Youth Camps

Summer Camps Checklist

April 10, 2011

Ian McGregor, Ph.D.
President, McGregor & Associates

Since Summer Camps participants are minors, these unique programs should automatically be classified as ‘high-risk’. Since the standard of care for minors is very high (the reasonable parent test), program planners need to pay extra attention and sound risk management principles incorporated into all planning efforts.

The following checklist is designed to alert professionals to the key risk management areas that need to be addressed when planning a Summer Camps program. For more detail in each of the identified areas, consult the new text: ‘SportRisk: Risk Management Planning Resource’ .

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Collecting Medical Information for Camp Programs

April 10, 2011

Debbie Marinoff Shupe
Manager, Recreation Services
McMaster University

Many university recreation and athletics programs are in the camp ‘business’. For a whole host of reasons, it’s a great idea — from summer employment for university students, to community building, to fund raising – the benefits to the university are numerous. Are you prepared for this risky business?

When parents register their children in a university camp program, they have high expectations (and rightfully so!). They expect that children will be safe, have fun and learn lots of new skills. They also expect that camp staff will be able to handle any medical emergency that comes their way.

There are many important elements related to running a camp. Collection of campers’ medical information and addressing the first aid needs of campers are just two of these elements.

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Implementing a Missing Child Procedure within a Campus Recreation Department

April 10, 2011

Jonathan Hart
Assistant Director of Campus Recreation
Facilities and Operations
Georgia Institute of Technology

What would you do if a child was reported missing in your facility? Would your staff be prepared and able to react to this unimaginable scenario and possible life-threatening situation? Before you are faced with having to assemble a ‘search party’ as a means of finding the missing child and reuniting them with their parent and/or guardian, consider employing the following information to assist with safeguarding your facility, programs, and aiding the staff against the threat of child abduction.

Last spring, we (Campus Recreation Risk Management Committee) were charged with developing and implementing an effective protocol that would enable us to properly train/instruct staff (mostly students) to effectively handle and react when a child is reported missing. We discovered a national program called Code Adam (named after Adam Walsh who was abducted and brutally murdered in 1981) to assist in our pursuits.

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Developing a ‘Safety Training Grid’

April 07, 2011

Ian McGregor, Ph.D.
President, McGregor & Associates

Training employees in various safety protocols is a critical part of any department’s risk management plan. The challenges are numerous:

  • Significant number of part-time student employees
  • High turnover of employees
  • Significant number of training protocols to cover
  • Consistency of training between program units

Some departments adopt a ‘centralized’ approach to safety training i.e. all ‘essential’ training is coordinated centrally, usually through one person or a training committee (with individual program units responsible for any training specific to their program e.g. aquatics ‘in-service’ training). Other departments require each functional unit to be responsible for their own training (which potentially results in inconsistencies within the department unless someone is monitoring or tracking overall training efforts).

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