Bullying Prevention and Camps
Those attending camp encounter new situations that present the potential for being bullied. The physical and emotional safety of campers and staff should be paramount.
The bullying can take many forms, physical, verbal, social and cyber. Relational aggression is another common form of bullying, particularly with girls. Unfortunately these episodes can take place before camp begins with the use of technology. Bullying has the potential to take place during camp and even after camp ends. For those in resident camp, being excluded by cabin mates, being taunted and not having the comfort of home can magnify the situation.
Bullying peaks during the middle school years, one of the most popular times to attend a resident camp, or be involved in a summer program.
Camp Statistics and Trends
Stopping Bullying and Harassment at Camp
- There are 12,000 day and resident camps in the U.S.
- Approximately 7,000 are resident camps
- Approximately 5,000 are day camps
- 8,000 are operated by non-profit youth and religious organizations
- Approximately 4,000 are privately owned independent for profit
- 1,200,000 individuals are employed by camps
- 48% of camps report a 50% return rate
- Employment of larger numbers of international staff over the past 10 years
- Half of the camps surveyed reported adding community service into programming
It is essential camp counselors be trained in bullying prevention and intervention in order to model the behaviors you would like your campers to display. It's very important everyone know how to spot bullying and intervene properly. Setting the tone by sending the right messages, counselors engaging in everyday behaviors that promote friendship and camaraderie and knowing the difference between ratting and reporting will improve the culture and climate of camp making bullying less likely to occur.
Camp counselors are often young adults themselves with little experience and knowledge regarding the social and emotional needs of children and have little or no knowledge regarding bullying prevention and intervention. If an incident is ignored through ignorance or lack of training it is likely to escalate.
The most effective programs and policies to reduce bullying take a comprehensive approach involving campers, staff and parents. It is important to have a bullying prevention policy and protocol to handle bullying. Parents, campers and staff need to know and understand the policy and protocol.
Utterly Global staff training
will offer strategies for addressing the common challenges faced by campers and counselors. Effective bullying prevention requires education, training, planning and meeting regularly with staff.