Problem-plagued summer camp closing weeks ahead of schedule

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Parents are left in the lurch by a summer camp that closed early, and now they may struggle to get refunds (KTRK)

We first told you about a summer camp that was not ready for kids on the first day of summer but now things are going from bad to worse.

That's because the camp that was supposed to last eight weeks is now shutting down after just two weeks.

The camp is being held at Rice University, but has no affiliation with the university. After a shaky start, parents say their kids were happy here, but Friday parents found out the camp is closing at the end of business today, a full six weeks early.

It looks like a normal day at summer camp, but this is no ordinary day, as parents found out when dropping off kids Friday morning.

"The camp is closed," said Roland Hawkins.

Hawkins and his wife booked the Be Inspired camp months ago for their eight-year-daughter.

Hawkins says Be Inspired camp organizers promised eight weeks of academic classes in the morning and physical activity in the afternoon.

But during drop-off Hawkins was told the camp is shutting down at the end of business Friday.

"To do this to an adult is one thing but to promise all this stuff to an eight-year-old child and to pull it all away in the blink of an eye, that's something else," said Hawkins.

As he played songs for the kids in camp we asked Quinton Cox of Be Inspired why the camp was closing.

"It's kind of out of my hands. Another organization came in and just basically just shut us down," said Cox.

The camp was sponsored by a non-profit organization called SMART Schools Inc. SMART Schools contracted with Be Inspired Cultural Arts to operate the camp.

Tommie Henderson of SMART Schools says his organization made the call to shut down the camp because SMART Schools Inc. could not verify counselors had state required training, and because advertised curriculum was not being offered and SMART Schools claims it never received money from Be Inspired.

Henderson says he's even filed a criminal complaint against Be Inspired.

"What we believe is theft and because of what we believe might be embezzlement," said Henderson.

It's an allegation Quinton Cox at Be Inspired strongly denies.

"I did not steal any money. Let's make this clear, I did not embezzle any money, I did not use any of the money for personal use," said Cox

So the question now, how do you get a refund? The answer is not easy.

SMART Schools will refund registration fees and activity fees, but says Be Inspired has the camp tuition money.

Be Inspired says SMART Schools has the money.

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