Advocating for Child Protection at Camps


The work is done and summer is here! It is a time for fun with family and friends, exploring new and old surroundings, and attending camps and festivities.

In addition to academics, the children are taught a variety of things related to their personal, social, health, and economic well-being (PSHE). In PE we just finished our child protection unit so their toolbox is loaded with lots of information on how to keep themselves safe. This is a unit that teaches each child their body is their own, what is safe, unsafe, and unwanted touches. As a parent, these are some things that you may want to address again with your child before attending school/ church/summer camps, clubs, and even friends’ homes. These can feel like uncomfortable conversations to have but we know they need to happen. During my child protection classes, I am often faced with some uncomfortable giggles or awkward questions but in the end, each child does absorb the importance of what they are learning.

Unfortunately, here in the Cayman Islands, there are very few regulations for camps but we can be the change and do our part to keep children safe and protected while they enjoy camps.  If we start asking questions and expecting camps and camp leaders to have certifications we are the voice of the children.

Whether you are on or off Island here are some suggested questions to ask the facilities or organizations to which you are sending your child.  Remember it is not too late to ask these questions even if you have already signed up your child:

  • What training does the staff receive to keep children safe?
  • How are staff screened?
  • Are criminal background checks performed on all your employees?
  • How do you screen for possible sex offenders?
  • What is the ratio of staff to children?
  • How does the camp screen visitors?
  • How does the camp handle emergencies?
  • How will your child be oriented to the camp?
  • How does the camp handle bullying?
  • What does the camp practice for sun, insect, and water safety?
  • Is there abuse-prevention training provided for all employees who work with kids, including camp counselors who might be youth themselves?

Have a safe and fun summer!

Love Ms. Karen

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