Camper Safety

Safety is our #1 priority.

At Camp Kee-wanee, we strictly adhere to the regulations set by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and are fully licensed by the local board of health to ensure a safe and secure environment for your children.

This section outlines our comprehensive safety measures and procedures, including attendance tracking, bus attendance, camper release policies, and emergency plans for missing campers and swimmers, as well as fire and evacuation protocols. Our aim is to provide a fun, enriching, and safe experience for every camper. Parents and guardians are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these procedures and feel free to request any additional information regarding our camp’s safety policies.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health:  This camp must comply with the regulations of Public Health and be licensed by the local board of health.

Attendance: Parents are expected to call camp the morning of camp if their camper is home sick or will not be attending camp.  If they know prior to camp they may write a note or call camp.  If a note or phone call does not come into camp, the director will call the parent or emergency number to verify attendance.

Bus Attendance: Parents will fill out a “Bus Attendance Slip” prior to the first day of camp. The director and the bus company will maintain copies of this slip. Parents are advised to call camp to report failure to arrive at pick up point.  Change of plans for a camper’s “Bus Attendance Slip” should be made by phone call to the director in writing.

If a camper fails to arrive at the drop off point the parent is advised to call the director.  If the camper in fact appears to  have boarded the bus, and camp staff is unable to provide an explanation, then the director will call the bus company to determine if the camper did board and get off the bus at the “Bus Attendance Slip”   stop.  If no satisfactory explanation is given from the bus company, then the director will notify the police.

Release of camper: Campers will only be released to the camper’s parent/legal guardian or designated in writing by the camper’s parent/legal guardian unless alternate arrangements are approved in writing by the board of health.

Policies: Parents/Guardians at any time request copies of background check, health care and discipline policies as well as procedures for filing grievances.

Lost Camper Plan: Upon notification of a missing camper, the camp director will form a search party to find a camper.  If, after a reasonable amount of time, for the average camper 30 minutes, the camper has not been found, rescue authorities will be notified.

Lost Swimmer Plan: If a swimmer is missing the waterfront director should be notified immediately.  He/she will simultaneously begin a search and organize a rescue party.  If after 5 minutes the camper isn’t found, rescue authorities will be notified by the camp director.

Fire and Emergency Evacuation Plan

Three long whistles/horns will be blown in case of fire, fire drill, or other emergency.  Instructors, Senior Counselors, Junior Counselors will have campers exit activities and buildings quietly and calmly.  They will route the groups to the upper ball field where they shall take attendance and listen for further instructions.  Fire drills will take place at least once during each session, and will occur the first week of each session.

Prevention of Abuse and Neglect


  • Camp director(s)/Camp leaders/leadership—includes persons in any leadership position appointed and trained to make decisions on behalf of the camp organization. 
  • Child or children—Any minor from birth through fifth grade. 
  • Employee— A paid staff member of the camp. 
  • Minor—Any person between the ages of 0 and 18. A minor may include any 18-year-old still enrolled in high school. 
  • Staff/Staff Members—includes camp leaders, employees, and volunteers authorized to work with children, youth, and vulnerable adults. 
  • Volunteer—A person performing services or donating time or effort without compensation. Vulnerable adult—Any person 18 years of age or older who is unable to legally consent, unable to comprehend the nature of certain actions, or susceptible to coercion or abuse. This may include individuals who are mentally or physically disabled and the elderly. 
  • Youth—Any minor from 6th through 12th grade. A youth may include any 18-year-old still enrolled in high school. 

Emergency plans for unrecognized persons

  • If an unknown or unrecognized person enters the premise staff should
  1. Immediately inquire about the purpose for being at the camp and to clarify any misunderstanding regarding the location being sought.
  2.  Confirm if the person has any authorization, such as from a parent guardian, to be at the location
  3.  If necessary, explain politely to the person that they are not permitted and escort them off the premises.
  4.  Ensure that the person leaves the premises immediately.
  5.  Notify the Executive directors of the incident immediately.
  6.  Notify the camper’s parents or guardian of the incident.
  • If the person refuses to leave the premises, becomes aggressive or violent or attempts and unauthorized removal of a child, the executive directors will
  1.  Call emergency 911 to report the incident and request immediate assistance.
  2.  Alert other staff to the situation, order all premises secured and locked
  3. Ensure that no person enters or exits the premises until the local police have arrived.
  4. Provide a main point of contact for staff parent guardian and the police
  5. When resolved, write a detailed report of the incident indicating dates, times and persons involved. 


