Mitigating Risk for Summer Camps and Sports Camps

Posted on: June 3, 2015 by Care Providers Insurance

As summer approaches, and summer youth camps and sports camps begin, it is important to remember the potential risks associated with running a camp for young athletes. Physical injury, illness, abuse, and property damage are only a few of the risks that must be managed throughout the program. Controlling these risks can be extremely challenging; therefore, it is important to implement policies and procedures that will protect the program, staff, and campers. Taking these proactive measures can help mitigate risk:

1. Regularly inspect all facilities and equipment to be utilized by participants.
Camp owners have an obligation to inspect their facilities in the context of participants’ activities. This will ideally reduce the number of physical injuries, and minimize losses.

2. Require guardians to sign waivers and release forms to reduce the camp’s liability.
Whenever possible, risk should be transferred to participants’ guardians through signed waivers and release forms. These forms must clearly identify potential risks as well as physical requirements for participation, and guardians must agree to be bound by the terms of the agreement—assuming all responsibility for the actions of the participant.

3. Carefully screen staff to minimize risk of abuse or sexual misconduct.
Owners also have the responsibility to minimize risk of abuse or sexual misconduct. Staff members, especially those who come into close contact with children, must sign a code of conduct in compliance with US and state law, and agree to appropriate background checks and other screening processes. If these steps are not taken, the camp is liable for any acts of abuse.

4. Assemble a risk management committee to review existing policies and assess their effectiveness post-program.
Whenever possible, owners should assemble a risk management committee to review existing policies and assess their effectiveness post-program. After doing so, the committee should create a manual that outlines requirements for employee training, orientation programs, and emergency preparedness. The committee should also be aware of the insurance requirements for a specific camp or program. This will limit your program’s overall risk.

The teams at Care Providers and Sports & Wellness Insurance are committed to helping their clients to reduce the risks associated with running youth camps and sports camps. We will provide insurance for your property and automobiles, crime coverage, and various forms of liability insurance. In addition, with NSM Insurance Group’s programs, you will have the confidence of working with an experienced staff that specializes in the industries we cover to provide unique expertise and superior service. For more information, please contact the Program Underwriting Manager, Brad Hogan, at bthogan@nsminc.com or 800-761-7072 x1389.

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