Summer is coming: Have Your Kids’ Camps and Coaches Been Screened?

Have your kids camps and coaches had their background checks?

Hello muddah, hello faddah
I know you’re thinking it’s camp time
But I warn you to consider
Have the counselors been screened for rotten business?

I want to hike and bike and swim
And I’d like to stay real safe
So forgive me to remind you
That background checks are super important

You say you want me to try football
That sounds cool and sorta scary
I need to know the coaches have clean records
And aren’t smoking marijuana underneath the bleachers

There’s something else you need to know
Are you sure your money is safe from fraud and theft?
Here’s an idea, tell the camp to call Active Screening
They’re the best at getting camps to hire smarter.

How many of you remember this song by Allan Sherman? Most people refer to it as ‘Hello Mother, Hello Father,’ but it’s actually called ‘Camp Grenada.’ Thanks to for posting the original lyrics which we… ummm… re-worked(?) to suit today’s post about the need to screen folks who will be in contact with you children this summer.

There isn’t much time to wait. Schools around the country are wrapping up the academic year and that means millions of kids will be diving into summer programs like camps or heading to summer school or daycare. Which begs the question – Do you know who will be watching, teaching, coaching, playing with, mentoring your kids this summer?

If you don’t, you should. And you have every right to ask organizations, camps, summer schools or daycares if they have run background checks on their employees. If they haven’t or don’t have policies requiring checks, they should. Consider these alarming cases:

Police: Youth Football Coach Clocks Other Coach

City Suspends Youth League for No Background Checks

Child Rapist Worked at Maine Camp

Town Revokes PAL Privileges After Volunteers Coach Without Background Checks

Some states are taking action but advocacy groups say, nationally, there aren’t enough laws on the books to protect our kids. Less than half of our states require criminal background checks for anyone who works in a day camp. This Consumers Digest article highlights disappointing statistics like:

  • “23 states have no requirements for camps to conduct background checks”
  • “29 states prohibit summer camps from having access to the FBI crime database that can help to provide a thorough background check of any camp counselor or other staff member”
  • “Missouri, South Dakota and Washington also don’t issue a license to operate a summer camp. Georgia exempts summer day camps from licensing, and Idaho requires a license only for camps that last longer than 9 weeks, which summer camps rarely do.”
  • “From 2003 to 2011, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children operated a Congress-approved pilot program that allowed summer camps and other youth organizations to use the FBI crime database to screen potential employees by fingerprint. At least 100,000 checks were conducted, and 6 percent of job applicants were found to have a “criminal record of concern,” according to the pilot program’s records.”

Florida is among the worst states for negligent background checks for camp counselors. The results, according to an investigation by The Palm Beach Post, are horrifying.

At least two major national youth sports leagues have taken action, though. Little League Baseball and Pop Warner Leagues require annual background checks for all league employees and volunteers. A study of criminal background checks for coaches that was commissioned by the state of Connecticut also reports that those national leagues require local leagues to check if their volunteers names appear on the state sex offender registry.

So as a parent or concerned citizen or children’s program organizer, what can you do about it? Be aware. Raise questions. Demand change. Tell people about background check solution providers like Active Screening. We have affordable background check options that even the most budget-minded camps and sports organizations can sign on for. We will work with you to make sure your children are safe. They are our children, too. We believe kids should have fun and freedom during their summers and not have to worry about sending a letter home from camp asking if they’re protected from harm.

This entry was posted in Background Screening, Industry Solutions, Seasonal and tagged , , , by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia's clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter - give her a shout @pattycfreelance.
Active ScreeningBarbara S.
Healthcare Industry

"Here at Holland Hospital, we have been extremely pleased with Active Screening. The report results come back quickly, usually within 24 hours or less.  The staff at Active Screening is easy accessible, knowledgeable and responds to our questions promptly."

Active ScreeningLynn C. Staffing Industry

"Benton Mobley has been and remains my Main point of contact at Active Screening from the beginning; so aside from the comfort of dealing with the same person all these years, there is the most important fact of all;  customer satisfaction. Benton knows the business like the back of his hand; and that is what we need in our fast paced industry of staffing. He is the all-time BEST!  MY employer, Leslie, believes in the notion that great service deserves to be rewarded, so we are here for the duration.We get immediate and personalized attention for any and all concerns we need addressed, and in the staffing industry, this is vital."

