The health and safety of our La Junta campers has always been our highest priority, and we can confidently say we endeavor to improve every summer. The basis of our confidence comes from one of our darkest hours that we are determined to never again have any of our campers experience. In May 2010, one of our campers very bravely informed authorities that a counselor had touched him inappropriately while he was here at camp.
Throughout the year, we work very hard to ensure the safety of our campers and staff during the summer.
What We Do to Help Ensure the Safety of Your Child:
- Camp La Junta works with outside consultants and risk management experts to assure that our policies, procedures, safety and supervision guidelines meet our industry’s highest standards.
- We receive annual inspections as a part of our State Licensing and are proud of our history of exemplary scores.
- We thoroughly vet each of our staff applicants which includes a face to face/Skype interview, background check, references and social media search.
- We require varied staff references –not only including past employers but also requiring a family member, (parents and immediate family know an applicant’s entire life history).
- All of our staff participates in an extensive staff training which covers the total camp experience from camper/staff interaction policies to dealing with homesickness to teaching a great and safe activity class.
- On Opening Night, La Junta directors talk to the entire camp, as well as individual cabin groups, about personal safety and the importance of reporting uncomfortable situations.
- We intensely communicate with campers and counselors about what is acceptable behavior (and what isn’t) and what to do in case of any issues.
- We encourage Parent/Camper Pre-Camp Advocacy Talks. We urge parents to talk with their sons before camp about our shower and safety policies, appropriate behavior, and the necessity of reporting any and all issues. This helps ensure campers know in advance what staff will be telling kids when they arrive. For example, shower time policies are provided to families before camp, so campers will have the right expectations and be able to help hold staff accountable.
- We design and review our activity buildings and cabins to eliminate closed-off rooms and hiding spots.
- We include Anti-Bullying Training and intervention skills in staff training.
- We complete and review Camper Exit Surveys before our campers leave to gain more thorough knowledge of staff and camper experiences.
- Throughout each day, Duty-Counselors and Field Office staff visit each cabin and interact with campers. Program Director notes are gathered from interactions with campers and are reviewed collectively to uncover any possible negative patterns.
A successful camp experience is a grand mix of program, philosophy and implementation – including ever-evolving advancements in child safety and parent involvement and communication. Camp La Junta has over a 90-year legacy of challenging ourselves to be the best.