Black Kids Booted From Pool: They Changed Club’s “Complexion”

July 8, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Racism is alive and well in Pennsylvania in the twenty-first century at a time when we have our first black President. The members of a private swim club in Huntingdon Valley, PA, recently suffered quite an unspeakable onslaught upon their leisurely afternoon of sunning and swimming poolside, when 60 adorable children arrived from their day camp for a swim.

The children were black. The next day they were refunded their money and asked not to return.

The Valley Swim Club is apparently proud of its white complexion and they aim to keep it that way, even at the expense of publicly exposing its blatant racism by demanding that black children get out of its pool.

The Creative Steps Day Camp contracted with the Valley Swim Club at a fee of more than $1900 for its campers to swim at the private pool club once a week. The children, staff and parents were delighted to have the opportunity to cool off once a week in a pool.

But, they weren’t aware of the undisclosed, “no minorities allowed” policy of the Valley Swim Club.

The first day the campers arrived at the pool, they were greeted with looks of disdain from pool members. As soon as the campers entered the pool, all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool said Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child in an email.

Then “the pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately,” added Gibson.

To make matters worse, the adult members could be overheard by the campers loudly uttering hurtful racist statements, such as “What are all these black kids doing here?” Another member was heard to say that she was fearful that the black campers would hurt her children.

Camp director Aetha Wright is saddened by the Valley Swim Club’s behavior. “They just kicked us out,” said Wright. The 60 campers are now without a pool to swim in this summer.

A statement released by John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club explained the club’s actions towards the minority campers, quite clearly, in case there was any doubt. “There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club,” said Duesler.

The Valley Swim Club advertises an open membership, promoting a “…casual, friendly atmosphere with an emphasis on family.” The club’s website boats of its commitment to “…the Huntingdon Valley community, since it’s chartering in 1954!”

The Valley Swim Club, it seems, is only interested in supporting community and family activities if you are white.

When the parents sent their children to camp in Northeast Philadelphia to enjoy the outdoors and typical camp activities, such as camp songs and arts and crafts, little did they know that their children would experience a hurtful lesson in racism as well.



21 Responses to “Black Kids Booted From Pool: They Changed Club’s “Complexion””

  1. John Taylor on July 8th, 2009 6:31 pm

    You apparently don’t understand racial tensions in and around Philadelphia. The nightly news is filled with stories of gang-related and random violence and many of the perpetrators are black. So, of course adults and kids from a predominatly white community would be in a state of shock when 60+ blacks arrive to take over the camp. The reaction is based on fear. Until the black community starts living in peace with themselves and others then the fear will continue and so will reactions like we saw at the Valley Swim Club.

  2. Black Kids Booted From Pool: They Changed Club’s “Complexion” on July 8th, 2009 7:08 pm

    […] The next day they were refunded their money and asked not to return. The Valley Swim Club is appa click for more var _wh = ((document.location.protocol==’https:’) ? “” : […]

  3. Pete Dwyer on July 8th, 2009 8:43 pm

    Here is the club’s email address if you feel you’d like to tell them how you feel.


  4. vito carisso on July 8th, 2009 8:51 pm


    this was a whole ENTIRE summer CAMP FULL OF KIDS, who wanted (and admittedly paid) to use this pool as their ‘CAMP’ pool for the summer…

    The greedy club manager sold them access without CONSULTING the actual club members who are full time members..

    This pool can comfortably hold MAYBE 30-40 people, providing their is NO GOOFING AROUND or Horseplay..

    The black summer camp was SIXTY FIVE KIDS alone, before even ONE actual club members kid got into the pool.

    The club manager, who should be fired for selling a pool-only access to the facility, to A ENTIRE SUMMER CAMP FULL OF KIDS, thus deprived the actual camp members of access to the facilites they bought memberships to use..

    how is a club member supposed to get into the pool WITH 65 KIDS already splashing around in pool that can hold approx 50 people TOPS, at one time?.. these kids went nuts, and engaged in out-of-control horseplay when they got in our pool, so everyone else fled from it at that point..

    to try to turn this into racism is rediculous, as if this was a JACK AND JILL (black families only club) facility and the pool could only hold 50 kids, the actual jack and jill members would rightly BLOW THEIR TOPS at the management for leasing out access to massive groups of people not part of the actual club.

    Screaming ‘racism’ here is lame.. if 5-10 kids of any race showed up NO ONE WOULD HAVE CARED..

