Youth Camps Canada: 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?
    Residence component?
    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
Staffing

  • Essential Positions
    Director
    Counselors
    Counselor in Training Programs
    Specialty staff
  • Qualifications
    Skill set, credentials
    Age Requirements
    Specialty Areas
  • Job Descriptions for all staff: Six Key Elements
    Position Title; Supervising Position; General Responsibilities; Specific Responsibilities; Essential Functions; Qualifications
  • Guidelines for Hiring
    Applicant Pool
    Interview Process
  • Monitoring Performance
    Performance Appraisal
    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
    Handling medications

b) Supervision and Instruction

  • Ratios
    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
    Lunch coverage
    Awareness of camp group size and rest of staff in relation to you
  • Lesson plans
    Curriculum with natural progression for camp activities

c) Training

  • Pre-camp training/orientation
  • In-service Training
  • Sexual Harassment etc.
  • Emergency Response

d) Parent Communication

  • Types of Communication
    Initial program information (marketing)
    Sign offs
    ‘Client’ information (e.g. ‘Parents Survival Guide’)
    Medical Insurance requirements
    Parental sign off
    Parental consent/ waiver
    In case of medical emergency
    Photo permission
    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 machines
  • Missing camper procedures
  • Dealing with the elements (e.g. heat related issues for campers and staff)
  • Emergency Communication protocols
    University; parents
  • 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

  • Insurance
    Camp; participant, travel, outside contractor
    University insurance requirements?
  • Review Labour Laws
    Age requirements
  • Volunteers
  • Harassment
  • Other HR Issues e.g. Social Networking

e) Day Trips

  • Travel Policies
  • Staffing
  • Supervision issues
  • Planning tools

f) Camp Risk Management Audit

WEEK 4: Dealing with Behavioural Issues

Behavioural Issues

  • Camper growth and development
    Strategies to deal with these issues
    Behavioural Characteristics of Children by Stages
    Considerations at camp
  • Differentiating and Understanding Behaviour
    Desired behaviour
    Undesirable behaviour
    Why children act out
  • Behaviour Management
    Prevention
    Setting expectations
    Creating environment of respect
    Give youth tools to succeed
    Re-direction
    Appropriate consequences
    Inappropriate consequences
  • Bullying Prevention and Management
    What is bullying?
    What skills do kids need?
  • Behaviour Incident Report Forms
    Need to document
    Need to communicate
    Parents as Partners, Communicating early and often
    When is a child’s behavior outside of the scope of your care?

The ‘Concussions Training Package’ developed by SportRisk has been a great online training tool for our recreation participants and staff.

The material presented in the animated videos is easy to follow and highly engaging. Administration of the training package is easy – it’s all done online.

One of the great features for us is the ‘tracking tool’ which records to a spreadsheet each participant’s completion of the training, which in our fast paced environment is key.  This training package has been a great addition to our staff orientation. We also appreciate institutional support and endorsement of the training package through Risk Manager Merv Dahl!

Cary Primeau

Campus Recreation Coordinator
University of Saskatchewan

For more information on our Online Courses,
contact us now!