At Camp Deer Run, camper safety is our utmost priority. We know that the trust parents place in us is never to be taken lightly, and we believe that our duty to protect the children entrusted to our care is sacred. As such, Camp Deer Run takes extensive measures to ensure that all of our campers can have fun, make friends, and experience God in a safe and secure Christian environment.
All prospective staff members must submit a comprehensive application which is reviewed by the Camp Director, Program Director, and Head Women’s Counselor.
The application includes in-depth questions regarding each applicant’s faith journey, social involvement, spiritual growth, and moral beliefs. All prospective staff members then undergo a personal interview with the camp director. Camp Deer Run maintains an extremely high standard for staff hiring.
All prospective staff members must submit two references and undergo a full background check in order to be hired by Camp Deer Run. References must include a minister from each applicant’s home church.
Each staff member signs a contract agreeing to abide by Camp Deer Run’s staff conduct policies for the duration of their employment with Camp Deer Run. Any violation of this contract is grounds for dismissal.
There are several levels of supervision within the Camp Deer Run summer staff.
All staff members regardless of position are expected to hold each other accountable for upholding the staff conduct contract and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Beyond this basic accountability, all staff are supervised in groups of 10 to 20 by a group leader, a veteran staff member who is a part of the program team.
Group leaders and staff are supervised by the Program Director and Head Women’s Counselor.
The Program Director and Head Women’s Counselor report to the Camp Director.
At each level of supervision, staff are trained on what should be reported, to whom, how, and when.
All staff must complete a third-party training course on child safety, recognizing abuse, and recognizing characteristics of child abusers. No staff will be allowed to interact with children in any way without successfully completing this training.
All staff are trained to report any behavior that raises concerns about child safety. Our staff training over abuse and mental health reporting was developed with input and feedback from child psychologists and heath care professionals.
Some examples of situations that staff are trained to report are:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Abuse or Neglect
- Eating Disorders
Anonymous reporting is available to both campers and staff at all times via a locked comment box centrally located in the Camp. The comment box will be checked daily.
Staff are trained never to be alone with a camper. No staff member should ever be one-on-one with a camper of any age for any reason. Staff are trained to avoid one-on-one situations with what we call “the rule of three.” In isolated situations, there must always be at least three people together at all times – eliminating the possibility of one-on-one situations.
The exception to the rule of three is if a staff member and a camper are having a conversation, studying together, or praying together in public view. Any such conversations must be done in a public place and in the view of others.
Campers will be under constant supervision of the Camp Deer Run staff. The camper to staff ratio at Camp Deer Run is generally at most 4:1. No camper should be unsupervised at any time.
There is to be a staff member in the cabin at all times after Night Devo. Counselors and co-counselors should take turns going to and from the bathhouse so that there is always someone in the cabin with the campers.
After Night Devo, staff should be in the bathhouse or in their cabin.
After the Lights Out whistle, all campers and staff are to be in their cabins with the lights out.
Our goal is to provide a safe and fun environment where campers can experience God, make lasting friendships, and build a foundation for a lifetime of faith. Every camper’s experience is important, and no behavior will be tolerated that would compromise that experience for any camper. Any camper behaviors that are harmful to other campers or staff or that become disruptive to other campers’ safe and fun experience at Camp Deer Run will be reported up the supervisory chain immediately.
Some examples include:
Defiant or abusive behavior should be reported as soon as it becomes apparent. This includes abusive behavior towards oneself (drugs, self-harm, etc.) or towards others (physical violence, bullying, racial discrimination, etc.). If a behavior is noticed and corrected by a staff member, and a camper defiantly continues, it will become grounds for dismissal.
Sexual misconduct or abuse of any kind will not be tolerated at Camp Deer Run. Any sexual misconduct should be reported to the Camp Director immediately. Sexual misconduct or abuse will be grounds for dismissal. Any abusive sexual behavior will be reported to the parents of all involved campers as well as to all appropriate authorities.
Sexual behavior of any kind is prohibited at Camp Deer Run. Camper relationships are not encouraged. Staff to camper relationships are strictly prohibited. Any apparent camper relationships will be closely monitored by staff at all times. Campers of the opposite sex should never be alone together for any reason.
