At Pine Cove, abuse prevention is of the highest importance. Abuse prevention is more than just doing background checks. We weave abuse prevention into our entire camp environment, through training, monitoring, and feedback systems. The video and text below are an overview of the protections that Pine Cove has put into place.
Our Senior Director of Ministries, Craig "Dutch" Langemeier, gives us an in-depth look at the policies and procedures Pine Cove takes to keep your child is safe while in the care of our staff.
Our abuse prevention training begins before our summer staff are out of school. During the spring, Pine Cove’s summer staff leadership go through a weekend of training. Part of their training includes a review of everything we teach our entire summer staff on abuse prevention, new information about how we watch and monitor everyone around us, and what to do in situations where abuse is suspected. In addition, we review monitoring procedures and sign-offs specifically for each camp, with maps showing our monitoring zones, copies of our sign-off sheets, and copies of our monitoring log forms.
As part of our summer staff training for our entire staff, we train everyone on background information about abuse prevention and specific rules and procedures we have in place. One of our sessions is taught by a licensed professional counselor (LPC). All summer staff must pass at test on the abuse prevention concepts taught during training. Some key concepts and procedures we teach our staff are:
Abuse of any kind needs opportunity. Monitoring is an important abuse prevention tool because it decreases the opportunity for abuse to happen. During the summer, campers are busy with planning activities during their time at camp, and we have set documented accountability checks on campers and staff throughout the day. Senior Counselors are an additional level of leadership that supervise a group of 4-5 cabins and help monitor the counselors and campers.
Monitoring checks are far-reaching and include checking any secluded areas for people, doors to closets and other rooms are locked and unable to be opened, bathrooms are clear, and that staff and campers are interacting with each other in appropriate ways both physically and verbally.
During training, we teach the concept of monitoring “two levels up, one level down.” What this means is that each staffer should be monitoring two levels above them, which would include their summer leadership and resident staff, and one level down, which would include their campers. This means everyone at camp has eyes watching them.
Additionally, Pine Cove employs undercover police officers to patrol at night for an added layer of accountability for both resident and summer staff.
It is important to have multiple ways to report abuse, both anonymous and not anonymous. If a camper or staffer is in a situation where they felt threatened, abused, or unsafe, we encourage them to either talk with their counselor, senior counselor, or resident staff or to use the “Talk Box.” Every camp has a Talk Box available to collect anonymous or signed notes at any point in the week. We also encourage campers to use the Talk Box for ideas for theme nights or ways to improve camp so that putting a note in the Talk Box does not automatically identify you as reporting a possible abuse situation. The Talk Box is checked daily by two people at the same time.
In compliance with Texas State law, if any of our staff become aware of potential or actual abuse, we report any suspicions and information we have to the appropriate agency.
Don’t just take our word for it! Pine Cove has been awarded Praesidium Accreditation by Praesidium Inc., an industry leader in abuse risk management. Praesidium Accreditation is a prestigious honor that publicly demonstrates that Pine Cove has achieved the highest industry standards in abuse prevention.
Praesidium, Inc. is an international leader in abuse risk management and has helped thousands of organizations over the last two decades. More information about Praesidium Accreditation is available at PraesidiumInc.com or by calling (800) 743-6354.