Child Protection Plan

Kanakuk is committed to our mission of developing dynamic Christian leaders through life-changing experiences, Godly relationships and spiritual training. It is absolutely essential to this mission that each of Kanakuk’s summer camps is a safe space and that we’re proactive about protecting our campers.

We hold your child’s safety in the highest importance, which is why we’ve developed the comprehensive Child Protection Plan. This plan includes background checks and exhaustive interviews with potential staff members, extensive training on Kanakuk’s policies and guidelines for summer and full-time staff, supervision, multiple reporting systems, and more. Please click on the sections below to read more about each aspect of our plan and access additional resources.

Staffing

APPLICATION

All potential staff fill out an extensive four page application that describes past work history, references, personality strengths, character, spiritual beliefs, and athletic background.

INTERVIEW

All potential staff go through an exhaustive interview with one of our trained staff who ask each applicant in-depth questions regarding family history, social involvement, spiritual growth, moral beliefs, and coaching abilities. Our interviewers have been professionally trained by one of America's best staff interview firms to give them increased skills in screening an applicant who might endanger a child.

REFERENCES/BACKGROUND CHECKS

Each applicant is required to submit two written personal references/evaluations before being considered for a position. Also, each potential staff member is processed through multiple official background checks including the National Criminal Background Database, the National Sex Offender Registry, and the National Identity Confirmation.

SELECTION PROCESS

Due to a tremendous amount of applicants each year, Kanakuk is able to be extremely selective in our summer staff hiring process. Our directors hand-pick each staff member for their passion, spiritual maturity, love for kids, and commitment to Kanakuk’s vision and mission.

CONTRACT

All staff sign a contract agreeing to follow Kanakuk's policies and procedures throughout the duration of their employment.

Training

FULL TIME STAFF

All of our full time summer staff receive extensive training throughout the year in the following areas

  1. Risk Management
  2. Crisis Management
  3. Safety Policies & Procedures
  4. Zero Tolerance Policies Regarding Abuse
  5. Comprehensive Sexual Abuse Awareness & Prevention
  6. Proper conduct:
    1. Proper conduct is communicated to staff in writing, verbally, and modeled in the lives of our leadership staff
    2. Staff to Kamper conduct is stressed during staff training. See Kanakuk Contact Guidelines to learn more about specific policies and guidelines
    3. Specific policies regarding modesty and one-on-one meetings

SUMMER STAFF

All summer staff receive training in the following areas:

  1. Summer Staff receive training on Kanakuk policies and procedures prior to arrival of the campers
  2. Comprehensive Sexual Abuse Awareness & Prevention
  3. Certified Operator Instruction & Testing on all High Risk Activities
  4. Proper conduct:
    1. Proper conduct is communicated to staff in writing, verbally and modeled in the lives of our leadership staff
    2. Staff to Kamper conduct is stressed during staff training. See Kanakuk Contact Guidelines to learn more about specific policies and guidelines
    3. Specific policies regarding modesty and one-on-one meetings provide accountability and security
  5. Reporting System

In addition, no less than six corporate safety teams evaluate and oversee all activities at our Kamps. Each Kamp is also staffed with a “safety officer” who provides oversight and enforcement of safety practices.

KAMPER ORIENTATION

To promote a positive and healthy Kamp experience, each Kamp conducts Kamper orientation talks that include the following topics:

  1. Opening Day Safe & Secure Talk - In an age appropriate manner, all Kampers will be instructed on what kinds of visual, verbal, and physical conduct is appropriate and what kinds are inappropriate at Kamp. This includes staff to Kamper conduct, Kamper to Kamper conduct , and modesty & one-on-one policy.
  2. Year-round Kamper contact - Godly relationships are an important part of the Kanakuk experience. We want to stay in contact with your family throughout the year in a way that respects your family and provides encouragement. We'll explain what your Kamper should expect in terms of continuing communication from Kamp.
  3. Reporting System – At the beginning of every term, each Kamp will educate Kampers on the different methods available to report inappropriate conduct at Kamp. To view these options, please see the Reporting tab above.