    PUT 65 KIDS OF ANY RACE in a pool meant for no more than 50, and all the folks who already paid a $1000 a family to join / use the facility are rightly mad NOT AT THE KIDS CAMP, but at the manager for trying to lease out the same facilities to two groups of paying members AT THE SAME TIME..

    the kids got kicked out because all those 1000 dollar club members DO PLAN to use the pool this summer, and if you are going to let a ENTIRE SUMMMER CAMP FULL OF KIDS USE IT DAILY, for 1900 bucks, then you can give back the 1000 bucks to each family of four who also intended to use it..

    the adults in charge of this camp ARE TO BLAME also, as turning this into a racial issue shows what they are really about.

    It does not take a genius to figure that if you are running a summer camp for kids, and you have 65 of them on your hands.. NO ONE is going to be able to sell you SEASON-LONG exclusive access to a pool facility for only 1900 bucks, and you NEED EXCLUSIVE ACCESS as a group of 65 kids fills the pool when your group arrives!!

    All the other SMALL GROUPS of families who paid to use it, NOT MONOPOLIZE IT AS A GROUP FACILITY, are not going to welcome you bringing 65 kids in every day at one time– to figure that out, and realize that it is not a racial complaint does not take a genius, but it does TAKE COMMON SENSE, which the club and camp managers both seem to be missing…

  5. vito carisso on July 8th, 2009 9:34 pm


    A full-size regulation OLYMPIC SIZE POOL IS 658,000 gallons

    the Valley View pool is 110,000 gallons, approx six times smaller than ONE olympic pool.

    A Olympic pool, at 658,000 gallons has a MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY OF 250 PEOPLE..

    since the valley view pool is SIX times SMALLER THAN A OLYMPIC POOL, divide the maximum capacity of a olympic pool- 250 people, times ‘6’ =

    you get a maximum capacity adjusted for size at the Valley Swim small pool of 41.6 SWIMMERS MAXIMUM AT ONE TIME…

    SO.. for the entire group of campers to use this 110,000 gallon pool only approx 2/3 of them could fit in the pool at any ONE TIME, as just their camper class alone exceeds the maximum capacity of the pool by nearly 1/3..

    the membership should never have been sold to a group of a size that ALONE maxes out the capacity of the pool, and cannot itself even untilize the pool at one time.. that is why eveyone else jumped out of the pool when all 65 kids jumped in at one time..

    this is not racism.. its stupidity, incompetence, and greed..

  6. Matt Miller on July 8th, 2009 9:48 pm

    John- Surely in 2009 we can expect people to discern between a group of kids sharing the pool and gang-related violence. The outrage is the remark about complexion, not some children looking for a fun time.

  7. number 13 on July 9th, 2009 4:32 am

    It’s a private club and they have the right to admit or deny access to ANYONE they see fit. What they did may be ethically wrong but it is NOT illegal.

  8. trader mike on July 9th, 2009 9:34 am

    OK, so the club should have considered the number of kids arriving at one time…but they have every right to limit the people who attend their private club. I get so tired of hearing people whine and cry about how unfair life can be…well, damn. Do I need to say it? I would not want to be at the club when 60 black kids were swimming there, just as I would not be welcomed if I and 60 other white guys crowded into a black church on Sunday morning (they don’t put “Blacks only” signs outside the door, either).
    Another reason for people to pump their fists at how unfair ol’ whitey is…I have always said, when you point one finger at someone, you have three pointing back at yourself.

  9. Len H. on July 9th, 2009 10:56 am

    You’re creating excuses for ignorance and hatred—This is absolute and undeniable racism.
    “The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately.” “There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion and the atmosphere of the club,”
    No mention of “gallons” or “capacity.”

  10. Angela Bois on July 9th, 2009 12:54 pm

    @John Taylor:

    Children. You’re afraid of children, just because of their skin color. You admitted that it’s about their race, did you not? But they are children, not gang members or ex-cons .They’re children enrolled in a community day camp by their parents, under adult supervision, who had previous arrangements to be there and had paid their membership. You make it sound like a bunch of thugs rushed in and “took over the camp.”

    You say blacks should be more accountable, yet by assuming that a child is as a bad as any convicted criminal just by showing up, you’re really saying “All blacks are criminals, and they can’t be trusted.” That makes this idea of that blacks need to fix their own mess before you’ll trust them utter nonsense. You wouldn’t trust them anyways. You’ve already tried and convicted all blacks, everywhere, even children. You are just saying that to make you sound reasonable when you’re anything but. What this is, is bigotry. And you are a bigot.

    More importantly, you can’t rationalize racism like this. You can’t blame the people you hate for your own hatred. No one makes you hate, That’s your choice. You’re free to be an irrational, ignorant bigot, but at least have the backbone to be accountable for your own hate.

