New Life Ranch is committed to the safety of your camper. While all camp programs include activities that have some hazard, we are devoted to evaluating all aspects of camp in regards to safety. Our plan covers everything from staff screening/training and child abuse prevention to emergency plans, food safety, aquatic supervision, weather safety and equipment maintenance.
In addition to all of our policies and procedures aimed at preventing accidents, we have a medical team on duty 24/7 and a hospital is 20 minutes away.
Each summer we have the following things in place to prioritize camper safety, and this year those things are in place and all staff were trained on them this week:
1) Local Police Departments have been notified of our camp dates. We have a great relationship with our local police and fire teams.
2) Camp gates remain closed during the day, and are staffed with a greeter from 7am-11pm. This staff is responsible for greeting guests, opening the gate, or turning folks around who should not be on camp property. They have the ability to notify immediately of any threat or concern. The gate is then locked 11pm to 7am.
3) Our staff are trained on the NLR Emergency Action Plan. This includes our response plan to intruders on campus (dangerous or not) and active shooter situations.
Additionally, we have internal phone systems throughout camp (that can call the office, the on-call staff, or the medical team) and many of our staff carry radios. This allows for quick communication in the situation of an emergency.
We know the responsibility we have in caring for your camper. Your confidence in our safety plan is vital to us!
This summer, our medical team is not testing for Covid. Campers that are ill (with any sickness, covid or otherwise) will either remain in the nurses lodge until our medical team deems they are okay to continue with camp activities, or they will be sent home if the illness persists. In the event that a camper tests positive for Covid after returning home and we are alerted by the campers parents, we will send an email notifying the other campers from that cabin. However, we will not be requiring those campers to go home or enter into quarantine.
Child Abuse Protection Plan
It is extremely important to us to keep your camper safe from child abuse. Because of this, abuse prevention is intertwined into every part of our camp programming. This starts with the initial screening of staff and after hire, thorough training, monitoring and accountability. No individual, all the way up to Executive Director, can operate outside of our procedures. Our entire staff undergoes extensive training on the protocols we have in place to prevent any type of abuse. After training is completed, each staff member signs a commitment statement signifying their awareness and acceptance of the procedures we have in place to protect children.
In compliance with Oklahoma law, if any of our staff become aware of potential or actual camper abuse, we report any suspicions or information to the appropriate agency immediately.
Other Key Components:
- All staff applicants must complete an extensive application, undergo a personal interview, submit three references and pass a background check. We run a new background check every year on every staff member.
- Every staff member and every camper are required to follow our Code of Conduct. This code is communicated to all campers pre-arrival and post arrival so they know what to expect and can easily recognize issues that arise.
- We practice the Rule of Three. Trips to secluded areas such as bathrooms should involve three people so that no two individuals are alone in private at any given time. For private counseling type situations, counselors are taught to conduct these in public, well lit, common spaces where observance from others is likely to occur.
- Monitoring is the responsibility of all of our staff because it decreases the opportunity for abuse to happen. The staff all monitor one another, and camp leadership is also constantly monitoring staff and campers. We call this 360 Supervision.
- Campers need outlets for reporting inappropriate behavior. If a camper is in a situation where they felt threatened, abused, or unsafe, we encourage them to either talk with a staff member, or to use the anonymous reporting system known as the Drop Box located at our Medicine Lodge.