A St. Charles mother has a warning for anyone thinking about sending a kid to camp.

She said she was left with thousands of dollars in medical bills after her kid was injured at a city run summer camp.

So why was she left holding the bag? And how can you make sure the same thing doesn't happen to you?

Kara Elms thought her son was in the safest place he could be.

"Everyone said it was a great camp and their kids really learned a lot. i mean it's run by the police! Who more can you trust then the police?" Elms said.

She's talking about C.O.P.S: A summer camp run by the city of St Charles.

According to their website, the camp is designed to provide children with the opportunity to learn about the duties of police officers and firefighters.

Elms said her son loved it, and a few days in, he was excited to go on a tour of the St. Charles police station.

The campers were ushered into a crowded hallway on their way to the tactical room.

"There's 40 kids all cramped up in this small area, they're asked to take off their shoes. As he was taking off his shoes, he was bumped and fell onto the dolly," Elms said.

Elms said camp staff put her son into an ambulance and sent him to the closest hospital. She said she even arrived at the hospital before the ambulance did.

Ultimately, her son required six staples in his leg. He was alright, but nearly a year later, Elms says her finances haven't recovered.

"Out of pocket bills were around $3000. It was a $1,000 ambulance ride, then $2000 in medical bills. Since he was sent to an out of network provider, the bills were a lot higher," Elms said.

It wasn't long before the city of St Charles told her they weren't responsible for those medical costs.

"They have no insurance. They're self insured which means they pay out for their claims if they think there's a valid claim. They also brought up sovereign immunity which means that a government entity can't be held responsible if a negligent act occurs," Elms said.

Elms said they also referenced a consent form which she had to sign before her son could attend the camp.

Most all summer camps require them. They authorize staff to get medical attention for a child in the event of an emergency at the parents expense.

But also in this form is a section that asks for the parents 'Hospital Preference'. It's something Elms says was completely disregarded when her son was injured, and it ended up costing her a lot of money.

"I wrote on this consent form i want my son sent to a certain network of hospitals. He should've been sent there. It wasn't critical. They could've called me. I could've taken him myself," Elms said.

Now as Elms researches camps for her son this summer, she wants other parents to be aware of what they may be signing up for.

"You need to be aware if your child goes to a camp run by the government, you're not covered under their insurance. You're going to be paying the medical bills," she said.

Representatives for the City of St. Charles did not return our calls for comment.

Elms said she plans on taking her fight to the city council.