Creating a Culture of Safety
Caring for your child or teen is a responsibility we take very seriously.
When your kid is with us, we want them to be more than just safe—we want them to thrive. That’s why we put policies in place to closely monitor activities and bring on staff and volunteers of the highest caliber. We intentionally create an atmosphere of physical, emotional, and spiritual safety.
At Impact 2818, we build systems around this motto: “Bad things don’t happen here because we don’t let them.” We plan for every type of scenario in order to keep your child safe. It has given us a tremendous history of sending campers home safely each year.
Staff & Volunteer Standards
A 360° Approach
Activities are a key part of the camp experience. We want to make sure these exciting activities are also safe. Certified lifeguards oversee swimming and boating activities, and ropes course staff are trained to keep everyone safe. We professionally inspect all high ropes courses and other features each year.
In the event of illness, symptomatic individuals are immediately separated from others. Any medical treatment of campers is performed in accordance with our First Aid Protocol & Procedure book. All Impact 2818 staff are CPR and First Aid Certified.
No child should ever feel unsafe expressing themselves in appropriate ways—especially while in a safe and inclusive environment like our camps. Our team diligently chases out unacceptable interactions like hazing, bullying, threats, cliques, favoritism, and mockery.
Counselors will stand up for your child. It is our greatest joy to live out the gospel as we create environments where all are embraced and valued as children of God.
At our camps, an individual will never be made to feel forced, coerced, or like an outsider based on their beliefs. We keep spiritual components simple to accommodate beliefs and values across the Christian spectrum. We will not baptize, require communion, or teach on speaking in tongues.
As a ministry of The United Methodist Church, we uphold their practices while recognizing and valuing that other denominations and churches have different concepts of what is right and beneficial. Those beliefs are best unpacked in a local church in a deep relationship with your family.
In short, we “major on the majors and minor on the minors.” We focus on the things that unite Christians, not divide them.
Volunteer & Staff Standards
Our events are led by volunteer directors from our local churches. These directors recruit counselors from within their church. All counselors go through a criminal history and sex offender background check.
Staff to Camper Ratios
Primary through middle school campers are under the supervision of at least two counselors/staff at all times of the day. High school campers have some freedom but are still under adult supervision.
Primary (grades K-2) – 2:10 (2 counselors for a group of 10 campers)
Elementary (grades 3-5) – 2:14
Middle School (grades 6-8) – 2:16
High School (grades 9-13) – 2:20
Sexual Abuse Awareness
All staff and volunteers are required to complete sexual abuse awareness training through Ministry Safe (www.ministrysafe.com), an expert in the field of abuse prevention.
In Loco Parentis
In Loco Parentis training (Latin for “in the place of a parent”) walks volunteers through how to care for campers and be responsible for their safety and well-being.
Digital & Cell Phone Standards
It is camp policy that no cell phones or communication devices are to be with campers or counselors.*
In the digital age, we are immersed in constant contact and distractions through electronic devices. We want campers to experience sanctuary—to be separated from the noise that is crowding their minds and attention.
Disconnecting from digital devices can help campers:
Focus on the transforming message of the gospel.
Engage relationally and have more social conversations.
Stay safe from photo/video content with safety risks that are difficult to monitor effectively.
Other ways to connect with your camper:
Put notes in their luggage.
*Only camp management staff and directors carry cell phones on site, to be used at appropriate times for camp business.
As a Conference Center, Epworth Forest allows campers and volunteers to carry cell phones at most of their events. However, we encourage limiting screen time to allow for a true retreat experience.
In Case of Emergency
Should any situation arise needing your attention, you will be immediately contacted by the camp staff. If you need us, all contact numbers can be found here and are monitored 24/7.