Child Protection Plan

Kanakuk and Joe White 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,…

John Ashcroft, former U.S. Attorney General

“I asked two of my partners, both former United States Attorneys with vast experience in prosecuting crimes against children, to assist me in reviewing the extensive materials regarding Kanakuk’s plan. We found the materials to be well-researched, current with best thinking on how to prevent child exploitation, practical and pointed. In our opinion, these materials evidence Kanakuk’s substantial commitment to and investment of resources to the protection of children from would-be predators. In our opinion, yours is a first-rate program.”

Summer Staff

All potential summer staff undergo an exhaustive interview with one of our trained leaders, who ask each applicant in-depth questions regarding family history, social involvement, spiritual growth, moral beliefs, and coaching abilities. Our interviewers…


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.


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.


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


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

The process consists of multiple layers of management oversight in all safety, health, and risk management areas. Kamp operates daily 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 inconsistent with Kamp’s code of conduct guidelines.


Kanakuk has implemented several new ways for Kampers, staff, or parents to report inappropriate conduct or concerns at Kamp. See below for some of our currently available options for reporting.


We always encourage Kampers, staff, and parents to let a safe adult (Counselor, Director, Nurse, etc.) 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.


Each Kamp has a confidential “Safe Box” that is checked regularly and gives Kampers easy confidential empowerment to report any concerns.

Call 1-800-4-A-Child

The national child abuse hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD) is posted throughout each Kamp, informing all Kampers, staff, and visitors of this direct abuse reporting number.

The Missouri Child and Neglect Hotline is 1-800-392-3738.


Each year parents entrust into Kanakuk’s care over 20,000 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…


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 full time staffing professionals such as a certified Human Resources Director, a Kamp Personnel Officer, and a Summer Staff Coordinator to oversee hiring policies and procedures. Instructors and counselors typically consist of current and post-graduate college students, as well as adults in professional occupations such as teachers. 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 is responsible for training numerous certified lifeguards, boat drivers, high element instructors and 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.


Kanakuk Kamps has a structured safety and risk management program overseen by the Kanakuk Corporate Safety Council comprised of six safety committees. To manage safety, Kanakuk employs a full-time, certified Director of Safety & Risk Management with over 30 years in risk and safety management, and a Corporate Safety Manager with over 25 years in military and security training. In addition, Kanakuk safety roles include two regional safety officers, ten Kamp-specific safety officers, 25 security staff, and hundreds of trained certified operators to help safeguard our Kampers. Safety training is accomplished through a series of orientations, trainings sessions and skills assessments. There are written handbooks on staffing, safety and crisis management which include procedures to safely operate activities as well as respond in critical situations. All Kanakuk Kamp facilities and activities are inspected daily throughout the summer to meet our safety guidelines.


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.


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.


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.


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. K-1, K-Kountry, K-2, K-West and K-Seven have a security guard house at the front gate, and all Kamps have their own security guards who conduct security patrols throughout the camps, along the waterfronts and also monitor the gates.


Camper transportation is overseen by the Director of Summer Transportation and all Kanakuk vehicles are serviced by one of Kanakuk’s full time, ASE Certified Technicians. Transportation of campers includes off-camp trips, shuttle service to and from the airport, and charter service from designated cities. Campers are transported in 7-15 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.


Kanakuk’s business operations are managed by the Chief Business Officer and the Chief Operating Officer, and a team of Business Directors: Director of Finance, Director of Operations; 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.

Full-Time Staff

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

Areas of Training
  • Risk Management
  • Crisis Management
  • Safety Policies & Procedures
  • Zero Tolerance Policies Regarding Abuse
  • Comprehensive Sexual Abuse Awareness & Prevention
  • Proper conduct

Proper Conduct

Proper conduct is communicated to staff in writing, verbally, and modeled in the lives of our leadership staff. Staff and Kamper conduct is stressed during staff training and is clearly outlined in our Standards of Conduct. Specific policies are set in place regarding modesty and one-on-one meetings. Lastly, specific guidelines on writing Kampers are also established.


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

Warning Signs in Children and Adolescents of Possible Child Sexual Abuse