Active ScreeningCayce R. Education Industry

"My experience working with Active Screening for our background check process has been very positive.  The reports are almost always completed in a very timely fashion. The information reported appears to be very thorough and accurate.  On the rare occasions that we have questions or problems, the customer service team is always very quick to respond and resolve the issue.  Overall, I am very pleased with the service I receive from Active Screening."

Active ScreeningCraig H. Staffing Industry

"Your customer service is excellent.  The turn around time on background checks is quite fast.  Excellent work.  I haven't had a single problem."

Active ScreeningJackie C. Education Industry

"I wanted to thank you and your staff for being so patient and working so diligently with the Human Resources staff during our recent endeavor to process all of our work study students through background screenings.  We have never had to process so many requests within such a short period of time before, but thanks to you and your staff we made it. Again thank you, we made a good choice in selecting Active Screening."

Active ScreeningLindsey W.  Financial Industry

"I wanted to share my appreciation for your wonderful service...switching background screening companies could have been a stressful task, but your company made the transition seamless. Your website was extremely easy to navigate and the turn around time has been great. I appreciate when information is missing or entered incorrectly during ordering, your company notifies me right away to ensure that my error does not hold the reports results, causing us a delay in hiring an individual...Active Screening has been great to us and I would definitely refer them to others."

Active ScreeningTerry S. Property Management

"Working with Active Screening over the last year and half has been a wonderful experience. They deliver fast and informative results at the best price. Their level of professionalism and the speed they respond to our issues is a benefit that any company can value from. I would highly recommend using Active Screening and their amazing team."

Active ScreeningYulesis D.  Staffing Industry

“Interactive Response Technologies (IRT) has more than 2,000 employees at multiple locations across the United States. IRT has been using Active Screening to conduct criminal background checks since 2006. During this time, Active Screening has consistently returned accurate reports, usually with less than 48 hours turnaround. If there are any problems or inconsistencies with the reports, their staff has called to notify us so that we can attempt to rectify the situation. The staff at Active Screening is always courteous and congenial over the phone. In our opinion, Active Screening is outstanding.”

Active ScreeningAndy N. Software Provider

 "Active Screening has helped us screen our applicants in record time for more than two years.... we are very impressed with the professionalism and speed with which their service team responds to our questions. They understand our needs and are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them."

Active ScreeningCassie J. Staffing Industry

"The Active Screening team is very informative; they provided a complete consultation on all the services, so I understood what I needed, and saved me hours and hours of my time learning the various services. Their reputation, as being on the cutting edge of employment screening best practices, certainly held true in this instance. The expertise they brought to the table was invaluable to our understanding of our applicants backgrounds. I highly recommend Active Screening to anyone with the task of screening large numbers of applicants and needing reliable customer support."

Active Screening

With over 20 years of law enforcement experience I can attest to the fact that the strongest predictor of future criminal behavior is a person’s criminal history. As the manager of campus safety at my church, I depend on Active Screening to provide a thorough assessment of every criminal history background check we request. For more than 3 years, Active Screening has been faithful to this task with timely, accurate and reliable service.

Active Screening

We have benefited from knowing that we are not exposing the communities we work with or ourselves to unnecessary risk. We continue to have a perfect record in that we have never had a serious incident with a trip participant causing harm or acting inappropriately with any community member or fellow team member- thank goodness!

Active Screening

I would highly recommend any association or organization who conducts background checks to use Active Screening. In addition to my involvement with WAHA, I am an officer in a corporation with over 500 employees who provide treatment, mental health, and correctional services for children and adolescents. Our company is mandated by law to do comprehensive background searches and I can say with the utmost sincerity that Active Screening product rivals that of any government or other private sector process.

Active Screening

We have used Active Screening and their solution VERITY to screen all our coaches and volunteers working with youth. The online system gives us an easy and cost-effective solution to collecting forms and payments from our applicants...and we simply login to view the results of who passed or failed. It's so easy....thank you Active Screening.