Health and Safety
Health, Food, Safety & Security at SNC
Swift Nature Camp's top priority is to create the safest and most secure environment possible for everyone at camp. We accomplish this goal by attention to detail, a policy that starts with the Camp Directors and includes the entire Staff. We even include the campers with our "Safety Eyes Program" where campers get a reward if they see an area at camp that they feel may be unsafe. This is the beginning of how we get campers involved in taking care of themselves and their belongings.
|American Camp Association accreditation is one of the best ways to
ensure that the overnight camp you are sending your child to is safe and meets the highest standards. The ACA sets over 300 standards that range from Waterfront safety to proper staff training. Only about 20% of the camps in America meet the strict standards set forth by the ACA. Be sure the camp you select is ACA accredited.
At SNC our commitment to the health and safety of every child is unsurpassed. We pay close attention to your child's physical well being. SNC is filled with an active living life style. Just getting from a cabin to the Dining Hall entails a 3 minute walk. With all the daily land and waterfront activities available, every day at camp is packed with opportunities for exercise. We pride ourselves in keeping children active and busy all day long. With all this activity, early bed times are appreciated with a good 8-9 hours of sleep happening every night.
All camp personnel are trained to be vigilant in their supervision of campers. Staff meetings daily analyze potential problems and address them. Our goal is to maintain the safety of campers and to promote optimum health of mind, body, and spirit. At SNC we have a Registered Nurse who lives at camp and is available 24 hours a day to assist campers with any medical needs they may have. Our RN also distributes all prescribed and over-the-counter medications. All Counselors are Red Cross certified in First Aid and CPR. 85% of our Staff are Red Cross Lifeguard certified.
Nutrition and healthy eating are as important to us at SNC as they are to you as parents. We know that a balanced meal plan for our campers will mean more energy. Our menu is filled with nutritious foods that kids will enjoy. Our meals are kid friendly and cooked with care. Meals are served "Family Style" by our staff who encourage campers to try all foods. At each lunch and dinner, campers can also choose items from our Fresh Salad table to complement the main hot dish, ensuring that even picky eaters will find something they like. Snacks
Apples are a favorite snack at SNC. They are available all day long for a simple smile and “May I please have an apple?" Special Dietary Needs
We recognize that many children have special dietary needs and allergies that require constant attention. We will do our best to work closely with you to develop a menu that will fit your child's needs. Sample Menu
Juice / Milk
|Cook Out Night
Burgers & Dogs
Juice / Milk
Spaghetti & Meatballs
*Camp Store Night
Juice / Milk
All the fixens
Juice / Milk
Mac & Cheese
*Camp Store Night
Juice / Milk
your cabin will
head out into
the woods with
a meal to make
over a flame
Juice / Milk
*Camp Store Night
Juice / Milk
Choice of dressings
Preventing Child Abuse While Your Child is at SNC
Swift Nature Camp is vigilant about keeping children safe from predators while at camp. Our primary goal is to eliminate opportunities for abuse. We believe this starts with whom we hire, proper training of staff, background checks and includes policies that act as preventative barriers to abuse.
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse
Swift Nature Camp is a mandatory reporter and must notify local authorities of any good faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physically or emotionally neglected, physically or sexually abused or has been exposed to violence or threats.
At Swift Nature Camp we take pride in hiring the best young adults (over 18) available. Because of our small size and high return rate for staff, we can be very selective when hiring. The vast majority of our staff members are education majors in college with a desire to work with children. Their education addresses a wide range of relevant issues and they bring that knowledge with them to share with the entire staff. Our own pre-camp preparation clearly addresses child abuse and provides a video as part of our training program.
Employee applications require references for past work with children. We contact all references personally. SNC runs a state and federal Background Check as well as a search of the National Sex Offender List. Over the years we have declined applicants with backgrounds including DUI, trespassing, identity theft and other convictions. We believe anything but a clear record is a signal not to risk a hire, and our policy reflects this. Background checks combined with exemplary references and superb school records are all included in the thorough evaluation of our applicants. We are very particular - camp is our home, too.