A PARENT'S ROLE

Kanakuk is committed to doing everything it can to protect children. Research supports that the best defense against child abuse is an informed and empowered child. Parents continue to be the primary source of protection and are encouraged to take an active role in preparing their children. Kanakuk recommends that parents further educate themselves through the many good resources available and then have appropriate conversations with their children. Through the Kanakuk web site and e-mail correspondence, Kanakuk is committed to partner with parents in this endeavor by providing information and education on hiring, training, and reporting practices that we use to create a positive and healthy environment for each Kamper.

Supervision

Kanakuk Kamps has a well defined process to supervise Kampers and staff. This process helps to create a positive and healthy experience for your Kamper. The process consists of multiple layers of management oversight in all areas concerning safety, health and risk management.

Kamp operates day to day under a strict schedule of programs and activities with continuous supervision provided by our staff. Staff and Kampers receive training and orientation regarding appropriate and inappropriate behavior when interacting in Kamp. Kanakuk's supervision process directs each person to monitor the conduct of all persons in Kamp and to report any behavior which is not consistent with Kamp's code of conduct guidelines.

Reporting

Kanakuk has implemented several new ways for staff, Kampers, or parents to report inappropriate conduct or concerns at Kamp. Some of the reporting systems in place are:

KAMP DIRECTOR

We always encourage staff, Kampers, and parents to let the Kamp Director know of inappropriate conduct or concerns first. This allows for immediate action. In addition, our Staff are encouraged to hold each other accountable regarding all policies and guidelines.

COMMENT BOX

Each Kamp will have a confidential "report box" to give staff or Kampers easy confidential empowerment to report any concerns. This box will be checked regularly.

CONFIDENTIAL HOTLINE

A toll free telephone number (877-509-3509) has been set up for parents and staff to report concerns. This confidential number is staffed by a third party firm and will report any concerns to Kanakuk Ministries.

Managed

Each year parents entrust into Kanakuk’s care over 10,000 precious children. Kanakuk takes this responsibility very seriously. Kanakuk has taken great care to create programs, training and processes that have been designed to safeguard your child during their time at Kamp. Unfortunately, accidents can happen and illnesses can strike but it is our commitment to you that we will exercise every foreseeable precaution to minimize these risks. The following paragraphs represent a summary of steps we take to provide a positive and healthy experience for your child.

STAFFING AND SUPERVISION

One of the greatest concerns you as a parent faces is who influences your child. For this reason, we believe it is imperative that staff members are properly screened and possess the training, skills, education, abilities, and heart required to enhance Kanakuk’s effectiveness. Kanakuk employs a Kamp Personnel Officer and a Summer Staff Coordinator who manage all summer staff. A certified Human Resources Director is consulted in matters of hiring policy and procedure. Instructors and counselors typically consist of current and post-graduate college students, as well as adults in professional occupations such as teachers. Hiring practices include an application process, criminal and sexual offender background checks, personal interviews, and a review of written personal references. Each summer employee is instructed on general camp safety and security guidelines as well as appropriate behavior with minors. In addition, the Director of Operations Support is responsible for training 150 lifeguards, 350 boat drivers, 50 high elements instructors and 14 waterfront directors.

Activities at camp are scheduled and closely supervised. The camp counselors are trained and tested prior to supervising and coaching campers. Rules are posted and campers receive instruction before engaging in activities. Good supervisory control is stressed and maintained. Campers participate in sporting activities with a ratio of one staff member to every three campers (1:5 for non-sporting activities). Activities at camp may include traditional team sports such as football, soccer, basketball, baseball, cheerleading, and volleyball, outdoor recreation, adventure programs, water sports such as kayaking, knee boarding, wake boarding, wave runners and water skiing, archery, riflery, challenge course, paintball, rappelling, rock climbing, mountain biking, rope swings, treetops courses, and zip lines.

RISK MANAGEMENT

Kanakuk Kamps has a structured safety and risk management program. All matters of safety and risk are overseen by the Kanakuk Corporate Safety Council which is comprised of six safety committees who meet throughout the year. To manage safety, Kanakuk employs a full-time, certified Director of Risk

Management who possesses over 18 years in risk and insurance and over 7 years in food management experience, a Corporate Safety Director with 25 years in law enforcement, a Summer Safety Director with 27 years in camp experience, Six Kamp Safety Officers and hundreds of trained Certified Operators.

