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
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)
- Missing 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
WEEK 4: Optional Week
- Field trips
Vehicles; drivers; passengers
Emergency response plan (en route/off-site)
b) Residential Camps
- Urban vs. rural
- Residences policies and procedures
- Supervision issues
- Additional programming