Recent Studies Highlight Critical Lifeguarding Issues

As camps head into the summer season, they are faced with a number of challenges related to their aquatics program, including:

Managing, Monitoring, and Administering Medications at Camp

The phrase “medications at camp” brings to mind different scenes for different individuals. Camp nurses may remember a favorite camper clutching a Ziplock bag (the gallon size!) packed full of asthma medications, on opening day. Parents may envision a pharmacy stocked with rows of bottles: pills ready to be dispensed to their child for this ache or that pain. A trip leader may recall a first aid kit containing over-the-counter remedies for headaches and blisters. Each is a valid scenario, evidence of different aspects of medications at camp.

Finding Certified Waterfront Staff

It’s that time when camp directors ask themselves "where am I going to find enough certified waterfront staff, specifically boating staff?" Standard PA-20, a mandatory standard, states that camps (both resident and day camp) need to provide a staff member who has documented skills and training in water rescue and emergency procedures specific to the location and the activities. In short, staff in these areas need experience in the specific craft AND they need to know water rescue skills and emergency procedures for that specific craft.

First Aid: What Training Do Camp Staff Need?

Camp leaders have long recognized that today's first aid training does not necessarily provide an individual with the skills needed by many camp programs. Camp administrators are expressing a growing concern about performance adequacy among staff with first aid certificates. Today's courses often merely require class attendance and may no longer contain the broad information base and skill/knowledge testing which gave former courses their "teeth."

Legislative Update: Minimum Wage — Probably Going Up!

Camp salaries are subject to many factors! You juggle your budget, the reality of what it takes to attract quality staff, the increased challenge in finding good staff, and the reality of federal and state guidelines affecting minimum wage.

Hotline Summary 2000

We are not all the same. That is news to no one. But there are common expectations in a civil society . . . expectations of considerate, polite treatment. Expectations that staff put the needs of children first. Expectations that staff and directors behave in ways consistent with their position and training. Expectations that parents/camp staffs are considered partners in providing positive growth experiences for children.

This summer, as in other summers, those expectations were not fully met.

Obtaining Permission to Take and Use Photographs for Commercial Purposes

As stated in the accompanying article "A Picture’s Worth....", obtaining permission to take and use photographs of campers and staff is an important step in risk management. While right of publicity and invasion of privacy laws vary from state to state, camps must make deliberate decisions when using photos for commercial purposes. (Camp recruitment tools such as brochures, videos, Web sites, and the like are usually considered "commercial" purposes.)

Camps should, therefore:

Public Policy Information For Camps

Access the latest information on legislative and regulatory issues facing the camp community on ACA’s Web site – the knowledge center of the camp community. More information available for:

Pointers For Dealing With Complaints

As we observe what is happening in camps (and other youth programs) around the country, we see that parents or guardians seem far more ready to register complaints both with the camp and with ACA. Expectations are higher than ever before.

Camps should establish specific procedures to deal with complaints. Otherwise, they will seem to come at the most inconvenient times and will be delegated to persons who may be the least able or inclined to handle them effectively.

Staffing Concerns

CIPRIS — Fees for Foreign Students/Staff

Late last year, the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) announced plans to extract a $95 fee from each nonimmigrant foreign student in the United States to help pay for its Coordinated Interagency Partnership Regulating International Services (CIPRIS) initiative. The new ruling will require schools and other nongovernment hosts of F-1, J-1, and M-1 nonimmigrants to collect the fee and process the paperwork it generates.

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