Youth Camps

Course Instructors
Melisa Yestrau: Director, Science Venture, University of Victoria
Robin Bowman: Senior Associate, SportRisk
Alison Fisher: Camp Director, Recreation Services, University of Regina
Jenifer Spencer: Manager of Outreach, ACTUA


Course Goal

This online course is designed for Campus Recreation professionals who have direct responsibility for Youth Camps. The primary goal of the course is to provide Camp Administrators with the knowledge and skills needed to manage the challenging, multi-faceted (and high risk) Youth Camps program — irrespective of the type of camp being planned (sport, activity, academic etc.).

Course Description

The Standard of Care required for Youth Camps is very high — mostly because you are dealing with minors. While some of the risk management issues discussed are identical to those handled on a day-to-day basis in other Campus Recreation programs, many issues are unique to Youth Camps — e.g. residence camps, camp counselors, employee background screening, medical screening for allergies, behavioral issues.

This course will focus on how to develop an operational ‘framework’ to help organize and manage safe Youth Camps. The framework provided focuses on the key areas: Structure & Philosohpy; Camps Management; Managing Risk and Day Trips; Behavioral Issues.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Develop a framework to effectively manage Youth Camps.
  2. Assess current and future camps from a risk management perspective.
  3. Assess appropriateness of facilities and equipment for camp activities.
  4. Learn the importance of supervision ratios and lesson plans.
  5. Determine which staff to hire and what qualifications they need.
  6. Learn the importance of employee screening and training.
  7. Implement an effective medical screening program for camp participants.
  8. Develop an effective Youth Camps Handbook.
  9. Communicate effectively with your key clients — the parents.
  10. Understand the key risk management issues impacting Youth Camps
  11. Learn to address the key travel risks if Day Trips are offered.
  12. Develop strategies to deal with campers exhibiting behavioral issues.

Course Length

This is a 4 week course. Course work and assignments should take approximately 5 hours per week.

Course Features

  • Online format means students work at their own speed, in their own time
  • Webinars used to deliver online ‘lectures’ – also incorporate student Q&A
  • Small class size maximizes class interactions
  • Course participants establish a network with colleagues from across North America
  • Results-oriented assignments are based on real department situations
  • Certificate of Completion’ issued to all participants who successfully complete the course (you must complete all assignments and projects)

Course Text

While there is no course text, the ACA book ‘Basic Camp Management’ is highly recommended. Reading material will be provided.

Who is Course aimed at?

The course is aimed primarily at full time professionals who are relatively new to camps and looking to implement a simple, practical and doable Youth Camps framework.  For more seasoned professionals, the course provides an opportunity to audit your program or, through sharing and interaction with classmates, explore ways to improve and better manage their current program. There will be extensive networking opportunities, with ‘real’ project assignments being geared towards Youth Camps issues specific to your campus.

Course Outline

Next course runs February 2020  (dates TBA)

Maximum course registration: 16

Register NOW to secure your place!
To Register – click ‘Add to Cart’ button below. Your course payment confirms your registration.
Fee: $495 USD

To get more information contact Ian McGregor directly at

The ‘Negligence Awareness Webinar’ is an exceptionally valuable tool for disseminating vital information to a large number of people. Using the tracking options of the Webinar allows us the capability to make certain that all of our full-time, part-time and student staff have been given the same information and training. The Webinar is a great way to reduce some of the fears and anxiety associated with risks, while providing a fresh sense of awareness.

Scott Harper

Assistant Director, Risk Management and Informal Recreation
The University of Alabama

For more information on our Online Courses,
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