Do you assume your child’s camp is safe? Important questions every parent needs to ask……Every summer if we are lucky we send our children off to what we think will be a fun and safe summer. Why do we assume the camp we chose for our kids will be safe? Have we asked the appropriate questions that would give us confidence in the camp? Most parents report being more concerned with what activities their children will be experiencing then the camps risk assessment for safety.
But if you had prior knowledge that the camp you are sending your child to had numerous accidents, revolving door of counselors through the years and a counselor that had harmed a child – wouldn’t you want to know? I think we all can agree that we would want to know and most parents having that information would choose to send their child to a different camp….Yet we asked a number of mothers what made you sign your kid up to that particular camp – the answers: his/her friend was going, great sports program, emphasis on tennis, my friend said it was great.We spend more time trying to find out the safety rating of the car we drive then we do the safety of the camp we are sending our precious children to.
We want to challenge you to take the safety of your child to a new level by asking the director of the camp the following questions:Are criminal background checks performed on all your employees? Is each person checked through the National Sex offender registry? Do you conduct interviews and reference checks on all employees? How do you screen for possible sex offenders? During your interview process do you discuss boundaries – appropriate or inappropriate Touches? Do you offer your employee’s clear policies about sexual misconduct and consequences – are they in an employee handbook? What steps are you taking to decrease the risk of sexual abuse at your camp? What steps are you taking to decrease the risk of bullying at camp? What type of training do you offer your staff? Do you offer training to staff to prevent sexual abuse and bullying? Are you licensed by the state? Your children deserve to go to a camp that takes their personal safety as seriously as you do.
So take the time to ask your Camp Director these questions, so you can be satisfied and confident that the camp you are sending your child to is doing everything they can to ensure your child’s safety. We owe it to our children to send them to a camp we feel confident has done its best to educate and train their staff on prevention education so that your child will have a safe and happy summer. After all, don’t you think your children are worth it?