Summer Camp Staff Manual - Essentials

All Staff must read the staff manual before attending staff training. There are two sections for you to read.

  1. The essential information for all staff members.
  2. The relevant sections pertaining to the role/s you will have at summer camps.

Summer Camp Manual

Essentials - For all staff to read, see below

Job Descriptions
Spiritual Matters
Child-Safe Code of Conduct
Cleanup Checklists

Camp Philosophy

In a society of changing values and growing insecurity, summer Camps are a unique opportunity for Christian leaders to offer a safe healthy and spiritual environment where young people can experience an authentic Christian Community. Every young person is precious to God needing to be treasured, loved, respected and adored.
Summer Camps is an opportunity for us to give them a glimpse of God’s view of them. It is a time of great fun and laughter, a time to develop new relationships, and a time to better discover Jesus. Summer Camp is a place where commitment and service to Jesus is made.


Building Confident And Committed Christians

  1. To make be an example of the joys and privileges of knowing Jesus. To encourage spiritual habits such as devotional times, prayer and witnessing.
  2. To affect in each camper desirable changes toward Christian character and behaviour by meeting Jesus face to face for the first time or renewing a vital relationship with Him.
  3. To give opportunity for making Christian friendships and to foster the development of social skills, loyalty, teamwork, resilience and a sense of responsibility.
  4. To promote Christian unity among the diversity of cultures our youth represent.
  5. To teach new skills and thus increase the sense of self-worth and self-confidence.
  6. To give knowledge of outdoor skills that may lead to a lifetime of enjoyment in outdoor recreation.
  7. To deepen the sense of mission among Seventh-day Adventist youth.
  8. Have fun.

Safety First

We are happy that over the years Yarrahapinni Summer Camps have operated they have been operated safely. Serious injuries have rarely occurred. We give thanks to God for His protection and would like to keep in His care this summer too.

A safe camp does not just happen. It is planned. Our common objective is that every area of camp be free from hazards that would cause accidental injury to residents or visitors. In accepting our job, we have assumed the responsibility for seeing that the campers enjoy this adventure under conditions, which will ensure safe and happy experiences.

The thought that all hazards can be eliminated from a camping experience is unrealistic. Therefore, teaching campers to develop alertness and intelligence in facing hazards provides as important a learning experience as knowing how to avoid them.

Camp safety can create a restrictive, take-the-adventure-out-of-life, pressure type programme. Or, it can be an attitude of life in which the adventure is preserved—but with safeguards.


To aid in creating this attitude, the camp administration have taken care of certain essential preliminary matters. These would include: compliance with state and/or local laws; maintenance of camp site as free from hazards as possible; provision of facilities, and equipment adequate and in safe condition; medical personnel on the staff; detailed advanced plans to handle emergencies and proper insurance.


An attitude of safety creates an awareness of potential sources of accidents.  Each staff member is especially aware of this in their respective sphere of operation, such as:

  1. Cabin or teaching area.
  2. Slippery or wet floors, broken steps or railings, protruding nails, rough or splintery floors or edges of bunks, broken glass, sharp edges of tin, exposed unprotected pipelines or wires, tree stumps and roots etc.
  3. Equipment, tools or belongings left out of place can be hazardous.
  4. Camper limitations or restrictions.  Over-exertion, fatigue, chilling, sun-exposure, and altitude.
  5. Swimming at beach without supervision.

The list could continue. No need though - because a list is restrictive. We are concerned about an attitude. 

Our common goal is that no camper would leave with permanent physical, mental or emotional scars. What fun to be able to teach campers an awareness of safety, which hopefully will become a life pattern.

Natural Hazards

    There is a list of authorized drivers and no one else is allowed to drive the vehicles especially the green machine.  Speed limit is 15 kph in the entire campsite.  The equipment is routinely serviced to maintain it in optimal working order.
    This is only a serious problem with those campers who are allergic to insect stings.  The Counsellors are made aware if one of their campers has this type of allergy.  Proper medications are kept available by the nurse.  Insect repellent is recommended. 
    Because of our location, we have no problem with excessive traffic, sound or air pollution, or interference from the public. The camp is clearly identified at the entrance.
    Campers must be under Counsellor supervision when there are free time water activities, including the beach.  Footwear is required except for at the beach.
    Protective clothing and devices are provided and are encouraged to be worn.  No one under 16 years of age may operate any camp equipment.  No one can use equipment unless they have first been instructed by camp staff of its correct operation and maintenance.

