Your July 6 front-page article about teen travel programs ["For Teens With Means, Camp Isn't a Cabin -- It's the Caribbean"] implies that our son, Danny Feuer, is a spoiled rich kid routinely gallivanting around the world. To be objective, your report should have noted that all of Danny's trips have been community-service efforts.
Danny has spent his summers clearing trails in Maine, helping to restore an impoverished former mining town in Tennessee, and doing environmental and community service in the Galapagos. He slept in tents one summer, on a church floor the next and on a gym floor the third. Danny participated in these programs because he cares about nature and wanted to protect it. Contrary to your story's implication, several of the programs, including the ones in Maine, cost a small fraction of traditional summer camp tuition.
Your story correctly quotes Danny as saying, "I don't know if anything can top the Galapagos." Yes, our son has been privileged to travel to beautiful places outside of our region. And he appreciates these opportunities. Contrary to your Metro section quotation, though, Danny is not particularly "affluent." He spent part of this summer working to help pay for his current trip.
This story almost looks as if the author had settled on a story line and fit quotes from her sources into her construct. A journalist should be prepared to alter a story based on evidence. That approach gives a truer picture of reality -- and would have made for a richer story here. The author would have let readers know that diverse reasons motivate our teenagers and that idealism is still alive and well among them.
-- Marvin and Debra Feuer