A FURORE has erupted in Dargo after reports emerged of children on a supervised camp who munched on cooked dog testicles.
The 'boot camp', run by Dargo Neighbourhood House, was held at Crooked River from September 22 to 24, with children as young as six participating.
A report in the town's Dargo Bush Bulletin by one of the adult supervisors on the camp, Kate Treasure, from Stratford, outlined how she "jokingly" cooked the testicles over a fire "whilst humouring the kids about them being a bush delicacy (assured by the vet's opinion that they were safe to eat)".
"After they were cut up for a look inside I made it well known that in fact I thought eating them would be yuck!" Ms Treasure wrote "and I had no intention of partaking, however some of our Bear Grylls Adventurers decided to chance the taste test."
"Much like when children eat anything, the reactions were varied."
The testicles became available during an after lunch activity where a veterinarian castrated a dog.
"... most watched and some were even involved in the procedure of a dog castration," Ms Treasure reported.
Sources who contacted the Gippsland Times after the incident said children reportedly vomited afterwards, a claim denied by organisers.
The incident has outraged some local people who have labelled it as disgusting.
Three have contacted the Times, one describing it as "an act of downright stupidity".
"If this gets out into the wider community it trashes Dargo as a township," the angry resident, who asked not to be named, added.
However Dargo Neighbourhood House co-ordinator, Cathie Riley, said the incident had been blown out of proportion and was just a bit of fun.
"They weren't eaten," she said.
"They put them in their mouths and spat them out."
Ms Riley said she had been running the boot camp for seven years.
"Every year we take the kids to boot camp," she said.
"We fundraise all year for it.
"And now people are going to do this to me.
"It's just not fair," she said tearfully.
"It's a really good boot camp couple of people want to turn it into something it's not."
Ms Riley said there were 14 children on the camp aged between six and 13, and the one child who did vomit had not been involved in the incident, and had been ill the week before.
She said there were five adults present during the incident including the veterinarian, a child care worker, nurse, the property owner and a mother of one of the children.
"All those people were there when this was happening.
"They were fine with it," Ms Riley said.
"This has been completely taken out of context.
"It was just all in fun.
"The kids thought it was hilarious."