In the past decade, sexual abuse allegations in camping contexts have received significant press and national attention.
Concerned parents are asking camps and conference centers:
- “What are you doing to protect my child at this camp?”
- “What should camps be doing to address this risk?”
Why are children at risk at camp?
Camp safety is only as strong as its weakest link when it comes to sexual abuse, an unpardonable failure in in the eyes of parents. To address this risk, every camp should have a system of protection in place, as opposed to a single screening or training element.
While many camps address safety first and foremost in their planning, others fail to address the danger posed by adults or other campers who have the wrong motive for camp involvement.
Campers spend time with staff members and counselors, and are taught to respect and obey their counselors. This relationship allows staff members to supervise and instruct campers, essential in the camp environment. Many campers grow to respect, trust and idolize camp counselors and staff members. Campers are commonly taught to demonstrate ‘camp loyalty’, putting the camp and fellow campers over personal needs or concerns.
While these attitudes are valuable and largely healthy, they create risk when combined with activities like showering, changing clothes and overnight stays. Additionally, the number of concealed and hard-to-find locations at camp create risk for campers.
What should camps do to prevent sexual abuse?
MinistrySafe provides Camps and Conference Centers with state-of-the-art tools and trainings created by attorneys who litigate sexual abuse cases, enabling camps to stay abreast of evolving state reporting, training and screening requirements.
MinistrySafe Camp and Conference Center resources include:
- Camp-specific Sexual Abuse Awareness Training, endorsed by CCCA and American Camp Association
- Sample forms for employee and volunteer applications, references and interviews as part of the Camp Skillful Screening Process
- Camp Safety Policy and Procedure forms that dovetail with Camp-Specific Sexual Abuse Awareness Training
- Background Checks adapted by client to fit position
- The MinistrySafe online Control Panel, giving camp administrators the ability to easily monitor the
5-Part Safety System
The attorneys at MinistrySafe are national experts in sexual abuse prevention at camp. Christian Camp and Conference Association has joined with MinistrySafe to offer CamperProtect, an initiative aimed at equipping our member camps with best practices and protocols to reduce the risk of sexual abuse at camp.
Christian Camp & Conference Association
Are you ready to prevent sexual abuse at your camp or conference center? Become a MinistrySafe member.