Summer – and excited children heading off to summer camps for swimming, hiking, and boating – may be months away, but the hiring of camp staff and camp volunteers begins long before the temperatures start getting warmer. And while summer camp should be a time for fun, freedom, and frolicking, there are those criminals who would use this opportunity to prey upon the most innocent of victims in the most pleasant of surroundings.
According to the American Camp Association (ACA), more than 11 million children and adults attend approximately 12,000 camps throughout the United States every year. These camps use almost two million individuals as staff or volunteers to serve children, youth, and vulnerable adults – all potential victims of criminal activities. A recent ACA pilot program in which selected youth serving organizations had access to timely and inexpensive background checks on potential volunteers revealed some alarming criminal data.
Of the nearly 40,000 criminal background checks conducted on volunteers, 6.1% of all applicants were found to have criminal records that rendered them unfit to work with children. These criminal records included convictions of criminal sexual conduct with a child, aggravated criminal assault, rape, homicide, and other serious felonies. In addition, 40% of these individuals had a criminal record from other states – meaning that only a nationwide check would have uncovered that fact – and 26% of them showed a different name on their criminal record than the one they used to apply.
Protecting members from the unthinkable – and the criminals who commit those crimes – is the top priority of any organization, including non-profit and volunteer groups. Leading consumer background check provider MyBackgroundCheck.com – a member of the Pre-employ.com Family of Companies – is sponsoring a FREE webinar titled “Preventing the Unthinkable: An Integrated Approach to Protecting Campers and Staff” on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 from 1:00 PM to 1:40 PM PST to help camp owners keep their camps safe and protect their campers and volunteer staff from criminals. Campground decision makers and camp volunteers interested in joining the webinar may sign up at http://www.mybackgroundcheck.com/Business/Volunteer/Camp/.
Participants in this webinar will learn how to increase camper and camp volunteer staff safety by preventing exposure to sexual predators and other criminals, tracking camp job and volunteer applicants to see if they have ever been denied placement at camps before, and implementing a minimal-cost, comprehensive screening solution for camps on a local, regional, and national level.
How can criminals be prevented from being volunteers at camps? The answer is by using Mybackgroundcheck.com’s comprehensive Volunteer Tracking System (VTS), a unique volunteer screening program that tracks volunteer applicants within your organization for effective risk management at the local, regional, and national levels. VTS significantly reduces volunteer screening costs and protects volunteers, the community, and your organization.
To learn more about MyBackgroundCheck.com’s VTS, please visit www.volunteertracking.com or contact a VTS representative at 1-800-503-2364. To learn how to protect your camp or volunteer organization from criminals, or to sign up for the FREE webinar – “Preventing the Unthinkable: An Integrated Approach to Protecting Campers and Staff” – please visit http://www.mybackgroundcheck.com/Business/Volunteer/Camp/.