Fire Emergency Drill


  1. Protect campers from impending life threatening danger.
  2. Maintain calmness among campers.


  1. Fire Extinguishers - each building has a fire extinguisher.
  2. Fire Hoses - note where these are located and the way they operate.
  3. Kitchen - chemical extinguisher and fire blanket.

Special Instructions

  1. During staff orientation the camp ranger (fire officer) will instruct all staff on procedures.
  2. The fire officer will liaise with local fire brigade.
  3. During the fire danger, the Director’s office will be the communications centre (fire horn will be located here).
  4. The first aid room where the nurse is stationed will be the centre for medical help.
  5. All campers should assemble on the parade area.


  1. Know your responsibility and location of equipment
  2. Attend the fire drill.


  1. Notify camp Director or Ranger immediately of any impending fire danger.
  2. Report to positions if you are a fire crewmember.

Staff Policies

  1. APPEARANCE   When in a service relationship, you are to dress in a clean and neat manner. The Camp will provide the T-shirt portion of the uniform. Hair style and choice of dress must not be offensive to our campers or constituency.
  2.  AUTHORITY   The Summer Camp Directors have final authority over all summer camp personnel and activities on the grounds. In his/her absence, this authority is automatically delegated to the Program Director and Activities Director. Further delegation of authority may be assigned for limited periods and will be announced as needed.
  3. AVAILABILITY   All camp staff are considered by the camp administration as being available for the total camp ministry needs. Should a member of the administrative staff or department head for specific help contact a staff member, it is expected that the staff member will, within reason, exhibit willingness to be used wherever needed.
  4. CABIN CHECKOUT   At the conclusion of a camp, the Counsellor is responsible to see that the cabin is cleaned, all needed repairs are responded in writing, and all lost and found items are labelled and brought to the office.
  5. CAMP VEHICLES   Specific permission will be given to those who are authorised to drive any conference vehicle.  That permission is for a specific job or time only.
  6. CAMPER DISCIPLINE   Each Counsellor is directly responsible for the campers under his/her care and is responsible for their control and correction.  Boys’ and Girls’ Directors are directly responsible for Counsellors and should be informed of any aberrant behaviour.  Counsellors must never in any manner strike or harm a camper. All camper problems are to be dealt with on an individual basis – first by the unit Counsellor, then the Boys’ or Girls’ Director, then, if needed, by the Summer Camp Director.  At no time shall another staff member attempt discipline of a camper not assigned to his/her unit – unless they are:
    a. Directly under the activity supervision (i.e. lifeguard, activity Director, etc.)
    b. Exhibiting behaviour, which might result in bodily harm to another person or be destructive to the group in a camp group activity.  In such cases, the staff member should also advise the Counsellor of the actions taken so that the Counsellor can follow through the matter with the camper involved.
  7. CAMPER RELATIONSHIPS   Remember You are here to serve the camper. A minimum of social contact will be permitted.  NO DATES WITH CAMPERS ARE PERMITTED. Couples to act in a professional manner.
  8. CLEANLINESS   Your personal hygiene and accommodation should be as neat and clean as possible at all times. This is your right and your roommate's privilege.
  9. CONDUCT   Staff should agree that while staying at the camp, he or she will adjust their personal habits and actions to the customs, policies, and ideals of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and of the Camp, as outlines in the Church Manual and Staff Manual and to so conduct himself at all times, both in camp and away from camp, that he will be a credit to himself and to the camp; and to keep hours and habits which will enable them to remain in excellent physical condition.
  10. CURFEW   All staffers should be in their quarters by 10:30 pm. Lights must be out thirty minutes later.  Be considerate of those who must rise early – as they should be of those who work late.
  11. DEVOTIONAL LIFE   In addition to required staff devotions, you are urged to develop your own regular daily time and place for your communion with God. The extra demands placed upon you in camp make this strengthening of your own spiritual life a must.
  12. DINING ROOM   No bare feet or bathing suits are allowed in the dining room.
  13. EMERGENCIES   The announcement will signal fire or other danger. You are to report immediately to the area specified in our fire emergency drill.
  14. EMERGENCY LEAVE   In the event of a death in the family of staff, illness in the family, or urgent business, leave will be granted in relation to individual circumstances at the discretion of the Summer Camp Director.
