Summer Camp Safety: What you need to know - WNCT

Summer Camp Safety: What you need to know

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Now that school is out, summer camps are kicking off.

But many of those camps don't need a license to operate, which means they aren't required to do background checks.

Day camps are exempt from being licensed because they operate as a recreational program for fewer than four consecutive months.

"Background checks are not a requirement, same with any program that you're doing for your child. So it's something that you need to check on yourself," said Shana Kriewall, Greenville Parks and Rec Superintendent.

Some camps choose to be licensed so they are able to access funding through the subsidized child care program. But Greenville Parks and Rec Superintendent, Shana Kriewall, says just because camps aren't required to have a license, doesn't mean they don't take the proper safety tips.

Choosing a program through a Recreation and Parks department, or a well-known organization can be your best bet.

"We do background checks on all staff and volunteers. In fact, that's a national "Boys and Girls Clubs of America" requirement. In order for us to keep our charter as a boys and girls club it's mandatory to conduct those checks. Absolutely. We re-screen every year, all of our current employees," said Pitt County Boys and Girls club executive director, Misty Marston.

Before you choose a camp, come ready with questions.

1. What is the counselor-to-child ratio?

2. Do they perform background checks?

3. What safety training does staff receive?

4. Is there a crisis management plan in place?

"If you don't trust maybe the person you're talking to, you can definitely go above them and check and ask for proof," said Kriewall.

That one question this summer can ensure your child is happy, healthy and safe.

Link to DHHS: http://ncchildcare.dhhs.state.nc.us/providers/pv_sn2_lr.asp

Boys and Girls Club of America: http://www.bgcpitt.org/

Greenville Parks and Recreation: http://www.greenvillenc.gov/departments/rec_parks_dept/information/default.aspx?id=8906

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