at his golf course in nearby Bedminster, New Jersey. The FAA banned all flights within a 10-mile radius.
“This morning, we had the FAA clearance, the sky divers were ready on the plane and then the Secret Service shut us down for the no-fly zone,” Jessica Grannum, the camp’s assistant director, told BuzzFeed News. “Which was really sad.”
Grannum said that on Wednesday morning, camp officials pleaded their case on a conference call with the Secret Service, the FAA and the skydiving company. The FAA said the camp should be granted clearance, but the Secret Service nixed it.
At 9:50am, the camp took to Twitter to ask the president to intervene. They wrote: “@POTUS Mr. President, Please ask the Secret Service to allow our Sky Divers to fly to Randolph, NJ..to break our Color War..lots of kids.”
@POTUS Mr. President, Please ask the Secret Service to allow our Sky Divers to fly to Randolph, NJ..to break our Color War..lots of kids ?
— Tamarack Day Camp (@TamarackDayCamp) August 9, 2017
“We had 250 kids” — aged 3 to 12 — “on the ground waiting for this to happen,” Grannum said. “We were shocked and disappointed. We felt really let down.”
The grownups ultimately came to the rescue: Camp counselors threw on hastily made superhero costumes and drove in on fire trucks to save their young charges.