Parks and Recreation director, Jason Schaitz, provides examples of necessary camp documentation and record keeping advice to improve camp operations.
It is extremely important to keep well organized documentation and records on your camp operations as well as the administrative aspects of camp. Make policies on retaining and organizing your documents to ensure you are consistent with how you organize, file, keep track of and dispose of your records.
Below are some of the more important records you should be keeping organized at camp. Larger organizations may have separate departments that do some of this work, but it is always a good idea to have copies of every type of documentation that comes from your camp program.
This is all the information, at a minimum, you should be collecting for campers at the point of registration:
There are many administrative-type documentation to keep track of, not only for your organization, but for your camp in general. Here are some examples of administrative documents that should be organized and readily available when needed:
Your HR documentation is everything you need for yourself and your employees. Each employee should have a file with all their employment documentation. This includes:
Financial documents and reports are important for any camp or recreation operation. These documents should also be reviewed by your finance department, accountants or financial advisors. Internally, multiple staff members should always be involved in everything regarding finance to prevent any sort of theft or fraud by any single individual.
Keeping detailed records and reports for campers throughout the duration of camp is important to ensure you know when campers were at camp, as well as everything that may have happened while they were there.
Having detailed maintenance and inspection reports will help protect you from liability if something breaks or fails. It will also assist with your preventative maintenance and replacement plans and schedules.
Many of the records you create while operating a recreation program will be electronic. Always try to put things in writing to parents and stakeholders so you have back up if anything ever comes up with that person or situation. It is always a great idea to have a history of all your electronic records.
All programs are different and use all sorts of types of documentation. Below are a few more examples of documents that can benefit your program operation:
Great camp documentation and record keeping will help limit your liability exposure, will assist you when something urgent may come up, and will help you keep track of past issues. You can always look for new opportunities to improve your camp operation.
For more resources on camp documentation, visit The Summer Camp Source website.
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