  • Written application. Prior to consideration, all candidates seeking a staff position at our camp will complete on our online staff camp management dashboard.
  • The camp director will carefully review the applications, ensuring that each candidate is an appropriate match for the position. 
  • Background checks- As per the MA Board of Health requirements a CORI/SORI check will be done for all employees 18 +.. The camp director will conduct a criminal background  check through a state law enforcement agency or a reputable provider of those services.
  • Applicants will provide 3 references. 
  • Application materials are private records and will only be released when a legal need for access has been demonstrated.   
  • Personal interview. A personal interview is required for all applicants prior to being hired or permitted to serve with children, youth, or vulnerable adults. Information gathered from reference and background checks may be used as the basis for questions and discussion points during the interview with the applicant. When indicated by our screening procedures, candidates for employment or volunteer positions who pose a threat to children, youth, or vulnerable adults will be removed from consideration for any camp position. 
  • For minors, we require: 1) an application form, 3) reference checks (e.g., teachers, employers, previous camps or ministries), and 3) a personal interview. 


We will ensure that a lone staff member will never be alone with a single camper. 

  • Two-Adult Rule: At least two screened and unrelated, adult staff members will be present at every activity involving children, youth, and vulnerable adult campers. 
  • Rule of Three: When the two-adult rule is not possible or not consistent with essential camp operations (i.e., in cabins that are too small to accommodate more than one staff member), at least three individuals will be present, with at least one being a screened adult staff member. 
  • The two adult rule should be followed at all times for activities or events involving children under the age of five. For purposes of this policy, an adult staff member must be at least 18 years of age and at least five years older than the oldest camper being supervised. 
  • Every reasonable effort will be made to maintain appropriate staff-to-camper ratios. Appropriate staff-to-camper ratios are determined by recommendations from relevant state agencies. 
  • The staff to-camper ratio will never be 1:1. 
  • Two or more adult staff members will be assigned to monitor all areas of the camp at all times, other than during normal camp activity hours. 
  • Our camp has Identified the following “no-go zones”: (list areas where campers are forbidden). Storage sheds, unused buildings, outdoor structures, and other areas that 
  • Staff members will follow procedures that verify campers’ presence at each stage of the day or event. 
  • Staff members are to release campers only to a properly identified parent/guardian or a properly authorized individual—an adult who has written authorization from the parent/guardian to take the child from the camp. 


  •  Staff members will not participate in public displays of affection (e.g., kissing, hugging) while at the camp or serving as a camp representative
  • The use of tobacco, vaping and vaping products, alcohol, or illegal drugs is prohibited at camp. 
  • Prescription medications used in accordance with a doctor’s prescription must be kept out of reach of campers. Any unexplained or suspicious disappearance of prescription medications must be reported immediately to the camp director. 
  • Staff members will abide by rules regarding appropriate touch with campers. 


  • Staff members should never spank, grab, shake, or otherwise physically discipline anyone. Physical restraint will be used only in a situation where it is reasonably necessary to prevent an individual from physically harming himself or another individual.
  • Disciplinary problems will be promptly reported to the camp director and to a parent/guardian. 


  • Staff members and campers who are ill will be separated from campers to the extent practical and/or sent to the camp infirmary. The Two-Adult Rule or the Rule of Three also applies in these situations.
  • Parents of ill or injured campers will be contacted to determine whether or not the camper will remain on property.
  • Camp employees will be trained in basic first aid/CPR procedures, including procedures for safely responding to potential exposure to blood, saliva, and other bodily fluids. 
  • For obviously minor cuts and scrapes, a staff member or camp director will administer first aid. The parents or guardians will be notified of the injury and treatment when they pick up the camper or any staff member under the age of 18. 
  • In the event of an injury untreatable by simple first aid, a staff member or camp director will seek appropriate medical attention immediately. If the injured person is a minor, the parents or guardians will be immediately notified. If the injury requires immediate professional attention, a staff member or camp director will call emergency medical personnel. 


  • All camp leaders, employees, and volunteers subject to mandatory reporting guidelines are expected to fully comply and report any reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect to local authorities.
  •  Employees and volunteers who become aware of or have reason to suspect that a child, youth, or vulnerable adult has been abused or neglected must immediately inform their activity coordinator, supervisor, or camp director, unless the activity coordinator, supervisor, or camp director is the suspected perpetrator. The employee or volunteer may be required to complete a Suspected Abuse or Neglect Report form 
  • Activity coordinators and supervisors who become aware of or have reason to suspect that a child, youth, or vulnerable adult has been abused or neglected must immediately inform the camp director unless that person also is the suspected perpetrator. If the employee or volunteer did not complete a Suspected Abuse or Neglect Report form, the activity coordinator or supervisor should complete the form. 
  • The camp director who becomes aware of possible abuse or sexual misconduct involving a participant must ensure that the participant’s parent or guardian is immediately informed that possible abuse or sexual misconduct has occurred. If the parent or guardian is the suspected perpetrator, the camp director will defer to local authorities on notifying the parent or guardian. 
  • If the camp director is considering whether or not a report should be made to the authorities, the camp director will ensure that an attorney is immediately contacted to provide a written opinion as to whether the organization should report the suspected abuse or neglect to authorities. The written opinion should be obtained within 24 hours after the camp director first becomes aware of the situation. The attorney’s advice should be acted upon immediately, including reporting the incident to the authorities. An attorney should be contacted immediately if any staff member becomes aware of possible abuse or neglect of a camper by a parent or guardian and is unsure whether to make a report to the authorities. 
  • The camp director must promptly notify our organization’s insurance carrier upon notice of abuse or sexual misconduct. The camp director also reports allegations to the Board of Directors. 
  •  Records will be maintained for campers and staff members present at each camp session. Any off premises events during a camp session will be recorded, including the date and location of the event, and the names of all campers and staff members who were involved. All camp records will be maintained by camp leadership for an appropriate length of time as directed by the camp’s attorney.  
  • The camp director will prepare a written Notice of Injury or Disciplinary Action Report whenever an injury or disciplinary action occurs during camp activities. Camp leadership will include the report in camp records for an appropriate length of time.
  •  Camp leadership will maintain records containing personal or private information on the camp management protected website. . This information will be released only when a legal need for access has been demonstrated. 