More than two weeks prior to the arrival of children, staff arrives at camp. This gives us time to get to know our new hires and check up on any life changes for our returning staff. If for any reason we believe we have erred and that any staff candidate does not have a child's best interests as a top priority, they are dismissed prior to the start of camp. During this two week period we train every staff member in basic First Aid procedures, CPR, lifeguarding and how to keep our campers safe. We also hold a training class specifically on child abuse awareness and what is appropriate around our children. Staff training concludes with a comprehensive 4 page test to be sure that counselors understand policies and procedures while at camp. Our returning employees and our seasoned adult educators have an ongoing opportunity to see our new hires 'in action'. Peer evaluations are usually accurate because they can see what we might miss. Tolerance is an important practice at camp, but if someone is said not to fit in with our guidelines, there's usually an explanation for it. We investigate. Everything our staff members do and say are an extended 'application' for employment at Swift.
Prior to the arrival of campers all employees of SNC are drug tested. During the entire time summer camp is in session, we reserve the right to test anyone at any time for any reason. Positive test results cause immediate termination. If illegal (or legal but not prescribed) substances are found on a person or in their belongings, it will be investigated by the police. We take every precaution with storing prescription drugs and keeping them out of the hands of children.
Alcohol at Camp
Alcohol is not allowed at Swift Nature Camp. Period. We stress to our counselors that if they are under 21 it is against Wisconsin law to drink alcohol. If a counselor returns to camp and is suspected of being intoxicated he or she will be asked to take a Breathalyzer test. If the test results indicate legal intoxication he or she will be terminated effective immediately, regardless of age.
Daily Staff Meetings
At Swift, daily contact with our staff is essential to the effective running of a fun, safe camp. Each day we meet with counselors to discuss camp. Together we review particulars of camp life and reinforce safety practices. Updates for staff might include new developments, weather reports, and individual camper information. Daily meetings provide staff with the ongoing support they need to function effectively and keep kids happy and safe. We have found that frequent, direct communication is the best way to give staff members the opportunity to talk with us about any concerns they may have. That daily practice also gives us a chance to point out what areas of camp life are going really well and offers needed encouragement! Our meetings are always camper-centered, and sometimes we learn from our employees about new and better ways to support them in their work.
Night Time Security
SNC snuggles in early and tightens up on security at night. Staff members must always be with children and having 2 counselors per cabin provides an available escort for a during-the-night potty trip or available help at any time. Once campers and staff are in bed our night patrol makes sure camp is safe. They close the gate to the main road to ensure no one can drive on to or otherwise access camp property.
Double Leadership Policy
Our policy is to have 2 counselors with the children at all times. Two counselors live in each cabin and accompany their group on all activities and trips. This builds strong, consistent relationships of trust between campers and counselors. Campers are encouraged to tell their counselors about anything that concerns them, good or bad. The counselors are ready to listen, and they watch for signals from the child who might not be 'telling' at the moment. They are trained to touch base with each camper on a regular basis to keep ongoing awareness of how the camp experience is going every day for every child.
One-on-One Contact Policy
Our policy directs that one-on-one contact between a counselor and camper should NEVER be in non-public areas. If a counselor is talking with a camper one on one, that interaction should be outside and clearly visible to everyone passing by, the cabin porch is a great spot.
Accommodations for Staff and Campers Policy
At Swift our counselors live in the cabin with campers. They act as mentors and offer guidance. Counselors are to be discreet when dressing around children. Counselors need to monitor showers and are always respectful of the campers’ privacy. Counselors shower at a different time unless they are wearing a swim suit. Counselors also monitor camper-to-camper activity in daily life.
Privacy and Respect Policy
All staff must respect the privacy of campers in situations such as changing clothes and taking showers at camp, and be involved only to the extent that health and safety require. Adults must protect their own privacy in similar situations. Cameras are strictly prohibited from bathrooms or being present when campers are changing. Counselors are instructed about how to be aware of protecting campers when they're in groups of peers. There's a fine line, but the role is supervisory in nature. Staff members are required to report any improprieties between campers and any other camper or counselor. If a counselor suspects unapproved activity by staff or child, he or she is encouraged to speak to the Directors without fear of recrimination whether or not the fear ends up being real.
Visitors at Camp Policy
We are very aware when an outside visitor enters camp and we train all of our staff to bring visitors directly to the office. At the office we can review our records to be sure who visitors are and if that person has the right to see and or take a child out of camp. Only pre-approved visitors are allowed contact with campers. If a person is not listed on your registration, we will contact you before we allow any visit at or outside of camp. If we cannot reach you, a visit will not be allowed.
