Youth Camps: Course Outline
WEEK 1: Structure and Philosophy
a) Camp Assessment
What is your camp philosophy?
- Fun vs. revenue generator vs. community relations – or combo?
What Type of Camp Will/Do You Offer?
- Types of camps
Day camp vs. Week camp?
Sport; recreation activity?
Pure Academic camp (e.g. Mini-University) or activity camp with academic component?
- Program offerings
Age Groups/population served
How young/ how old?
How do you package offerings (e.g. pool time for all?)
b) Camp Operational Structure
- Essential Positions
Counselor in Training Programs
Skill set, credentials
- Job Descriptions for all staff: Six Key Elements
Position Title; Supervising Position; General Responsibilities; Specific Responsibilities; Essential Functions; Qualifications
- Guidelines for Hiring
- Monitoring Performance
Guidelines for Firing
c) Camp Program Audit
WEEK 2: Camps Management
a) Data Collection
- Collecting, securing and storing documents
Electronic vs. paper
Securing confidential documents e.g. medical docs
Storing documents e.g. consent forms; permission forms
How long do you store material?
- Participant Documentation
Medical Information Form
Allergies; other Medical Issues
Medications and medication scheduling
Plan for storing and dispensing meds
Who reviews forms?
Security of Forms
Tie-in with Emergency Response Plan
- Medical Issues
b) Supervision and Instruction
What is your camper to counselor ratio?
Investigate state/provincial guidelines for childcare.
American Camping Association standards
Are ratios different for camp setting or activity offered?
- Protocol in program area
Example of waterfront activities, what is expected of staff
What is staff role with ‘expert/certified’ staff at activity site
- Pre and post Camp supervision
- Buddy Checks/participant matching
Supervision during transition times between camp activities
Awareness of camp group size and rest of staff in relation to you
- Lesson plans
Curriculum with natural progression for camp activities
- Pre-camp training/orientation
- In-service Training
- Sexual Harassment etc.
- Emergency Response
d) Parent Communication
- Types of Communication
Initial program information (marketing)
‘Client’ information (e.g. ‘Parents Survival Guide’)
Medical Insurance requirements
Parental sign off
Parental consent/ waiver
In case of medical emergency
Special instructions (e.g. medications; behavior)
Permission to dispense medications
e) Program Ideas & Resources
- Cool Program Ideas
- Staff Manuals
- Checklists (e.g. Registration Day; Sign in/out; Body Counts etc.)
d) Camp Management Audit
WEEK 3: Managing Risk; Day Trips
a) Emergency Response Plan
- Procedures in place?
Central facility role; camp staff role
- Role of Clinic/ AT’s (if applicable)
- Who needs to be trained in what?
- Emergency equipment
First Aid kits (location and stocking)
AED machinesMissing camper procedures
- Dealing with the elements (e.g. heat related issues for campers and staff)
- Emergency Communication protocols
- Accident reporting
Accident Report Forms
- Follow-up procedures
University; parents; camper
b) Security Issues
- Sign in-out
- Background checks
- Data collection
c) Facilities & Equipment
Are Facilities and Equipment appropriate, adequate, safe?
- Age appropriateness
Modifying facilities for different age groups
- Shared usage
Ensuring facilities are safely split into sections for shared activity use
- Specific use of area
Using specific use facilities for activities not designed to handle
- Attractive nuisances and Facility hazards eliminated
Ensuring these are identified and isolated (e.g. trampolines)
- Inspections of Facilities and equipment
Implementing an inspection protocol and inspection frequency
- Equipment checkout procedures
- Purpose of product/manufacture guidelines for use
Modification of equipment
- Emergency equipment in place (covered in more detail in ERP section)
- Communication Equipment in place and functional
Walkie-talkies; cell phones; megaphones
Staff communication protocols
d) Human Resources Issues
Camp; participant, travel, outside contractor
University insurance requirements?
- Review Labour Laws
- Other HR Issues e.g. Social Networking
e) Camp Risk Management Audit
f) Day Trips
- Field trips
- Vehicles; drivers; passengers
- Travel policies
- Emergency response plan (en route/off-site)
- Planning Tools
WEEK 4: Behavioral Issues
1. Camper Growth and Development
a. Developmental Characteristics of Children by Stages
b. Behavioral Characteristics of Children by Stages
c. Special considerations at camp
2. Desirable Behavior
a. Appropriate behavior
3. Undesirable Behavior
a. Inappropriate behavior
4. Reasons for Undesirable Behavior
a. Why children act out
b. How to avoid it
5. Behavior Management
i. Setting expectations
ii. Creating environment of respect
iii. Give youth tools to succeed
i. Strategies for redirecting undesirable behavior
c. Consequences & Policy
i. Appropriate consequences
ii. Inappropriate consequences
6. Bullying Prevention and Management
a. What is bullying?
b. What skills do kids need?
7. Accident/Incident Report Forms
a. Need to document
b. Need to communicate
c. When to call home?
d. When is a child’s behavior outside of the scope of your care?