  • Texting, emails, and social media can be a vital part of camp communications, but their improper use can produce serious consequences. The organization desires to promote safety and to create a healthy environment for electronic communication and social media between staff and participants in camp activities. As a result, the organization has developed the following guidelines: 
  • Only designated staff members are permitted to communicate with campers using texting, email, or social media, or photograph or create videos of campers to post on official camp social media sites. 
  • Staff may not transmit any content that is illicit, unsavory, abusive, pornographic, discriminatory, harassing, or disrespectful when communicating with each other or with campers. 
  • Except in an emergency, staff may not transmit any personal information pertaining to a camper without the campers and his or her parents or guardians signing consent forms. This applies to group texting, group email, social media, or any other public method of electronic communication. Personal information may include such things as a camper’s name, phone number, email address, or photograph. 
  • Staff will discourage campers from using cell phones during camp sessions or programs except in an emergency, to contact a parent or guardian, or to place a call specifically approved by a leader. 
  • Staff will instruct campers occasionally about the organization’s communication policy and the dangers of “sexting” and unauthorized communication. 
  • A staff member who becomes aware of possible child abuse or neglect through electronic media must immediately follow protocol outlined in this policy. The organization will consult with its attorney and report abuse as required by law. 
  • All information, images, or videos shared electronically through official organization communication channels aren’t considered confidential.
  • Campers who violate this policy may lose electronic communication privileges or be removed from camp. The organization’s leadership will notify parents immediately of any violation. 


  • Camp leadership will cooperate with law enforcement and other government officials in accordance with the guidance of the camp’s attorney. Staff members will cooperate with law enforcement and other government officials as directed by the leadership.
  • Camp leadership will designate a spokesperson to act as the point of contact for law enforcement and government officials. The spokesperson will convey information regarding any allegations or investigations to the news media. The spokesperson will work closely with the camp’s attorney and camp leadership when performing these duties. 
  • The camp’s attorney will provide guidance to camp leadership when communicating with members of the news media. Staff members will direct members of the news media regarding any alleged abuse or molestation occurring at the camp to the designated spokesperson. 


  •  This organization considers any allegation of abuse or molestation a serious matter. Each situation will be fully investigated first through civil authorities, then by camp leaders with the assistance of legal counsel. Camp leaders will not interfere with a pending law enforcement investigation. 
  • Employees who are the subject of an investigation will be removed from their position pending completion of the investigation. Employees who admit to the abuse or molestation will be terminated consistent with the established employment practices of the camp. 
  • Volunteer subjects of any investigation will be removed from their positions pending completion of the investigation.
  • The camp will permanently remove any employees or volunteers from their duties within the organization if they are found guilty of abuse or molestation. Whenever termination of employment is a factor, we also will consult with legal counsel. 


  • Staff members will promptly notify the camp director or leadership of any violation of this policy or its procedures. 
  • Camp leadership will take all necessary steps to ensure compliance with this policy and its procedures.
  • The camp director will remove staff members from their positions, when necessary, to ensure compliance with the policy. 
  • Staff on organization business may never use a cell phone while driving—including hands-free devices/ technology—unless it’s an emergency. 
  • Any approved texts or emails sent by a staff member to campers must go to a group rather than to individuals. 


  • Camp leaders will review this policy and its procedures at least once each year and consult with an attorney in identifying policies and procedures that require modification. When reviewing this policy and its procedures, camp leaders and legal counsel will examine potential conflicts between this policy and the bylaws or other governing documents of the camp.
  • Upon completion of this review, camp leadership will conduct annual training for all staff members to familiarize them with existing, changed, and new policies. 
  • All staff members will complete a renewal application annually. Should the renewal application indicate that any employees or volunteers have become unsuitable for working with children, youth, and vulnerable adults, they will be removed immediately. REVISION OF POLICY AND PROCEDURES Camp leadership, with the assistance of legal counsel, will regularly review this policy and the procedures established within it. If necessary, the policies and procedures will be modified in accordance with the bylaws of the organization. Camp leaders will communicate changes to all employees and volunteers affected by the policy changes.