Campground Management Safety Checklist

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This safety checklist is intended to provide Campground Management with ideas that can make a safer environment for its clients.

This checklist is based on the Accreditation Standards for Camp Programs and Services, put out by the American Camp Association (ACA). ACA is a leading authority in child development and ACA standards are recognized by courts of law and government regulators as the standards of the camp community. This safety checklist is intended to provide Campground Management with ideas that can make a safer environment for its clients.

If you have any questions regarding this document, or would like a loss prevention survey, please contact your insurance agent.

General Site and Food Safety

Subject Concern Yes No
Emergency Exits Do all buildings used for sleeping have at least 2 options for exit?
Local Officials Does camp annually notify fire and law enforcement of camp operation?
Water Testing Does camp require written verification of safe drinking water?
Utility Systems Are blueprints available for lines, cut off points, etc?
Electrical Evaluation Does qualified personnel conduct annual exam?
Maintenance Program Does camp have a system for safety inspections and maintenance procedures?
Playgrounds Does camp staff check all playgrounds to verify they are in good condition prior to camper use?
Fire Equipment Does the camp annually conduct a safety examination on all smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, etc?
Smoke Detectors In all buildings used for sleeping?
Carbon Monoxide Detectors In all buildings used for sleeping that has fuel-burning equipment in building?
Permanent Sleeping Quarters Is there ventilation, temperature control, and space between bunks?
Bunk Guardrails Do upper bunks have guardrails if used for children under 16?
Hand Washing Are sinks near toilets? (1:10 persons - overnight and 1:30 - day
Hot Water Controls Is temperature regulated to prevent scalding?
Refrigeration Are perishable food kept below 40 degrees, checked and logged daily?
Garbage Cans Are cans in the kitchen and dining areas covered when not in use?
Dish Washing Are all dishes and utensils cleaned and sanitized properly?
Dish Drying Are all dishes air dried and covered?


Subject Concern Yes No
Emergency Transportation Is emergency transportation available at all times?
Traffic Control Are signs posted for speed limits, traffic/parking areas, delivery and pickup?
Non-passenger Vehicles Is transportation in non-passenger vehicles prohibited?
Transportation Information to Parents Are parents provided with written pick-up/drop off times, safety procedures and safety rules for van/bus?
Accident Procedures Are staff members trained on accident procedures and located in each vehicle transporting campers?
Bus/Van Supervision Is there at least one additional staff member, in addition to the driver, trained in safety responsibilities in all vehicles that transport 15 or more campers?
Safety Procedures Are there procedures for seating limits, use of seat belts, passengers remaining seated, convoy procedures and wheel-chair handling?
Transportation Orientation Are all passengers oriented to the safety procedures?
Emergency Equipment Are first aid and emergency accessories in all vehicles?
Chartered Vehicles with Drivers Does camp use experienced outside firms that properly maintain vehicles and screen/train drivers? Does camp obtain certificates of insurance from each transportation charter company?
Maintenance Are vehicles properly maintained with pre-trip inspections prior to use?
Driver Requirements Are driving records and licensing requirements reviewed for all drivers? Have any required drug tests been performed with satisfactory results?
Driver Training Have all drivers been trained on written procedures for backing, loading/unloading passengers, breakdowns, evacuations, camper behavior, refueling and safety checks?

Health and Wellness

Subject Concern Yes No
First Aid Is there a staff member with training in first aid and CPR on duty at all times in camp and on camp trips?
Health History Has health history information been gathered from parents and staff including health conditions, past medical treatment, immunizations and allergies?
Health Care Policies Are there written policies including scope and limits of services provided, responsibilities of camp staff, provision of equipment and supplies and emergency health care assistance?
Policy Review Are all health policies reviewed at least every 3 years by a physician or RN?
Contact Information Is there information for all campers and staff that includes name, birth date, address and phone number of responsible adult, emergency contact number, name and phone of individual’s physician?
Health Exam Has each camper and staff member have a doctor signed health exam form in the past 24 months?
Permission Have parents signed permission for camp to provide routine health care, to Treat administer prescribed medications, and seek emergency treatment?
Special Needs Do parent know to inform appropriate camp staff of any special needs of their child?
Health Care Personnel Does camp have a licensed physician or RN on site daily (resident camp)?
Away from Main Camp For times away from camp, has staff member been oriented to provide routine health care for participants and how to handle emergencies?
Health Card Center Does camp have an area available that provides protection from elements, has space for treatment, lockable storage for medication, an available toilet and drinking water, have 1 bed for every 50 campers and a place for isolation or privacy?
AED Has the camp assessed the need for an AED?
Parent Notification Have parents/guardians been informed of when they will be notified of illness/injury of their child?
Medication Management Are all drugs stored under lock?
Recordkeeping Does camp keep a health log and reports of all incidents requiring medical attention?

