"A Program Is Only As Good As The People Selling It"
*Buyer Beware*
My MichelleWhy Did You..?Camp SafetyA Deadly Mirage

*Who's Watching
  The Children?*
Beware my friend of promises made
By those who claim they'll come to your aid.
It's the Wilderness Programs I'm speaking of---
But Only those that exclude trust and love.
They tell you exactly what you want to hear
When you're desperate and wondering which way to steer.
They promise to take our children and teach them to cope
And provide them with tools that will give courage and hope.
Many thousands of dollars you'll have to pay---
But the brochure is convincing that this is the way.
And it's true; I believe that the concept is good
But they must replace greed with love - would they could.
Mother Nature's a great teacher but there must be a guide
One there to lead---who'll show comfort and not chide.
So the plight of our children is not a living hell---
Those counselors must know the wilderness and counseling as well.
And they must have help available and close by
So no more Michelle's and Kristen's will die.
With no regulations or guidelines to use
They can do as they please and have been known to abuse.
Yes, Mother Nature's Wilderness beauty abounds
And valuable teaching out there can be found---
But let these programs be run by people who care
Who will truly look after our child's welfare?
So "buyer beware" Take warning Take heed
Of those programs merely inspired by greed.
And speak out those of you who know of the wrongs---
Please don't keep it inside
For the sake of all children who unknowingly come
And for the sake of those who died!
Written By:  Sharon Fuqua
Mother of Kristen Chase
*A Mother's Lament*
High atop a mountain ridge
In Utah's, desert land
A lonely desperate cry rings out
Unheard by those at hand.
"I tell you, I cannot go on!
I feel I'm going to die!
Please stop and let me rest!"  She begged
Yet no one would heed her cry.
If only they had listened
Had they only understood
But none there knew my child
And now they never would
For my Kristen died that day
And dreams lay shattered in the sand
And cries of help from her and others still echo through the land.
We see no more her sparkling eyes
And hear no more her voice
And wonder why the hope we held
Should be the fatal choice.
When promises were great and sweet
And sure to be fulfilled
Our hearts at last could breathe a sigh
But instead those hearts were stilled.
A painful lesson then was learned
For us, and now too late
No others care like you or I
And love and trust can't wait.
To God I pray for help to come
To those who claim to care
And wisdom for the parents
Of hurting children everywhere.
Written By: Sharon Fuqua
Mother of Kristen Chase
Kristen Chase died in the Challenger Program, Utah, on July 27, 1990.  Just six weeks after my daughter Michelle.  The cause of Kristen's death was Heat Exhaustion.  She died on day-3 of what was supposed to be a 63-day program.  Like Michelle, Kristen's pleas for help were ignored.  It is a pattern of behavior in these programs for children to be labeled fakers, whiners and manipulators.  No one was held accountable. 
Sharon Fuqua has written several books of poetry since the death of her daughter Kristen.  We are close friends now.  Sharon will forever be, "My Sister through tragedy."
Copyright 2015 by Michelle Suton Memorial Catherine Sutton.  All rights reserved
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