Seven Steps to Security

For example, the shoreline might be identified as a series of potential internal access points. However, it may be possible to supervise the entire shoreline from one or two points using a videocam technology (see Security: Welcome to 2004, by Shellie Santay Visinski, Camp Business, May/June 2004) thereby limiting the need to utilize an excessive number of staff to police the shoreline.

Other strategies for the shoreline would include No Trespassing signage that is clearly visible from the water, shoreline lighting that provides reasonable deterrent illumination at night and shoreline landscaping that deters or prohibits access, except at certain points where the shoreline is monitored.

Also, create strategies that manage all types of camp visitors in appropriate ways. For instance, agents who make deliveries may not be accepted unless they have called ahead and/or they follow a regular delivery pattern (mail, food, supplies, etc.).

All authorized visitors are to be held to the same regulations, and all unauthorized visitors are to be managed in a consistent manner (see also Steps Two and Four).

Outcome (Step Three): Responding to the charge to create common strategies, the staff will establish two complete sets of strategies to address the safety risks of access and the safety risks of visitors.

Maintain an additional list of safety risks that offer unique or individual challenges that are not easily or adequately addressed by your common strategies for both campus access and visitors.

Step Four: Analyzing the lists created in Step Three, develop comprehensive safety risk management plans that address all aspects of campus safety.

Where common strategies can be used, they may be given a logical priority in the creation and implementation of a comprehensive master plan (Step Four) and in the implementation of a comprehensive master plan (Step Five).

However, regardless of the challenge, every identified safety risk must be made manageable in these plans. From these individual comprehensive safety risk management plans, camp policies and protocols should be detailed.

For instance, now that you have identified all the camp’s access points and created a listing of individual means and common strategies to manage the access points, the staff needs to determine through analysis and prioritization the best way to successfully meet these means and strategies.

Whereas implementation costs will often become a factor of prioritization, camps should always consider any additional costs as an investment into the operation. Frankly, if the camp cannot afford to maintain a safe environment for campers, it is time to close.

Outcomes (Step Four): Out of the work from Step Four the staff will have a number of comprehensive plans related to each of the key safety risk management considerations: Campus safety, camp program participant/spectator safety and personal safety.

Step Five: Create a comprehensive master plan for safety risk management that thoroughly and completely addresses all identified aspects of camper safety in the camp environment.

Outcomes (Step Five): The camp will now own a master document that will support all aspects of camper safety in the camp environment. This is where the planning and policy development phase ends and it’s time to apply the plan.

Step Six: Implement the comprehensive master plan for safety risk management, thereby managing all key concerns in camper safety in the camp environment.

Outcomes (Step Six): The implementation of the comprehensive master plan for safety risk management should successfully assist the camp with meeting its organizational priorities regarding camper safety and quality camper experiences.

Step Seven: Evaluate and update all aspects of the implementation of the comprehensive master plan for safety risk management.

Utilize survey tools and other appropriate means to gather input and information related to the camper safety. The evaluation and update should reflect on critical changes and associated risks to organized camping/society, including changes in law, legal precedent and standard of care.

Outcomes (Step Seven): An annual evaluation and update of your comprehensive master plan for safety risk management will help insure a successful camp operation. It will also have the potential to positively impact the quality of the camp experience for everyone associated with the organization.

Providing campers with an environment that is safe and secure demonstrates to parents and guardians how truly important you believe their campers are. And, developing ownership among the staff so that everyone pays attention to camper safety will help ensure camper experiences that remain as wonderful memories, throughout their lifetime.

Dr. Richard J. LaRue is Chair of Exercise and Sport Performance, University of New England.

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