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Summer Camp: Duty of Care as a 4-H Staff Member Connie Coutellier, consultant, author, trainer and member of the 4-H State Camp Advisory Committee.

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Presentation on theme: "Summer Camp: Duty of Care as a 4-H Staff Member Connie Coutellier, consultant, author, trainer and member of the 4-H State Camp Advisory Committee."— Presentation transcript:

1 Summer Camp: Duty of Care as a 4-H Staff Member Connie Coutellier, consultant, author, trainer and member of the 4-H State Camp Advisory Committee

2 Creating a Quality Camp Experience There are hundreds of tasks that go into the plan to create a fun, enjoyable and safe experience for the youth staff, volunteers and participants. The following are some true and false statements that introduce 10 items that I feel a 4-H advisor or program rep should be aware of when volunteers are planning a camp or any outing. The Camp Safety Guidebook (ANR Environmental Health and Safety) has a complete listing regulatory and 4-H YDP requirements you should also be aware of.

3 When accepting a camper registration 4-H is assuming a legal duty to protect the children in their care. (T or F)

4 The “Standard of Care” for camps The Standard of Care is "the way it ought to be done". The degree of care a reasonable or prudent practitioner of the same specialty would utilize under similar conditions.

5 How “in Loco Parentis” applies to camp The term in loco parentis, “in place of the parent,” applies to any time the entity assumes the responsibility for a minor.

6 The majority of law suits against camps have to do with negligent hiring, training, or supervision of camp staff or campers. (T or F)

7 The expectations for hiring, selecting and appointing camp staff and volunteers A yearly screening process should be in place for all youth and adults that are on the camp staff. This usually includes qualifications, applications, references, interviews, background checks, and job descriptions. All staff should sign an agreement that has camp rules and policies that include personal conduct and harassment policies.

8 The key risk management issues that should be addressed in a training plan Job expectations and acceptable job performance Camp purpose and desired outcomes and how they are implemented in program Safety considerations Camper ratios and supervision expectations Provisions for staff that miss some or all training Emergency procedures and expected roles staff are to play Prevention and reporting of all types of abuse –physical, sexual, emotional and verbal Verification of skills Staff and camper interactions

9 4-H youth staff that have had training can make decisions and know when to ask for help, therefore, they do not need the supervision of an adult. (T or F)

10 The supervision plan for volunteers and youth staff Training for those in supervisory roles Clear lines of supervision Techniques for identifying, reinforcing or correcting youth staff or a volunteer’s behavior as appropriate Techniques for handling actions or attitudes resulting from immaturity, inexperience, stress, fatigue, poor judgment and expectations beyond an individuals abilities

11 How adequate the supervision of participants is Techniques to create a physically and emotionally safe environment Appropriately handling socially sensitive issues that may come up when supervising campers Techniques for reinforcing positive behaviors Understand behavior clues and possible prevention strategies Determining what issues or behaviors should be referred to their supervisor Meaning and expectations of “on duty” Understand how to encourage courtesies of group living

12 The knowledge of and the expectations for appropriate behavior and the consequences of inappropriate behavior are important for staff but not necessary for campers. (T or F)

13 Whether teens supervising campers understand the importance of being a role model Unique status –neither rights of parent nor responsibilities of adult leadership, yet it exerts tremendous influence on campers. Children tend to imitate the behavior of those who are important to them, without judging whether the behavior is positive or negative. Appropriate and inappropriate actions in front of campers Parent expectations of those caring for their children

14 Whether campers know what appropriate and inappropriate behavior is and why Campers who help set their own rules are more likely to follow them and help hold their group accountable for the agreed upon rules. Children need to understand limits and structure and feel supported in finding solutions Youth may be from a variety of backgrounds and family patterns, in a new setting where they don’t understand the accepted behavior or where they can try different behaviors.

15 Most 4-H advisors and program reps know how the leadership in their camps will react in a crisis situation. (T or F)

16 Whether the leadership acknowledge the reality of risks rather than using denial as a substitute for thoughtful planning “The leadership in the camp has been there a long time and know what to do.” “It won’t happen in my (or in a 4-H) camp”

17 Who is in charge in case of a crisis and know and if they are able to: Assume command Assess the situation – injuries, level, alerts Implement the emergency procedures Account for staff and/or participants Notify and interface with outside emergency personnel Determine response strategies Order an evacuation, if needed Oversee all incident response activities Notify 4-H advisor or program rep Declare situation is stabilized and emergency is "over" P articipate in follow-up strategies and prepare required documentation Everyone else involved knows what to do, understands their responsibility for themselves and others, and has discussed and practiced the emergency procedures.

18 Resources you should be aware of: The 4-H Camp Safety Guidebook developed by ANR Environmental Health and Safety Office Counselor-in-Training: Encouraging Youth Development Outcomes in Camp developed by the 4-H State Camp Advisory Committee State 4-H Camp Risk Management Workbook developed by the 4-H Camping Task Force

19 Questions? Connie Coutellier

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