Vol. 4, 2017
2017 Safety 1st camp nominations are now open!
Self-nominate your camp for Markel’s Safety 1st recognition
Markel’s Safety 1st program recognizes camps that have shown an outstanding commitment to safety.
Think of Markel’s Safety 1st certificate as a report card from your insurance company, giving you an A+ for safety.
If your club is selected to receive the Safety 1st designation for 2017, you will receive:
Register now and mark your calendar! Click here to register
|Webinar 8: Beyond your comfort zone
Dr. Deb Bialeschki, Ph.D. and Rhonda Mickelson, M.Ed.
Wednesday, November 1 - 1:00pm eastern
When a crisis or something “outside the comfort zone” occurs, how will your staff respond? This webinar will share “lessons learned” from an analysis of the American Camp Association Hotline reports and provide suggested steps and resources to assist in crisis management, staff training, and preparation for the unexpected. Through discussions of case studies, this session will share valuable information about health/medical issues, personnel issues, allegations of abuse, camper behavior issues, parent behavior, death, and special situations. Ideas of how to share this information with your staff will be incorporated throughout the webinar.
The fires of the 2017 California fire season have been devastating. These catastrophes are no doubt having camps throughout the country evaluate their plans on how to respond to a wildfire event. There are a number of resources designed to help property owners protect their property against the exposure and damages that a wildfire can cause. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides insight on one approach: “Firewise.”
According to the NFPA, the best approach to wildfire preparedness involves utilizing the wide range of Firewise practices that individuals and communities can take to reduce their vulnerability to wildfire. The National Firewise Communities Program offers a series of practical steps and/or supporting documents in the following areas:
By implementing at least one recommended mitigation measure or planning element, individuals and communities can begin to protect against the risk of fire in the wildland/urban interface. Examples of Firewise techniques for property owners include the following:
Markel’s Risk Management article, Controlling wildland fire exposures is an article that is also designed to help to support a camp’s desire to mitigate the property damage a wildland fire can cause.
As you evaluate trees and brush that are potential fuel sources, the U.S. National Park Service offers the following insight and tips regarding hazardous fuels that can drive a fire’s progress. Hazardous fuel reduction generally requires the reduction of surface and ladder fuels. It may also require thinning out dense tree stands, preserving mature sized trees in some instances. It can be accomplished using fire, biological methods, and mechanical treatments to remove or modify fuels in forested areas. Thinning trees, removing underbrush, and limbing trees are done using hand-crews (team of temporary agency employees with solid reputations as multi-skilled professional firefighters) or machines. Cut material is ground into chips or piled and burned during the winter. Biological methods include grazing and are usually not used in national parks.
Ladder fuels, as defined by The National Wildfire Coordinating Group, are fuels which provide vertical continuity between strata, thereby allowing fire to carry from surface fuels into the crowns of trees or shrubs with relative ease. They help initiate and assure the continuation of crowning.
Pruning ladder fuels is one way to control them as an ignition source. The following are pruning guidelines recommended by the Oregon State University Extension Service:
Well-established fuel breaks may help reduce a wildfire’s ability to progress. The USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service provides three strategies that may enhance your efforts. They are road maintenance and roadside disking and brown strips, mowed fuel breaks, and vegetative fuel breaks.
It is also recommended that you confer with your local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) about your current and future wildfire management plans.
Do you have bleachers at camp? Depending on their age, maintenance, and height, bleachers may require additional safety protocols to help keep them a viable seating alternative for members.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that bleachers be thoroughly inspected at least quarterly to identify any structural damage or degradation that could compromise safety. This should include inspecting the end caps to insure they are in place and secure. Low-rise bleachers that are less than four rows tall will have a top row height at or below 30 inches. A national building code requires any bleacher with a top row height over 30 inches be enclosed in a chain link or picket guardrail system or some other similar protective device.
If your bleachers’ top row height exceeds 30 inches, the CPSC provides the following guidelines to prevent fall hazards:
To learn more about bleacher retrofitting, visit to cpsc.gov.
“Guidelines for Retrofitting Bleachers”. Pub. No. 330.000011. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Washington. D.C. 2005