The last school bell rings and before you know it is time to send the kids off to summer camp! That is exactly what happens with approximately 11 million children each summer according to the American Camping Association!
Now is the time to plan ahead – what to pack, supplies, clothing, entertainment and also to do your homework on preventing sexual assault against your child. The Humanity Preservation Foundation put together the following;
- Talk with your children about using the correct terminology when referring to body parts. This will help to serve 2 critical areas. By using the correct terminology there can be no mistake that a particular part of the body has been designated off limits to anyone! For example – if the genital area is referred to as a “cookie” and that is how your child references it to someone, that person very well could say that they were only told not to touch the “cookie”. Additionally, in the event something did happen, referring to body parts by the correct name can assist law enforcement and medical staff properly.
- Know the policy of the camp as it relates to sexual assault prevention. What is there policy for screening staff members? (background checks) Do they screen them all staff members? What is the policy for follow up screenings for recurring employees year over year?
- If it is an overnight camp, find out what the sleeping arrangements are.
- What is the procedure for breaking the campers up by age – younger kids with younger kids or older kid and younger kids mixed together?
- What is the ratio of camp counselors to children?
- Teach your children that they should never be alone with one adult at any given time. They have a right to feel safe at all times and if they do not, then they have the right to tell someone until they feel safe again.
- How is sexual assault prevention communicated to staff members as well as campers?
- If a sexual assault is suspected what is the the directive the children should take in reporting it?
- Understand that a child molester/perpetrator can be anyone and thinking that it can’t happen to your child puts them at a greater risk.
- You want your child to have a great time at summer camp but you also want to keep them safe! You have every right to ask questions about the prevention of child sexual assault and doing so let’s staff members at the camp know that you are aware of the topic and vigilant in protecting your son or daughter.