Summer Camp Safety
Hosting a camp this summer? If so, please read the following tips to ensure a safe and fun time for all.
The first step in planning your program is to find the right people. Whether hiring temporary workers or seeking volunteers, screen all applicants. Conduct an interview and ask the candidate for at least three references. Provide the candidate with a list of expectations and requirements for the job.
Background Checks and Safe Environment Training
Once accepted for the position, all staff and volunteers must complete the appropriate safe environment training and background checks should be completed. Please contact the Office of Background Screening for more information.
When a program is held in a parish building other than a school, the pastor is responsible for developing emergency procedures, with assistance from his staff. Post procedures in a prominent place, along with emergency phone numbers and the directions to the nearest hospital emergency room. Require all staff/volunteers with cell phones to program the phone numbers for the local police and fire department into their phones.
At least two staff members or volunteers who are present onsite during the camp should be trained to administer CPR and epinephrine auto-injectors.
Conduct training in fire safety procedures and protocols. Be sure all staff/volunteers know what to do in the event of a fire and how to guide children, the elderly and the disabled to safety. When a program operates in a building that is regularly used as a school, follow the school’s existing fire protocols. Students with special needs should be assigned an individual to assist them.
Fire drills are a good opportunity to identify those who require extra assistance. Always take daily attendance and, in the event of an evacuation, take the roster with you so that you may account for all students.
Be sure you have a plan in place to for children who are at serious risk when exposed to particular foods and/or allergenic substances. Be careful of the materials you use for crafts as food allergens can appear in non-dietary sources. Finger paint, for example, may contain wheat and milk. Empty egg cartons may contain traces of egg. Download a flyer with information about potential food allergens in school activities:Download Flyer
Arrival / Dismissal
Provide parents with written instructions regarding parking procedures and the arrival and dismissal of children. If a child is released early, the individual picking up the child should be authorized by a parent/guardian to do so. Be sure to have authorization in writing. Staff should not transport children who are not their own to and from the camp in their personal vehicles.
Staff must maintain all walkways, stairs, entrances, exits and driveways. Periodically inspect these areas to be sure they are in good repair and free from debris.
Use of Outside Vendors
If using third party vendors, either to supply food or to provide entertainment, always obtain a contract and a Certificate of Insurance that names the parish/school, Pastor, the Archdiocese of Boston, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley, a Corporate Sole, as additional insured.
All third party vendors must complete all requirements in regards to child protection, including criminal background checks, safe environment training, signed code of conduct and application with references.
- Children are less likely to drink fluids during play – they’re too busy having fun. Closely monitor children to ensure they take frequent water breaks, preferably in shaded areas. Require all children to bring their own water bottles.
- Avoid serving juice or carbonated and caffeinated drinks.
- Try to plan outdoor activities for the coolest parts of the day.
- Be sure staff/volunteers recognize the signs of heat illness. One of the first signs is muscle cramping, but be familiar with all the signs and symptoms. See the CDC website for more information. Equip students with the proper gear for the games you are playing; make sure the gear is clean and in good condition.
- Know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion. If you suspect a concussion, seek medical help immediately. See the CDC website on concussions.
Immediately report any injury or accident. Please do the following:
- See that medical assistance is provided immediately.
- Obtain the name and address/telephone number of injured person, or person claiming property damage.
- Make note of what occurred, as well as the injuries and property damage.
- Obtain names of any witnesses.
- Obtain photographs of the accident site.
You may be asked to fill out one or more of the following forms:
If an employee is injured, whether the employee will lose time from work or not, it is imperative that the incident be reported as soon as possible. The law mandates deadlines in which to deny or accept claims. Claims which are reported late may result in fines from the Department of Industrial Accidents which would be levied against your organization.
A.I.M. Mutual, our claims administrator, accepts first report claim notices twenty four hours a day through three methods: telephone, internet and fax. When reporting a claim, you will be asked for our policy number. The policy number, effective March 31, 2017, is: 3000001012017.
Report the claim to A.I.M. immediately:
Telephone number: 866-270-3357
Fax number: 781-270-5599