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6 Key Questions a Parent Should Ask of a Camp

As you are evaluating camps for your children, make sure to ask some specific questions of the camp to ensure the camp takes abuse prevention seriously.

What are the camps abuse prevention policies and procedures?

Answers to look for:

  • They have a Staff Code of Conduct they can share with you that includes
    • Limitation of one-on-one interactions
    • Policies about electronic communication

How does the camp screen counselors and counselors-in-training?

Background checks are industry standard, so they must be done. However, most offenders don’t have a criminal history. For counselors-in-training, most juvenile records are sealed, so a background check will not reveal important information.

Answers to look for:

  • Camps should use other screening methods – like interviews and reference checks – designed to assess for abuse risk.

What abuse prevention training do counselors and counselors-in-training receive?

Answers to look for:

  • Training in how to spot and respond to red flag behaviors and policy violations
  • Training in how to prevent and respond to youth-to-youth sexual activity

How do you ensure consistent camper and counselor supervision?

Answers to look for:

  • Campers are supervised at all times. The camp maintains the rule of three or more – there should never be one counselor alone with one camper. If for some reason this happens, the counselor is trained to report it immediately.
  • Counselors are supervised by a lead staff who checks in randomly with the cabin to make sure counselors are following the correct supervision procedures.
  • Specific procedures for monitoring shower times, bathrooms, transition times, free time, and night activities.
  • Counselors-in-training are not responsible for the supervision of campers, but instead, assist counselors in group activities.

How do counselors and campers report something that makes them feel uncomfortable?

Answers to look for:

  • Counselors and campers are provided with multiple ways, including anonymous ways, to report any concerns.

Is your camp Accredited by Praesidium and ACA?

Answer to look for:

  • Yes!