  11. MyName on July 9th, 2009 2:36 pm

    Just what exactly does “no minorities allowed” mean? Minorities are not exclusive to blacks but also to all people who form groups that are less than the maximum.. hence women, Asian, Jewish, Muslim, Hispanic, American Indian, European (whites), etc., the list is long, would all not be allowed… come to think of it, children are minority! Hence if minorities are not allowed in the pool, no kids are allowed, no matter what color! The elderly are also not allowed…

    On the other hand, what struck me in the above essay and the comments after is that the club “sold” temporary passes in a “family club” where full time membership is required. All the anger of the club members should be aimed at the club management for selling temporary passes in a club like this! Yes, a private club, unfortunately, has the right to exclude any types of people but do they have the right to sell temporary passes when they require full time memberships from others to enjoy the facilities?

    So forget about this racial nonsense… black, white, yellow, green, purple, al colors are human.. we all brush our teeth the same way and pull our pants on the same way. There is no such as a “lesser” human and minority simply implies to numbers and not to “types” of people.

    So if anyone should complain, it should be the members of the club.. if I were one of them–thank God I am not–I would file a lawsuit in their name against the club management.

  12. t on July 9th, 2009 4:09 pm

    You know, I was born in one of the most dynamically multi-cultured cities in the entire western hemisphere — Toronto, Canada.

    But I can tell you from experience that whites, due to their not having the cultural framework of experience that your average minority has, simply can’t control their mouths. They have little to no benchmark of the consequences a hurtful remark or behavior causes others. Hardly a day goes by when some high profile person threatens to throttle his entire career because he’s made some dumb insensitive remark. All one has to do is remind themselves of the “Macaca” incident in the U.S. a couple years ago.

    Having said that, this story doesn’t surprise me in the least.

    Just saying.

  13. netizen on July 9th, 2009 7:04 pm

    Here, here for The Valley swim club member who voiced their personal opinion or remark. It’s about time. Why do White people in America continually have to feel guilty about Black people, and walk on eggshells constantly; particularly in the Philadelphia area. If American Blacks would shed their “entitlement” culture, maybe White people wouldn’t be so “upity”. It’s a private swim club…

  14. Black Campers Offered Another Pool: Racism Charges Linger | ChattahBox News Blog on July 9th, 2009 8:25 pm

    […] reported earlier, as soon as the children arrived at the pool, the adult members began pulling their white children […]

  15. terrible on July 11th, 2009 11:01 am

    They invite these childern to the pool, and than tear up the check and tell them they cannot use it anymore. they knew they where black from the start. I can bet it was the neighbors, and the stuffy people.
    That is terrible. What difference does it make what color there skin is, they are people to, that God created.

    I feel sorry for the childern,

  16. Joe Miller on July 11th, 2009 10:48 pm

    I know I sure wouldn’t want them mixing with my kids because if you mix dirty water with clean water,,,you end up with dirty water.

  17. Pool Charged With Racism Decides to Ask Black Campers to Return | ChattahBox News Blog on July 13th, 2009 10:54 am

    […] in booting minority children from the pool. “There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club,” said […]

  18. Mike on July 15th, 2009 11:31 am

    Wow, where are the normal hucksters jessie and al? This is a great opportunity for them….

  19. Mary on July 19th, 2009 5:48 pm

    This comment is for Neitzen and the other idiots who talk about do the math for the size of the pool. I understand about the capacity level of the pool and the fact that the pool was not big enough for everyone. You forget the fact that the blacks paid their money to swim at this pool as well. The fact is that the racist comments were made and the pool attendants told the blacks to leave. Say what you want, but this is racism. Racism is taught by the parents to their children and we are not born to hate someone because of the color of their skin. We all bleed the same color blood and I could see if white peoples blood was yellow, green or any color besides red, which would make you more important or dominate than blacks. This is not all the case. You whites are no better than us blacks. You racist are all ignorant. I personally don’t care whether you like me or not and you can all hate me until you turn blue in the face, but guess what; I am here and I am not going anywhere. So get use to it punks. My God is bigger than you and the Bible states to fear no man for what can man do to me. Nothing that’s what. Continue in your ignorance and you will all go straight to hell where you belong, but I will continue to pray against your ignorance because one day you will all have to be judged by God himself. If you don’t change, I feel for you when this day comes.

    One more thing, why do whites move out of a nice neighborhood when blacks start to move in? This is another thing that is stupid. Haven’t you learn by now that we got money and it spends just like yours does. We can move anywhere you go. Duh!!!!!

  20. Rita R on September 7th, 2009 10:32 pm

    I have just one question – how come there re ONLY BLACK kids in this day camp?

  21. Kids Pool on March 1st, 2011 8:21 pm

    Very nice experience indeed. Those children seems like they really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing this post.

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