  15. EQUIPMENT   Tools, keys and supplies will be checked out to the staff for use.  These must be returned to the shed as soon as you have finished the work.
  16. FIRES   No open flame is permitted except in program activities, under supervision in designated sites. It will be against camp regulations to play with any fire equipment or fire-fighting apparatus within the camp.  All fire hoses shall be kept in their respective positions and shall not be used except by order of the staff or in case of fire.  It is very important that all of this equipment be kept intact and in working order to avoid any problems should a fire break out in camp. No candles will be allowed in the cabins.  NOTE: law forbids Firecrackers. (Fire extinguishers cost $120 each to refill – this will be charged to the offender.) We are in a high-risk area.
  17. FOOD   Food is not permitted in cabins. "Parties" are to be schedules in advance, with the Camp Director.
  18. HEALTH EXAMINATION   Should there be any question of physical fitness on the part of the volunteer, the camp shall reserve the right to require at any time during the camp, a health examination by the physician or clinic of the camp’s choice, at the expense of the camp.
  19. INSURANCE   Employees who are required to operate an automobile as part of their work will be required to have an appropriate license.
  20. KITCHEN   No one is permitted in the kitchen preparation area unless on duty there.
  21. LIGHTS   The last person leaving a building is to close the door and turn out the lights. This is the responsibility of the Counsellors in the cabins or whoever is in charge of an activity in that particular building.
  22. CAMP UPKEEP   All staff are required to assist in keeping the camp clean and tidy at all times and to take a personal interest in caring for furnishings, instruments, and recreational equipment.
  23. OFF GROUNDS   Staff members may not leave the camp except with the permission of the Camp Director/Program Director
  24. PERSONAL EQUIPMENT   The camp administration assumes no responsibility for staff personal equipment and/or valuables. Staff may check valuables and personal items in with headquarters for safekeeping. At no time shall staff use of personal equipment:
    a. Endanger the life or safety of another human being or wild life.
    b. Distract the staff member from his/her assigned duties.
    c. Violate any camp policy.
    d. Be annoying to another staff member or camper.
  25. PETS   No staff pets are allowed.
  26. RADIOS   Because our objectives call for a change of environment for the camper, we ask that no radios, stereos, DVD’s, Laptops or TV’s be used in cabin areas.
  27. SAFETY   Do not take risks in any area.  If you are injured, report immediately to the nurse for care. In case of illness, she can request that your supervisor excuse you for that day. You must check with the nurse each day before time to begin work.
  28. STAFF DISCIPLINE   Staff violating a stated camp policy shall be consulted, first by their immediate administrative supervisor. If the matter cannot be resolved, it shall then be referred to the Summer Camp Director.
  29. STAFF FATIGUE   It is important that all staff members get proper rest. All music should be silenced and all games put away in time for a good night’s rest. Staff fatigue can be avoided (for he most part) if each member will use self-discipline.
  30. STAFF GUESTS   "Camp Guest" means anyone on the premises of Yarrahapinni, regardless of length of stay, who is not a registered camper or a recognised staff member at the camp. Summer Camp is a closed camp. No visitors are allowed. Under certain circumstances the Summer Camp Director may grant permission.
  31. STAFF MEETING   Attendance is required at all staff meetings, including daily staff worship, unless previously excused because of illness or other duties.
  32. TELEPHONE   A public telephone has been provided for the use of staff members.  All personal telephone calls should be made on this phone. Please do not ask to use the telephone in the office.
  33. VEHICLES   You are asked to leave a set of keys (a spare set is best) if you are leaving camp and not taking your vehicle. This will be helpful in case of fire or disaster.
  34. VISITATION   Undue fraternisation between members of the staff will not be accepted and all association must be kept on a proper Christian basis. Since this is a co-ed camp, all must be very careful along this line. We feel that camp is not the best place to carry on a romance. However, this is not discouraged as long as it does not interfere with your work or with the entire camp program. Romances must be kept on a "high plane" at all times. Acts of affection should be discouraged. It is very important that we set a proper example before the other campers. At no time is a staff member to enter the cabin or room of the opposite sex for visitation purposes.
  35. WATERFRONT   No boating, canoeing, or swimming outside the designed hours unless granted permission.  No boating/surfing at night
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