The following behaviors are not acceptable:
- Sexual touching of any kind
- Kissing, frontal hugs, hand holding, back rubs, tickling, lap sitting
- Sexual or vulgar conversation or verbal harassment
Dress guidelines exist to create a safe and distraction-free environment where campers can focus on having fun, building friendships, and experiencing God.
The following guidelines pertaining to clothing apply to campers and staff:
- Tight or form-fitting attire should not be worn
- Shorts are allowed but must be modest (no shorter than 6 inches above the knee)
- Loose fitting T-shirts are ideal
- Boys may wear sleeveless shirts that are neatly cut
- Tank tops are not permitted
- Close-toed shoes must be worn at all times
- Flip Flops & sandals are permitted only to pool & bathhouse
- Crocs and other slip-ons can be worn but are not allowed during active camp activities
- Logos or designs on attire may not include vulgar language or promote alcohol, tobacco, drugs or anything else that does not uphold the values of the Camp.
There are no acceptable activities that occur in the nude at CDR. Staff need to be ready to direct campers away from any activity that involves nudity. There are no acceptable activities that involve nudity.
There will be NO tolerance for Staff who cannot abide by the following expectations. These guidelines are in place to protect the campers, the staff, and Camp Deer Run.
- It is not acceptable for staff or campers to sleep in the nude at CDR.
- It is expected that all Staff respect the camper’s right to privacy. Staff must respect camper privacy in situations such as changing clothes and taking showers at camp, and intrude only to the extent that health and safety require. Campers must be allowed to take their time in changing clothes.
- Staff should be discrete and not call any attention to themselves when changing clothes or showering.
- Staff must not allow campers to act inappropriately when it comes to modesty and nakedness.
Campers are asked not to bring anything to camp that could hurt them or others, could disrupt the camp experience, or could cause safety hazards.
Campers should not bring any of the following to Camp:
- Electronic Devices: Cell Phones, Radios, CD or MP3 players, Handheld Gaming Devices, TVs, Laptops, Tablets, iPods, 2-way Radios, Walkie Talkies, Smart Watches, etc.
- Knives with blades larger than 3 inches (Campers younger than 13 may not bring knives)
- Weapons, Firearms, Paintball/Airsoft Guns, Fireworks, Matches, or Lighters
- Bikes, Skateboards, scooters, rip sticks, etc.
- Alcohol, Tobacco, E-cigs / Vapes, or Illegal substances
- Candy or Food Items
- Short Shorts, Tank Tops, Spaghetti Straps, Crop Tops
- Valuable or sentimental items
Campers and staff are not allowed to have cell phones, computers, tablets, e-readers or other types of technology at Camp Deer Run during a session. Campers will be asked to turn in their cell phones to their counselors at the beginning of each session. Camper cell phones will be kept in the camp office during the session.
Campers are not allowed to use camp phones during a session. Staff should never take a camper to use any phone without permission from the Camp Director, Program Director or Head Women’s Counselor.
If a phone is found, it should be taken to the Program Director or Head Women’s Counselor to be held in the office until the end of the session.
|APPROPRIATE PHYSICAL INTERACTION||INAPPROPRIATE PHYSICAL INTERACTION|
|Quick, Simple Side Hug||Hand Holding|
|High Five||Sitting in Laps|
|Pats on the shoulder or back||Scratching Backs or Massages|
|Arms around shoulders (same gender)||Slapping Bottoms|
|Touching hands, shoulders, and arms||“Appropriate” types of physical affection but in isolated areas|
Campers and Staff will refrain from speaking with vulgar language, curse words, by- words, and any type of sexual references. Instead Staff should speak with positive words of encouragement that build others up. As Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt…”
The living areas of the campground are separated into a boys’ side of camp and a girls’ side of camp. It is not appropriate for Staff or campers to be on the opposite gender’s side of camp. If there is a legitimate need for going across camp, it is necessary to be accompanied by a Staff member of that gender.
It is not appropriate for campers to visit the living quarters of any Staff. Counselors must not allow campers to visit staff-only living quarters.