Safety training is accomplished through a series of orientations, training sessions and skills assessments. There is a written Crisis / Risk Management Handbook, which includes procedures to follow during a critical situation or emergency as well as safety regulations, standards, and inspection information.

HEALTH SERVICES

Kanakuk has a highly developed health services department that is unparalleled in the camping industry. For starters, Kanakuk employs a full-time, year round Licensed Health Services Director who oversees all facets of camper and staff medical care. This medical care is provided in one of Kanakuk’s seven health centers with treatment from licensed physicians and nurses. Additionally, Kanakuk certifies hundreds of summer staff on CPR, First Aid and Life Saving.

Advanced medical care is provided by one of three hospitals which are located in the Branson / Springfield area.

FACILITIES MANAGEMENT AND SAFETY

At Kanakuk, we understand your concern for your child’s physical safety. Camp facilities and premises are well maintained by a full-time maintenance and construction department. Aside from job-specific training, key staff are trained and certified in applicable areas such as national pool operator, water quality, pesticides, and OSHA. All facilities are equipped with good walking surfaces, handrails and lighting. Smoke detectors are placed throughout the facilities and in all of the cabins. Fire extinguishers are also located throughout the facilities. All facilities are equipped with back-up generator support in the event of power outage. Key locations in each camp are equipped with fire suppression hoses connected to main water lines. Dry hydrant connections are installed at each location to enable local fire responders to easily access lake water resources.

FOOD SERVICE

Dining halls are managed by a full-time, year round certified Food Service Manager as well as on-site kitchen managers and assistant managers. A professional-grade cooking facility and approved hood and extinguishing system are used. Each dining hall is inspected by county health officials prior to each camping season. All food is purchased by Kanakuk’s Director of Purchasing through reputable, insured vendors.

CAMP SECURITY

Access to our camps is strictly controlled by gates and environmental barriers. Front gates are monitored and access is controlled by access codes or proximity card readers. Visitors are directed to sign in and wear a visitor badge or lanyard. During the summer, corporate security guards patrol the roads that run alongside the three Branson camps, staff parking lots and outer buildings. They also act as traffic and pedestrian control during camp change-over days. K-1, K-Kountry, and K-Kauai have their own security guards who conduct security patrols throughout the camps, along the waterfronts and also monitor the gates. K-2, K-West, and K-Seven have a security guard house at the front gate. At night, camp security guards patrol all campuses.

TRANSPORTATION

Camper transportation is overseen by the Director of Summer Transportation. Transportation of campers includes off-camp trips, shuttle service to and from the airport, and charter service from designated cities. Campers are transported in 8 and 11 seat passenger vans, as well as school buses. All passenger vans are operated by drivers age 21 and older with an approved motor vehicle record and a state equivalent Chauffer’s license. They must have passing scores on the Camp Driver Orientation test as well as a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved Defensive Driving Course. All buses are driven by Class B CDL drivers with passenger and air brake endorsements. All buses are state inspected and pass all DOT requirements. Bus drivers must have approved motor vehicle records, pass an initial drug screen, pass any applicable written tests and submit to random drug testing.

PROFESSIONALISM AT KANAKUK

Kanakuk’s business operations are managed by the Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Operating Officer, and a team of Business Directors: Senior Director of Finance, Senior Director of Information Technology; Director of Operations Support; Director of Risk Management; Director of Human Resources; Director of Purchasing and Distribution; and, the Director of Marketing and Communications. These Directors have a support staff of approximately 43 employees year round.

Additional Resources

www.stopitnow.org

"Stop It Now! was founded on the belief that adults are in the best position to keep children safe from sexual abuse." source: www.stopitnow.org 

Warning Signs in Children and Adolescents of Possible Child Sexual Abuse

www.theresurgence.com

"..to train Christians and churches around the world to lead gospel-driven lives and ministries" source: www.theresurgence.com 

8 Ways To Protect Your Children From Sexual Abuse

Kamper Videos