What every Church and Youth Ministry Camp Director can Learn from the Penn State Fiasco

Unfortunately you have a lot in common with Joe Paterno and Mike McQuery?  Just like you folks, you have not, nor ever will commit the physical crimes against children, as did Jerry Sandusky.  However, YOU are responsible and liable for your camp or church employee’s actions when there is even a hint that someone is abusing a child.  This is not a reminder about the people or actions at Penn State. It is certainly a REALITY check for all involved with youth and church ministry camps that we are all vulnerable to attack.

While the Penn State case is making national headlines because of its legendary coach and it’s football program, understand that this happens FREQUENTLY in church, ministry or sports.  Many of you are involved in some form of summer camp ministry or outbound missions work.  Are you a coach, athletic director, pastor, elder or parent that is involved in ministry work with children?  Regardless of your involvement, make sure your church, camp, or ministry has strict guidelines for parent participation, interviewing camp leaders, transportation of kids with other adults and all the insurance forms needed to protect your kids or the organization running the camp.

The acts against students at Penn State are very unfortunate as (in most cases of child abuse) they could have been prevented with better guidelines and organizational review of adults. Hopefully your church or ministry will never have to go through a scandal like this. On our web site; www.cmirisk.com in our tools tab, we have a white paper on youth ministry risk management. There are simple steps you can take to minimize your risk as a camp director or pastor and protect the precious young lives that you will be working with this summer.

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