Discipline, Abuse & Neglect Policies
Ramah Day Camp Greater DC’s discipline policy is designed to help children develop self-control and assume responsibility for their actions. Clear and consistent age-appropriate rules and limitations are established at camp. Inappropriate behavior by one or two children can spoil an experience for the entire group.
Staff will deal with normal day-to-day behavior issues using acceptable techniques and approaches including the following:
- redirecting campers
- rewarding acceptable behavior
- encouraging campers to talk about their feelings
- modeling how to speak and interact with campers in a positive manner
- utilizing time-outs when appropriate
When a child’s behavior seriously disrupts group interaction, could result in harm to themselves or others, or involves any physical interaction with campers and/or staff, it may be necessary to separate the child until he/she is able to regain control and rejoin the group.
If a child’s behavior is chronically disruptive, even after reasonable measures have been made in order to assist the child in adjusting to the camp setting, parents will be contacted by camp staff to strategize ways to help their child re-integrate into the community and determine if the child is able to continue at camp. Staff will always work toward developing a cooperative plan of action to maximize a camper’s chance of success at summer camp.
ABUSE AND NEGLECT POLICY
It is the goal of Ramah Day Camp Greater DC to promote a camp that is free of child abuse and neglect. To achieve our goal, the conduct that is described in this policy will not be tolerated. We have provided a procedure by which inappropriate conduct will be dealt with if experienced or reported by campers and staff.
Because Ramah Day Camp takes allegations of child abuse and neglect seriously, we will respond promptly to complaints of child abuse and neglect. Where it is determined that such inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and impose such corrective action as is necessary, including disciplinary action where appropriate.
DEFINITION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
The following are some examples of conduct that may constitute child abuse and neglect:
- Verbal abuse
- Physical abuse
- Psychological/emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
The striking or other physical or sexual abuse of campers is grounds for immediate dismissal. Verbal abuse or harassment of campers is also grounds for dismissal.
COMPLAINTS OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
If a camper believes that they have been subjected to child abuse and neglect by staff or another camper, the camper has the right to file a complaint with our organization. This may be done in writing or orally.
State laws mandate that certain persons report suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect to civil authorities. Ramah policy requires all Ramah staff to report any reasonable suspicion that a child is being abused or maltreated. Staff members must directly and immediately notify camp leadership of any suspected incident of child abuse. The Camp Director shall report suspected abuse or neglect to the Maryland Department of Human Services.
All reports facilitated by camp leadership will be held in the strictest of confidence protecting the confidentiality of the information and the individuals involved. Additionally, this policy encourages reporting suspected historical events that are suspicious for child abuse or maltreatment.
If a child reports, or we suspect, abuse or neglect at home, the Camp Director would contact the Maryland Department of Human Services to determine our reporting responsibilities.