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What are the Duties of a Camp Counselor Regarding Supervision of Children at Summer Camp?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


Millions of children each year attend summer camp. Most days are filled with both indoor and outdoor activities including swimming, sports, boating, arts and crafts, field trips, and other activities. On most days, the child come end the day tired but happy and ready for the next day of adventure. Unfortunately, some children are injured at a summer camp whether it is a day summer camp or one that is an overnight camp. Rather then be ready for the next day’s adventure, a child is faced with the pain and suffering associated with the injuries. Camp counselors have a duty to provide reasonable supervision of children. In addition, camp counselors should routinely inspect the indoor and outdoor equipment and report any dangerous conditions to maintenance personnel or supervisors. A camp counselor should use his or her best efforts to keep children away from dangerous and unsafe areas. Camp counselors should also take action to secure or otherwise enclose dangerous and unsafe areas away from curious children. In other words, any unsafe or dangerous areas should be off limits with no access to children. Most states have laws in place that address summer camps childcare providers day care centers and schools as to the duties and obligations of the staff. In addition to these laws ordinances and regulations, a camp counselor should also exercise reasonable care, common sense, and due diligence when providing for the care of children.

Unfortunately over the past few years, camp counselors, like many teen and adult drivers, have been distracted from their responsibilities and duties because of mobile phone use. Child care and mobile phone use do not mix very well. This requires some explanation. Of course mobile phones are tools. As such if a child is hurt or missing or needs assistance, a mobile phone can be a great tool in alerting other staff members and getting help in place. However, when a mobile phone is focused on personal use like Facebook, Twitter, web surfing, texting with friends, emailing with friends and other nonessential activities, a camp counselor’s attention can be steered away from the activity in place. For instance, if a camp counselor is the only one on duty during aquatic related activities, it is a recipe for danger to have a mobile phone in that camp counselors hand’s especially if the camp counselor is apt to use the phone for frequent checks of text messages, Facebook, e-mails, etc. . .

The book titled The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Centers, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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