Health and Safety

Discover our safety and security standards

 
 

Security

Our team of uniformed and plainclothes security officers patrol the camps throughout the day and night to detect inappropriate activity and respond to incidents and emergencies. Each security officer is trained and registered as either an armed security guard or unarmed security guard with New York state.

It is important the only authorized persons are allowed on our camp properties. We monitor and limit access to our camps. Each vehicle on our camp property is registered and each person is registered and issued proper credentials. Every staff member, volunteer, and contractor permitted on the camp property has been screened and trained in our child protection plan.


 

Health & Safety

A round-the-clock Health Center on camp property is staffed and stocked for both emergencies and routine health care. Two full-time registered nurses run the Health Center with the support of two or three additional registered nurses to ensure health care is always available.

Staff members who have completed the Red Cross Responding to Emergency Certification are available to provide first aid around the property, and staff serving in special activity areas are trained and certified in their respective areas.

 

Screening & Training

To ensure that all Word of Life campers stay healthy during their time at camp and have a safe camp experience, we have a health center on property, follow a comprehensive safety plan and take extraordinary care in selecting and training our counselors.

The majority of the counselors and volunteer staff at Word of Life camps and facilities are students at the Word of Life Bible Institute. They go through rigorous screening before starting their year with us. They are also trained throughout the year as well as intensively before the beginning of each camp season. We review their experience and interview each one personally before accepting them to be a part of our summer staff. To learn more click the button below.

Discover our Screening and Training Process
 

Supervision

Safety is one of our primary concerns at Word of Life Youth and Family Camps. Our goal is that you will feel completely safe dropping your students off with our counselors and volunteers. Discover the important policies that help our staff keep their eyes on your students at all times.

Learn More About Supervision
 

Accountability

Word of Life has a zero-tolerance policy. All accusations and questionable behaviors are followed up on immediately. Any accused party will be investigated to the fullest extent and removed from service until a thorough investigation is completed. If determined to be innocent, the staff member may return to service. However, if a staff member is found guilty, our termination and enforcement policy will be enacted and local authorities will be informed. But we certainly expect that never to happen!

To keep everyone accountable, counselors and staff meet regularly with a supervisor for specific feedback and improvement strategies. For counselors, this happens on a daily and weekly basis. This is helpful for staff members, campers and the program as a whole!

 

Reporting

All of our camping locations are equipped with a Safebox. A Safebox is similar to a mailbox and is a safe way for students to report any actions or situations they feel are inappropriate or that make them feel uncomfortable. Campers, staff, parents, youth leaders and guests can also report any inappropriate behavior they see or experience to 518-494-6300 or safety@wol.org.

Every report and any inappropriate action is taken very seriously. Word of Life has a written policy and procedure manual for incident reporting and investigation. Local authorities are involved and engaged in this process.

 

Local Law Enforcement

Word of Life works to maintain excellent relationships with local and state law enforcement agencies. Various police training exercises have been conducted on our camp properties with the New York State Police Special Operations Unit to ensure that our staff knows how to effectively respond in the event of an emergency. We are pleased and grateful to have such a positive and rewarding relationship with our local law enforcement.

 

Service Animals

Service animals are permitted, as defined by law. This is limited to dogs and does not
include emotional support animals, comfort, therapy, or companion animals, or pets.
Persons with service animals are requested (but not required) to make it known to customer
service or enrollment staff during the application process to facilitate accommodation.
Service animals are permitted in public spaces provided they are
a. housebroken
b. vaccinated
c. under the control (usually a leash) of their handler
d. not endangering the safety of others
e. not causing a disruption

 

Statement of Accommodation

Word of Life Camps seek to serve all campers and make reasonable accommodations for those with special needs. Though we are not designated as a Camp for Children with Developmental Disabilities, we strive to meet the needs of each camper as best we are able. We consider each camper and their needs uniquely and place them in the safest and most appropriate camp location, always with parent/guardian agreement and support.

Parents should understand that participation in all Word of Life camp activities involves extreme physical and mental activities, some of which are meant to physically and mentally challenge a camper’s endurance, capabilities, and limits. Parents acknowledge and agree that their child has no physical or mental infirmities, or any behavioral issues that would restrict or jeopardize his/her participation in Word of Life activities, that he/she is in good health physically and mentally, and that he/she is able to follow instructions readily and interact with others in a positive, healthy way. Any physical or mental limitations, health conditions, behavioral challenges, or need for accommodations must be noted in the registration form, and parents agree to verbally inform the Camp Staff of any such limitations prior to arrival. If Word of Life is unable to place individual campers in an appropriate camp setting, or if parents disagree with our accommodation plans, Word of Life will fully refund the registration fee.