Reducing Liabilities When Running a Camp

Running a day camp for children can be a rewarding but risky experience. There are many different factors that must be considered. Camp operators must make sure that the children’s health and welfare are promoted by the rules of the camp.

First and foremost, check that various legal requirements such as licenses, insurance, and supervision ratios have been met before running a day camp. Next, consider the following liabilities when designing risk management and insurance programs as well as policies and procedures for your camp or daycare.

Criminal Background Checks

Camp operators must be certain that any supervisors or counselors won’t be a threat to the children. Even if a state doesn’t require background checks, an operator should have them to help protect the children.

Ratio of Counselors to Children

As part of the license requirements, states may have counselor-to-child ratios to help make sure that the children are well-supervised. You may also want to set ratios for specific activities, such as a counselor-to-child ratio while children are swimming. The ideal ratio may vary depending on how hazardous the activities you perform are (for example, swimming is more likely to result in accidents than making lanyards), but no counselor should ever be responsible for more children than they feel comfortable caring for.

Location of the Camp

The location of the day camp will affect the activities of the children. Operators need to consider what the indoor and outdoor areas permit. Local authorities should be consulted to see if there are any zoning clearances or building permits required to run a day camp.

Safety Components

It is the camp’s responsibility to prevent children from being exposed to unreasonable risk. Those charged with instructing physical or other high-risk activities must provide the children with the best possible instruction, along with appropriate and safe supplies, materials, and equipment suitable to the age of the child while following manufacturer warnings guidelines and precautions.

Camps must provide adequate supervision, appropriate instruction, and maintenance of buildings, grounds, and equipment. To avoid injury to children, those in charge at a camp must know the safety rules and practice them diligently to protect children from injury and the camp from costly litigation.

Proper Protection

Most states require liability insurance coverage for day camps as part of their license requirements. The amount of liability coverage that’s legally needed varies by state.

It is in your best interest to seek flexible coverage for your specific needs. In our Special Risks program, you can find coverages for:

  • Youth and Adult Amateur Sports Groups
  • Associations and Affinity Groups
  • Camps, Clinics, and Conferences
  • Day Care Centers
  • Sponsored Events and Activities for both Youths and Adults

Tuition and Cancellation Policy

Fees to attend the camp should be based on the camp costs and the number of children attending. The lower the fees the more children will be able to attend. Examining the fees of other day camps in the area will help in determining a fair price.

Many camps require a non-refundable deposit that is due at registration. The rest of the tuition is due before the camp begins. If a child has to cancel, the tuition is returned except for the deposit. Make sure that your rules and regulations are very clear from the start. The camp registration form should be transparent about the cancellation policy.

About Provident Insurance Programs

With roots dating back to 1902, Provident Insurance Programs is a program administrator that serves paid and volunteer firefighters in addition to emergency medical responders with numerous custom-tailored insurance programs. We’ve also extended our expertise and experience to offer benefit plans and coverages to participant groups as well as Transportation Benefits. We are committed to continuing to provide superior customer service, and would be happy to speak with you to provide further information. Give us a call today at (855) 201-8880 to speak with one of our representatives.

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