Operations Management

Subject Concern Yes No
Written Safety Programs Procedures Does the camp have written policies that are in practice with procedures reviewed at least annually?
Risk Management Planning Are risks and hazards identified with control measures put in place?
Incident Analysis Does camp annually review incidents, accidents or injuries and improve procedures as needed?
Intruder Control Does the camp review security concerns and train staff/campers about steps to address possible intruders?
Emergency Procedures Does the camp have written procedures to respond to reasonably foreseeable emergencies in camp such as fire or weather?
Safety Orientation Does the camp provide staff/camper orientation to discuss safety regulations and emergency procedures?
Staff Emergency Training Does staff participate in training and rehearsal on responsibilities in emergency situations?
Incident Reporting Is staff trained in completing incident reports?
Missing Person Procedures Does the camp have written procedures and staff training for lost, missing or runaway persons?
Emergency Communications Does the camp have a system of communication back to camp regarding emergencies, for contacting parents and for dealing with media?
Campers in Public Areas Does the camp have policies for when campers are in contact with public including ratios, staff responsibilities behavior guidelines and emergency procedures?
Camper Security Does the camp have procedures for release of campers and verification of absentees?

Human Resources

Subject Concern Yes No
Staff Screening Do policies require criminal background checks, reference checks and personal interviews for all staff being hired who would have responsibility or access to campers?
Camper Supervisor Ratios Does camp specify minimum ratio of staff to campers?
Personnel Policies Are there written policies regarding benefits, time off, performance and personal conduct?
Camp Staff Responsibilities Is staff trained on camper supervision responsibilities during structured and unstructured time including nighttime supervision?
Behavior Management and Discipline Is staff trained to teach problem solving skills to achieve positive outcomes, to use positive behavior management and to recognize, prevent and report child abuse?
Staff Observation Does the camp have a system of regular observations of staff to provide coaching encouragement and necessary performance improvement?

Specialized Activities (Archery, Using Kilns, Boating, Ect.)

Subject Concern Yes No
Supervisor Qualifications Is activity supervised by an adult with certification or documentation of training and experience in the special activity?
Supervision of Activity Leaders Does camp regularly document observations of specialized activity leaders?
Operating Procedures Does camp establish operating procedures for every specialized activity in camp, based on recommendations from authoritative source for each activity?
Safety Orientation Do participants receive a safety orientation of each specialized activity prior to participating?
Competency Demonstration Are participants strictly monitored until competency is demonstrated?
Archery Safety Signals Do archery activity leaders use clear safety signals and range commands?
Range Does camp have a range that has supplemental backstop or specific safety zones? Does range have clearly delineated rear and side safety buffers?
Firearm Safety Does camp have a system for redundant safety of all firearms and ammunition requiring separate locations or access systems?
Protective Headgear Is protective headgear worn by all campers and staff participating in motorized vehicle and bicycle activities?
Go-Kart Safety Are all go-karts equipped with roll bars and restraint devices?
ATV Safety Are procedures in place to specify size and speed restrictions for young drivers, no passengers allowed on ATV’s and not operated on paved or public roads?
Boarding and Skateboarding Safety Apparel Is protective gear required and at a minimum include helmets, knee pads and elbow pads?


Subject Concern Yes No
Supervisor Qualifications Is the overall supervisor for aquatics a person who is appropriately certified, have experience and at least 21 years old?
Lookouts Are lookouts available, know responsibilities and able to demonstrate elementary forms of non swimming rescue?
Supervision Ratios Does camp specify ratios of aquatic-certified persons and lookouts on duty at each aquatic area, with a minimum of one adult and one other staff member?
First Aid Kits Is there an appropriately stocked first aid kit in each aquatics area?
Impaired Mobility Procedures Does camp remove seat belts or ties from persons in wheelchairs while in boats and provide a physical barrier to keep wheelchairs from accidentally rolling into water from docks or waters edge?
Safety Systems Does camp have a system in place to quickly account for all participants in each aquatics activity?
Participant Classification Does camp evaluate and classify participants’ swimming abilities and assign them to appropriate swim areas, equipment, facilities and activities?
Swimming Pools Are pools fenced? Are water depths clearly marked? Are rules posted? Is rescue equipment available? Is pool adequately maintained? Are chemical and Ph levels tested appropriately for sanitation and safety?
Natural Bodies of Water Do the natural bodies of water used for aquatic activities have controlled access with designated activities areas? Are rules posted? Are known hazards eliminated? Is equipment maintained? Is rescue equipment available?
Swim Lifeguard Skills Does the camp have written documentation that every lifeguard has demonstrated skill in rescue and emergency procedures specific to the aquatic areas and activities guarded?
Staff Swimming Does camp require certified lifeguards present for staff swimming times?
First Aid/CPR Does camp have an appropriately certified first aid/CPR person at each separate swimming location?
Watercraft Guard Certification Does camp have an appropriately certified instructor or lifeguard for boating activities?
Watercraft Rescue Skills Does the camp have written documentation that every camp watercraft guard had demonstrated skill in water rescue and emergency procedures specific to type of water and activities being conducted?
Personal Flotation Device (PFD) Are there written procedures that specify to wear a PFD at all times? Do all persons in watercraft wear safe and appropriate PFD’s?
Personal Watercraft Is use prohibited by anyone under age 16?
Watercraft Activity Orientation Are participants instructed on how to enter and exit a boat, use PFD’s and how to react if boat capsizes?
Motorized Watercraft Training Are boat drivers trained on laws, rules of the road, safe loading and unloading of passengers, mechanical failure and refueling. Is on the water training performed?
Watercraft Maintenance Does camp have written evidence of safety checks and regular maintenance?
Watercraft Safety Equipment Does motorized boat have all required safety equipment such as life ring and fire extinguishers?

