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For some children and teens, going to a summer camp may be their first experience of independence without direct parental supervision. As many of the camps may have both male and female campers, the sensitive topic of personal relationships and risky behavior (e.g. sexuality, bullying, abuse, etc.) should be addressed. The camper’s age and maturity should determine your approach to this topic.

Camp leaders and staff should have policies on sexual activity, bullying, harassment and other behaviors. American Camp Association has excellent resources to guide camps towards policy development. Camps should also cover these topics during staff training. Camp administrators should endeavor to create an environment where staff feel comfortable bringing forward any questions or concerns. Staff should also clearly model the behavior they expect from campers. In addition, camp staff should explicitly discuss behavioral expectations with campers on the first day and reinforce behavioral expectations as needed.

Additional Resources On:

Child Abuse Prevention
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West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
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