Safer Online Interaction

We all know that it’s important for camp professionals to strengthen their relationships with the children they serve. It’s fun to keep in touch with kids after camp is over–and it’s tempting to turn to social media such as Facebook. After all, teens love to chatter on Facebook and they are savvy about interacting through technology. But “Facebook friending” a minor isn’t necessarily appropriate for camp staff. And it can be legally risky. The folks at West Bend Insurance say …


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2 comments on “Safer Online Interaction

  1. Toby Foote on said:

    I like the Facebook subscription model, it’s a lot like “following” on Twitter. But it’s the personally messaging directly from a camper that can get you in trouble. We, as instructors, want to help campers, but it’s critical to work through the camper’s parent, as to make sure they know about all the communication that happens. Setting up a Tech Camp Fan Page has worked the best for us (as everything is public), and keeping a strict “no-friending on Facebook” policy between instructors and campers.

    • John Oliver on said:

      I think you’re right Toby that using a Facebook Page to communicate with campers (and alumni, donors, and parents) is the ideal way to encourage healthy communication. As long as counselors and other staff abide by the “no friending” policy the possibility for private communication is almost zero. Not to mention the fact that Facebook Pages are becoming more and more robust.

      In my experience though, many camp administrators are extremely hesitant to cut off all communication from an individual counselor, which is where I think the Facebook Subscribe feature could be a viable option.

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