Climbing, Rappelling, Ropes Courses

Subject Concern Yes No
Supervision Are activities supervised by an adult with appropriate certification and training? (at least 6 weeks experience supervising similar activities)
Supervision of Activity Leaders Does camp document regular observation of adventure activity’s leader?
Operation Procedures Does camp have operating procedures (eligibility requirements, ratios, safety regulations, emergency procedures) for every adventure activity?
Maintenance Is equipment safety checked prior to each use and regularly inspected and maintained?
Activity Access Is equipment only available for use by participants when a qualified leader is present and actively supervision the activity?
Spotters Are spotters trained, supervised and located in positions to observe and assist?
Annual Inspection Does camp have annual inspection by qualified personnel of all adventure elements?
First Aid Does camp have an appropriately certified first aid person on duty at all times during activity?
Safety Orientation Are all participants provided a safety orientation prior to activity?
Competency Demonstration Are participants strictly monitored until competency is demonstrated with appropriate equipment?
Headgear Does camp require protective headgear/helmets by all participants when rock climbing, rappelling, spelunking or using high ropes elements?
Camper Supervision with Public Providers Does staff accompany campers to activities at sites away from camp and are they trained in their supervisory roles and responsibilities? Does camp only select centers with qualified staff and equipment in good repair?

Horseback Riding

Subject Concern Yes No
Supervisor Qualifications Is supervisor appropriately trained, certified and experiences at a horseback riding facility and over 21 years of age?
Supervision of Riding Staff Does camp document regular observations of riding leaders?
Supervision Ratios Does camp specify ratios of trained riding staff on duty at each type of horseback riding activity, with a minimum of one adult and one other staff member?
Riding Equipment Is riding equipment safety checked prior to each use?
Classifying Horses Before use by participants, does riding staff classify horses for rider skill levels?
Horse Suitability Does riding staff daily check the physical soundness of each horse and remove unsound horses from the riding program?
Riding Facilities Are stables, corrals, paddocks and rings located away from camp living areas, have access controlled and clean with a supply of fresh water?
Horse Medication Does camp require that all horse medications are handled only by persons trained or experienced in their safe use and secured in an area away from camper access and locked up when not in use?
Safety Regulations and Orientations Does camp specify safety rules for horseback riding activities with safety orientation for all participants before riding?
First Aid Does camp have an appropriately certified first aid person on duty at all times during activity?
Rider Classification Does camp evaluate and classify riding abilities and assign participants to appropriate horses, equipment and activity?
Rider Apparel Do all riders wear helmets, boots or appropriate shoes and long pants?
Camper Supervision with Public Providers Does staff accompany campers to horseback riding activities at sites away from camp and are they trained in their supervisory roles and responsibilities?
Public Providers Are certificates of liability insurance obtained from public providers of horseback riding stables? Does camp only select stables with qualified riding staff, physically sound horses and equipment in good repair?

Program Trip and Travel

Subject Concern Yes No
Trip Orientation Are all participants provided with an orientation of safety rules, emergency procedures, first aid procedures, health practices, off limit areas, rendezvous times/places?
Trip Leader Qualifications Does trip leader have skills relevant to the trip activities, have good judgment, experience in handling camper behavior, experience on similar trips and over 21 years in age?
Supervision Ratios Does each trip group have at least one staff member in addition to the leader and sufficient staff to meet camp’s established ratios?
Trip Staff Training Is staff trained to assess safety concerns, enforce safety regulations and handle emergencies
Evaluation of Trip Leaders Does camp evaluate trip leaders and document their performance?
Trip Requirements Does camp specify eligibility requirements, inform campers and parents about trip details and establish procedures to follow if a participant cannot continue with the trip or travel program?
Trip Procedures Does camp specify safety, emergency, rescue procedures for the trip?
Pre-Trip Health Screening Does camp screen participants within 18 hours of departure on the trip and is staff advised on any medications to be administered or other concerns?
Trip Documentation and Emergency Does trip leader carry emergency information for each group member, including health forms and permission to treat forms in addition to documents that fully identify the group, its leadership, insurance and home base contact?
Trip Itinerary Is a written itinerary filed with the base camp?
Equipment Maintenance Does camp safety check all equipment prior to trip?
Travel Camp Procedures Do transportation procedures specify emergency procedures, provision for non travel days, and guidelines for acceptable travel times and conditions?
Camper Supervision with Public Providers Does staff accompany campers to activities away from camp and are they properly trained in their supervisory roles and responsibilities?