No initiations or physical hazing are permitted and will not be tolerated.
Verbal, physical, or cyber bullying are not permitted and will not be tolerated. We encourage all campers to be kind, positive, respectful and supportive of others. An action or gesture to the contrary (eyeball rolling when another camper speaks, for example) will be addressed verbally, privately and promptly. Sometimes, kids are not aware of what their actions are 'saying' and a timely word or explanation can make a big difference.
Policy Explanation Begins On Orientation Day
The very first day of camp is a day of learning about all areas of camp life. Campers go to each of the activities and receive an overview of safety rules for that activity. In addition, Lonnie takes each cabin group for a tour around camp and talks to them about our code of conduct. She makes sure each camper knows what to do and who to turn to if that camper is not being respected or does not feel safe while at camp. Lonnie is our well loved camp Mom and is always a friendly and safe person to turn to if camp life is not what a camper expected.
Constructive Discipline Policy
As parents, you know that discipline choices begin when a child is born. Guided by your beliefs, those choices are a part of everything you do, the conditions you facilitate and the thousands of daily decisions you make to guide your child on the path to happiness, growth, health and safety. We believe in respect for campers and their parents, that every rule we have here at Swift is in place to ensure safe, healthy fun. In keeping with those beliefs, if we see that a camper's poor choices are hurting himself or others, we'll intervene. We'll review your application to see if you've provided insight for us and our staff about the behavior involved. Then we craft an approach to the problem behavior by educating the camper on what is undesirable and why it's not accepted here. We look to help the camper determine if he or she can control this behavior and what level of support they need to make better choices. We'll work with the camper to come up with ways to move forward by making better decisions. If needed, the camper may be asked to write out a plan that includes behavioral goals within a reasonable time frame. Going forward, a mix of frequent monitoring, lots of praise, recognition of improvement and evidence of numerous good decisions will naturally begin to reward the camper because the result will be more friends, more fun and more safety. If more restrictive discipline is required, it will be constructive and suited to the individual camper. If needed, we do contact parents, but this hardly ever turns out to be necessary. We believe that kids want to succeed and are capable of managing their life changes with consistent and caring support. Everyone's different, and everyone learns in his or her own way. Our discipline policy at Swift adheres to those beliefs.
Appropriate Attire Policy:
SNC has a dress code that campers and staff must adhere to.
We dislike doing this, but many of the items that children wear these days to the mall are not appropriate for camp. Camp clothes should be old and not a fashion statement. Camp is about YOU not your clothes. T-shirts are wonderful camp clothes. SNC expects campers to wear underwear and have no exposed bellies, cleavages or fannies. This rules out all short shorts, spaghetti string tops or midriff tops. Oh, and on those T-shirts make sure the logos or sayings are camp appropriate as well, no drugs, alcohol or sex promoted. We also are a no makeup camp, so don't bring it. As for bathing suits, only 1 piece suits are acceptable. If you wear something that does not meet our code we will ask you to change, so be prepared. Please bring close toed shoes, FLIP FLOPS or Sandals are NOT allowed for daily wear. Thanks for your understanding.
SNC Code of Conduct Policy
All members of SNC are expected to sign agreement to our Conduct Code.
Swift Nature Camp accepts all applicants who are willing to abide by the rules and policies of our overnight summer camp. We expect campers behavior to be positive and beneficial, both for themselves and to others. However, at its sole discretion, SNC has the right to dismiss any child, without a refund of tuition, whose behavior is rude, mean spirited, mentally or physically harmful to themselves or others. This includes, but is not limited to, the use or possession of drugs, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages, knives, guns, pornography or any other camp inappropriate or illegal substance. We reserve the right to search campers' belongings. Any camper who chooses not to follow this policy may be counseled and if necessary disciplined or dismissed. Please be sure you discuss this policy with your child and that they fully understand the consequences of inappropriate actions at camp.
Staff Monitoring Policy
As the Directors, we are at camp 24/7 and are always on hand to guide staff in making good decisions with your children. We are aware of the responsibility you give us by sending your child to SNC, we take that responsibility personally, and we honor that trust with persistent attention to the details.