Dear BCCA Members,
As our number one priority is child safety, we wanted to bring to your attention a media report released today that may cause parents and stakeholders in our industry to ask questions on how we proactively manage/work to prevent incidences of sexual inappropriate behaviour within Accredited BC Summer Camps. See report via link below.
We have prepared a statement that will be used if the BCCA is asked to respond. We are also sharing this statement on our communication lines. That said, we encourage camps to proactively prepare a statement if anyone should ask you or direct them to myself.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me directly.
Statement from the BC Camps Association:
The BC Camps Association (BCCA), Board of Directors, Staff and Accredited Member Camps did not require a U.S. media report to highlight the importance of protecting children in its care, nor the need to remain vigilant and have clear and effective standards in place to address the possibility of criminal activity in our environment.
We believe that child safety is our number one priority in our industry, as we are committed to providing safe and quality camp experiences for all children. This is why we require our Accredited Member Camps to adhere to our standards of zero-tolerance towards individuals who violate the trust of those in their care. These standards include the need for written policies and rules that promote the safety for all participants and staff. All BC camp staff who have direct contact with children are required to complete minimum 32 hours of training that includes child abuse policies and harassment training.
In addition, under the BCCA Accreditation Standards, all Accredited Member Camps are required to meet the following mandatory standards: conduct a Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search for each new staff member before commencement of employment, and require at least two references for each staff member and volunteer.
The BCCA standards require a high duty of care in every area of camp management from food service and healthcare to transportation and programming, to name a few. The BCCA standards require camp staff to report any suspected inappropriate interaction to the appropriate authority immediately. Should you require further information, please feel free to contact the BCCA office at (250) 617-5112 or firstname.lastname@example.org between 9:00am and 4:30pm PST.