Office Information

WVU Extension Service
Kanawha County Office
4700 MacCorkle Avenue SE
Suite 101
Charleston, WV 25304

Phone: 304-720-9573
Fax: 304-205-7863
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00-4:00
Driving Directions

Topic 4: Risk Management

Topic 4: Risk Management

This topic will provide you with a greater understanding of risk management and emergency procedures at camp.

Risk Management

“Risk management” is the term given to the process that we use to identify, analyze, and manage risk during 4-H programs. The objective of risk management is the protection of our human, financial, and physical resources from loss or destruction. In other words, risk management is for your protection. Review Risk Management at 4-H Camp to learn about duty of care, negligence, and seven ways on how to avoid negligence at 4-H camp.

Emergency Procedures at Camp

A risk management plan is developed by the Camp Director. This plan is shared with camp staff prior to the start of each camp. This plan will review the items listed below and include phone numbers of various individuals at the county and state level in the event of an emergency.

Weather related emergency

If there is bad weather and campers need to take shelter they will be dismissed to the nearest building. If the weather is severe (tornado), campers report to the assembly hall at the Lodge (Younger & Older Camps) and shelter in the Riverside Picnic Shelter’s kitchen at Coonskin ( Day Camp). The Camp Director and a designated adult staff member will monitor weather throughout the week to keep staff and campers apprised of any potential threat of bad weather.

Fire emergency

In the event of a fire, the dining hall bell will be sounded. Campers should leave the building they are in and an adult volunteer will take roll call. Report any missing or injured camper(s) to the Camp Director.

Missing person

Roll call is conducted throughout each day at camp to ensure that every camper is where they need to be. For example, roll call is taken at the start of classes and meals. Missing persons are to be reported to the Camp Director immediately. Do not delay this reporting for positive confirmation; report any suspected cases. If the person is not found or does not show up within reasonable time, the Camp Director and Deans will gather facts on the missing person, i.e. recent activities, location last seen, clothing description, special medical problems of missing person, etc. Individuals will be designated to conduct a preliminary search of the grounds.
If the preliminary search fails, the Camp Director will contact the authorities through 911. Parents will be contacted regarding the situation by the Camp Director.

Active Shooter (taken from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

4-H Camps have adopted the active shooter policy from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. All staff are encouraged to be familiar with the Active Shooter Policy . It will be reviewed, along with all other emergency procedures during staff training prior to the start of each camp.

Staff and Camper Check Out Policy

Requests by campers to leave camp must be approved by the Camp Director. The Member Code of Conduct has space where the parent/guardian designates who can pick up their child. Any designated pickup and/or return person must make personal contact with the Camp Director and sign their child out when picking up and returning an individual to the camp. All campers must be signed out at the end of camp.
Any staff member that needs to leave during camp needs to let the Camp Director know. All 4-H Camps have designated child/ adult supervision ratios to maintain. If an adult volunteer leaves without the Camp Director’s knowledge, this creates a potential risk management issue for our camp and the youth in our charge.

Overnight Supervision of Campers

It is the responsibility of adult staff and volunteers to supervise campers during 4-H Older & Younger Camps. Several key points regarding the overnight supervision of campers:
1. As mentioned above, adult volunteers shall not leave the youths under their supervision or the grounds of the 4-H camp unless they have spoken to and received approval from the camp director.
2. Campers will not be allowed in the sleeping areas of campers of the opposite gender. All campers must be in their assigned location (as per the camp program) and shall comply with quiet hour and lights-out times.

Staff Relations with Children & Above Suspicion

It’s important for WVU Extension Service employees and volunteers to not intentionally or purposefully place themselves in a position alone with a child in a one-on-one situation. This is often difficult to achieve in camping situations where adults fill roles supervising youth and sharing sleeping quarters with campers not related to them. Please review WVU's Above Suspicion Policy.

To help address situations involving a camper or teen counselor and avoid a one-on-one situations:

Safety & Health

All campers and staff need to have a completed and signed Health History Form. Adult volunteers are encouraged to complete a health history so that information is available for the Camp Medical Staff/ Camp Director, if something were to happen to them while at camp. Both camper forms and the adult volunteer forms will be controlled and maintained by the Camp Medical staff/ Camp Director. No other person at camp should ever have access to this information.

The Camp Medical staff will collect all medication from campers during registration and have responsibility for dispensing it to individuals during camp. Adult staff are asked to leave any medication in their locked vehicles. Under no circumstances should medication or over the counter medication be on a person (adult or camper) or in their cabin or the barracks during camp. Exceptions to this rule need to be approved by the Camp Medical Staff (ex. inhalers).

Both the child and parent will meet with the Camp Medical Staff during registration to discuss health issues, medication, and to update/assure currency of the health form. Only the Camp Medical staff may dispense medication during camp to include prescription and over-counter medications. All medications will be secured by the Camp Medical and other medical equipment will be under visual observation or in a locked box at all times.
The camp nurse will have a first aid kit within immediate availability at all times.