Security: Welcome to 2004

Long before the horror of 9/11, camp directors have been addressing issues of security since the inception of organized camping.

The tragedy of 9/11 simply shook us into reviewing, updating and improving upon those plans and procedures which had been in effect for generations.

Every year, following the guidelines established by the American Camping Association (ACA) and implementing details unique to each facility, camp directors review and train staff in the areas of security, emergency planning, emergency prevention and response, and so on.

At Pocono Ridge, we train staff each year in the areas of lifesaving, CPR, and basic First Aid. We certify people for our high/low ropes courses, our archery/riflery programs and our waterfront/water-ski teams.

We hire security guards to patrol our facilities and safeguard our children, even if sometimes that means safeguarding children from themselves and other children.

In recent years we have joined many camps by installing security gates. All this to prevent accidents and to be prepared in the event an emergency does arise.

Padding Security

Every four years, camps who choose to be accredited by the ACA allow their colleagues (who are, in a sense, their competitors) to perform an elaborate series of checks and balances, tests as it were, covering all aspects of their camp program as related to security, emergency planning and preparation, safety for their children, their facility and the communities it serves, the list goes on…

And as technology grows and adapts itself to the camping industry, we, as well as our campers and parents, benefit.

Well, at Pocono Ridge we’re very excited about a new security system we’re implementing this season called Campcast.

Though Campcast is specific to SmartPants Media, one of our vendor partners, the concept — however you choose to pursue it and with whomever you choose to use — is the key.

We feel it will provide Pocono Ridge the opportunity for all of those involved with our program to satisfy their security needs, physically, mentally and emotionally. We are so thrilled to incorporate this type of technology into our facility because it not only addresses the concerns of security, but it also helps with marketing.

Campcast is a program which allows us (camp directors/owners) to view specific areas of camp via an Internet TV station. It allows us access to remote areas of camp, entry points and property lines, from the comfort of our desk chairs, even if that chair is located at our winter office location. How? By broadcasting from various cameras to a receiving box which then stores the camera footage for up to 30 days, we can then view it in real time or at our leisure.

This same footage is downloaded and stored on SmartPants’ main server for use at a later time or to archive; say for use on our camp video yearbook.

During the winter months, the video system allows us the ability to check our camp facility, reporting back to us just as if it were a staff employee, only one that has a digital movie memory.

And what really was a selling factor for us was that this same technology can allow our parents to peek into Pocono Ridge, at our will, during the summer months.

Now I know what you must be thinking, “Big Brother,” right? Well my answer to that is that it all depends on your perspective and how you choose to utilize this security.

This type of system allows you — the camp director or your assignee — the convenience of watching your borders, and securing your facility both during the summer and winter seasons, and it is also capable of allowing your parents, through an independently-registered and password-protected Web site, opportunity to view camp via strategically placed cameras.

Imagine the nervous first-time parent or the former camper turned parent who wishes they could still attend camp… Now, picture the satisfaction that same parent feels when they see their child eat breakfast in the camp dining room or win a soccer game during color war.

Truth is that an Internet-integrated video system brings no more problems with it than technology of yesterday. Remember when we saw the telephone come to camp, or today’s current form of necessary communication, e-mail? How about my favorite, the asked not to bring, which always stays hidden until arrival at the camp’s first amusement park outing cell phone?

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Related posts:

  1. Seven Steps to Security
  2. 2004 Structure Report
  3. 2004 Skatepark Report
  4. Where To Start
  5. Preparing Parents
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