Activities at Pine Cove provide endless fun for our campers! While we have a blast all week long with a ton of different activities, safety is our number one priority for every activity. Our summer staff are provided with an instruction guide called a "playbook" for every activity we teach. In the playbook there are instructions on how to run the activity with safety in mind. Each staff member takes a test over the playbook that they must pass before they can teach the class.
In addition, some of our activities, like horses, boats, and ropes require an extra week of training before camp begins. Here are a few specifics about the training and safety precautions we take for some of these activities.
There are always at least two lifeguards on duty whenever a pool or lake is open. Every lifeguard is Lifeguard and CPR certified through the American Red Cross. In addition, all lifeguards are trained in oxygen administration and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator. There is an AED on each camp property.
Campers must pass a swim check upon arrival at camp to determine their strength as a swimmer. Non-swimmers wear a wristband to alert lifeguards on duty that they cannot swim well and must remain in shallow areas at all times.
Staff are trained to run specific pool or lake activities like the blob or trapeze. Those activities are only run with staff supervision. All pool and pond water is tested to ensure it is within safe swimming conditions.
We require every camper on a horse to wear a helmet. All of our wranglers are extensively trained in horse safety by our seven CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association) certified full-time wranglers. These full-time wranglers supervise our horse programs during the year and are responsible for overseeing everything from trail rides to horse and barn maintenance.
Boat drivers are not only Lifeguard and CPR certified, but also trained in waterfront safety. Before teaching or pulling a camper they log 30 hours of training and driving time.
Whether it's zip lines, climbing walls, or other high ropes elements, we want to ensure that each one of these activities are as safe as possible. An independent contractor, Adventure Experiences, inspects and certifies all of our ropes courses each year to ensure that they are in proper working order. We do extensive training with staff on course safety, and Adventure Experiences tests and approves our staff to run the course. We exceed all industry standards when it comes to running safe ropes courses.
Each year we have a Texas Amusement Ride inspector come to check all our equipment: inflatables, blowers, Eurobungee, climbing wall and spider webs. We have theses monitored all summer and repaired if necessary during that season. At the end of each summer, we send them to an inflatable repair company in Dallas to patch, sew or re-seam any units that need attention. These are cleaned weekly by the teams on Friday afternoon during the summer.
In each state, we have an inspector from that state's department inspect them so we are legal to run them in their counties. In the spring of the year, we have Vertical Reality, the company that manufactures our eurobungee / climbing wall systems, do an over-haul on all of our units. They check the belay systems, leg jacks, ball hitches, climbing wall parts, hydraulic system and the battery to make sure it is working properly. They preform all of the needed work on each unit. The first week before our summer training begins, our staff re-string the spider webs and are training on how to set up and run all units.
Pine Cove actively monitors the water quality on the lakes within its property lines according to the Texas Department of State Health Services guidelines. Along with this, we are taught that “dilution is the solution,” so all of our lakes have freshwater pumping into them on a regular basis.
All Pine Cove properties are sprayed for crawling and flying insects as appropriate. We fog for mosquitoes within all of our camper activity areas. All buildings, inside and out, are sprayed on a routine schedule by a certified pest management company.
Pine Cove employs off duty police officers to patrol our property that are part of a daily/nightly routine at all of our youth camps during the summer.