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Managing the Risks of Virtual Summer Camps

Will you hold a 2020 summer camp with under-17 year old participants?

This year's summer camps will be held virtually and online, and even so there remains the potential for inappropriate behaviors that must be effectively managed. Existing policies on screening, selection, training, monitoring and supervision of institutional representatives and volunteers are critical. 

With thanks to Arthur J. Gallagher Consulting, here are some key risk management tips to consider when planning your virtual camp:

  1. Be diligent with proper supervision of institutional representatives with the ability to interact with youth.  A key safety factor is to require a minimum of two trained Covered Persons at all times during virtual sessions.
  2. Make sure that whatever web platform you use, that it is vetted and approved by ITS and is appropriate for the age of the youth.
  3. Have a plan in place on how to identify and approve participant’s entry for every session.  If you plan to verify the full name of the participants, make sure that only the first name and last initial are shown while in the virtual setting.
  4. Check that your virtual platform settings are appropriate (use of waiting room, limit use of backgrounds to pre-approved appropriate images, etc.)
  5. Document team training on how to appropriately use virtual platforms, plus the reporting and escalation process should an inappropriate activity take place.
  6. Keep check in and check out times consistent to avoid inappropriate interactions, and consider disabling the chat feature in the virtual platform.
  7. Refer to the Higher Education Protection Network (HEPNet) as a good source for additional considerations on interactions with children and youth.
  8. Be mindful of cyber bullying and other inappropriate behavior that emanate from online or social media activities outside of the formal virtual experience. 
    For additional risk considerations, read AJG's Think Tank: Managing the Risk of Minors on Campus.

Questions and concerns may be directed to childprotection@binghamton.edu

Last Updated: 5/8/20