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Staff Training

Staff Training Topics to be Covered

All camp/program staff must participate in mandatory training session(s) BEFORE working with campers. Training for all camp/program staff who interact with minors should include at least the following topics:

  • Camp/program purpose/focus/mission/intended outcomes and how these are implemented into the camp/program structure and activities.
  • Objectives, safety considerations, skills progression, operating procedures, and competencies required for camp/program activities.
  • Age-appropriate behavior management and camper supervision techniques that can help to create a physically and emotionally safe environment.
  • Clear expectations for staff performance and conduct, including sexual harassment policies.
  • Recognition, prevention, and reporting of child abuse.
  • Emergency procedures and the role of staff in implementation.

Creating a Safe Environment 

  • Focusing attention primarily on campers’ needs and interests rather than on other staff and themselves.
  • Speaking with and listening to campers in a manner that reflects respect for each individual, including those of different backgrounds and abilities.
  • Creating and supporting an environment that provides emotional safety.
  • Guiding group behavior in a developmentally appropriate manner.

Operations Based Training

  • Designated camp staff are to be currently certified in CPR and First Aid for adults and children by a nationally recognized provider*. If an AED is available to your camp, certification should include AED. *American Red Cross and American Heart are the most commonly recognized certifications; others may qualify at the discretion of the camp, organization, or state’s policies.
  • Camp staff training should include the following at minimum:
    1. Camp Overview (structure, importance of timely completion of background screenings, chain of command reporting, age groups & ratios for supervision)
    2. Review personnel standards & policies
    3. Review safety procedures and risk management considerations for your camp environment and activities
    4. Review procedures for reporting abuse to minors
    5. Customer service and interacting with camp parents
    6. Camper and behavior management
    7. Camp activities – camp staff will be exposed to camp activities offered so they can safely and effectively facilitate activities

Campus Notification Methods

Code Red-

Sends messages about campus emergency via text or email

MyWings & Homepage messages-

May be used to announce or update campus emergencies.

Campus PA System-

May be used for fire evacuation, tornado warnings or other time-sensitive emergencies. 

Mandatory Reporting Obligation

Reporting obligations under Florida law and Florida Board of Governor’s regulations.

Under Florida law (Section 39.201), “any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected…shall report such knowledge or suspicion to the department.” The department to which the law refers is the State of Florida Department of Children and Family Services (DCF). The law further states “a person who knowingly and willfully fails to do so…commits a felony of the third degree.”

 The law also specifically addresses child abuse reporting requirements for university administrators (Section 39.205). More specifically, the law requires “university administrators” to report “known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect committed on the property of the university…or during an event or function sponsored by the university.” Failure to report subjects the University to a fine of $1 million for each such failure. “University administrators” includes the president, provost, vice presidents, associate/assistant vice presidents, associate/vice provosts, deans, Chief of Police, Director of Equal Opportunity Programs, Director of Athletics, Chief Audit Executive, Title IX Administrator, and Chief Compliance Officer.

 If ever faced with this situation, there are multiple reporting options. For an emergency, dial 911. For non-emergencies, three options are available: telephone (1-800-962-2873), fax (1-800-914-0004), and web ( For reports involving an on-campus incident or an incident at a University sponsored event, please contact the UNF Police Department (620-2800) immediately after reporting the incident to DCF. UPD staff are also available to assist you in accessing the DCF website to submit a report.

Operations Manual Outline:

The purpose of the operations manual is to provide camp administration and staff with common policies and procedures for camp operations.

Camp Overview

  • Camp structure
  • General camp directory
  • Chain of command
  • Camp cost
  • Age groups & ratios of staff to campers

Personnel Standards & Policies

  • Employee expectations
  • Staff training
  • Staff uniform/dress code and appearance
  • Work schedules and absenteeism

Safety Procedures

  • General emergency procedures
  • Outdoor weather safety for thunder and lightning
  • Camper illness
  • Camper medication
  • Camper transportation
  • Head counts
  • Walking groups
  • Crossing streets
  • Restroom facility with multiple stalls
  • Restroom with single, private stall or room
  • Incident reports
  • Accident reports
  • Missing or Displaced Camper Protocol
  • Safety plan for field trips
  • Camp pool safety (if swimming is a provided activity)

Customer Services

  • Interacting with parents
  • Managing and communicating concerns with parents

Camper & Behavior Management

  • Understanding camper behavior and age development
  • Reporting abuse to minors
  • Camper discipline
  • Behavior management plan

Camp Activities

  • Camp Counselor to-do list
    • Before my campers arrive
    • When my campers arrive
    • After my campers arrive
  • Daily activities
  • Field trips
  • Rainy day activities
  • Age-appropriate games and activities