|(a) On-site director required. Each youth camp shall
be under the on-site direction of a qualified adult with at least
two years of experience working with children. The director shall
be knowledgeable in camp administrative practices and shall have at
least one year of leadership experience with an organized youth camp,
school or other youth-serving organization, such as the Boy Scouts
of America or Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA).
(b) Adult supervisors. Each youth camp shall have at
least one adult supervisor who is responsible for the supervision
of no more than ten children in the camp. For any youth camp specialized
activity, the supervisor(s) shall be in the immediate vicinity (within
sight and/or hearing) of the campers. An "all camp" sedentary activity,
not requiring physical activity, may require less supervision, and
each camp shall establish its own guidelines, but not less than one
adult supervisor to every 25 campers. The camp director shall not
be included in the supervisor to camper ratio in camps serving over
50 campers at one time.
(c) Supervision of youth camp specialized activity.
Youth camp specialized activities shall be conducted by and under
the direct supervision of a qualified adult capable of implementing
safety standards established by the department or the camp. The specialist
shall also have documented training or at least two years documented
experience in conducting the activity.
(d) Written personnel policies and practices. A camp
shall have written personnel policies and practices for both campers
and staff. Supervisors shall be informed of these policies and practices
prior to assuming responsibility for campers.
(e) Staff member character and integrity records. The
camp management shall ascertain and have on record information, such
as a letter of reference, attesting to the character and integrity
of each staff member, and information, such as training certificates,
attesting to the ability of each staff member to perform the tasks
required in his or her position.
(f) Criminal conviction and sex offender background
check requirements. The camp management shall have on file a record
of any criminal conviction and a sex offender registration check for
all adult staff members and all adult volunteers working at the camp
before the staff member or volunteer has unsupervised contact with
children at the camp. If the records are located off-site, a letter
from the national or regional headquarters of the camp organization
stating the names of individuals at the camp site for whom background
checks have been conducted, shall be available at the camp site. All
records of criminal convictions and written evaluations for a camp
or camping organization shall be made available to department personnel
within two business days upon request. Youth camps are responsible
for ensuring that criminal and sex offender background checks have
been conducted for international staff obtained through the J-1 visa
process, and that documentation of these checks are located with other
staff background checks. Records of criminal convictions and sex offender
status shall be obtained by:
(1) performing an annual criminal background check
using a criminal history database for each adult staff member's and
each adult volunteer's permanent residence. If the staff member or
adult volunteer has a temporary or an educational residence, an annual
criminal background check shall include searching under the permanent,
temporary and educational address, as applicable. The criminal history
database used for the criminal background check is to be based on
the individual's residences, and may include state, national or international
databases. Documentation of the search results, whether or not the
results are positive, shall be maintained with the sex offender background
(2) performing an annual background check using a sex
offender registration database for each adult staff member's and each
adult volunteer's permanent residence and educational residence if
applicable, such as the TXDPS - Sex Offender Registry, which may be
accessed at Texas Department of Public Safety - Crime Records Service.
Documentation of the search results, whether or not the results are
positive, shall be maintained with the criminal background documentation.
(g) Persons whose presence at a youth camp shall be
precluded. Youth camps shall not employ paid or unpaid staff members
or volunteers at a youth camp, or permit any person to have unsupervised
contact with campers other than their own children, if the person
has the following types of criminal convictions or deferred adjudications:
a misdemeanor or felony under Texas Penal Code, Title 5 (Offenses
Against the Person), Title 6 (Offenses Against the Family), Chapter
29 (Robbery) of Title 7, Chapter 43 (Public Indecency) or §42.072
(Stalking) of Title 9, §15.031 (Criminal Solicitation of a Minor)
of Title 4, §38.17 (Failure to Stop or Report Aggravated Sexual
Assault of Child) of Title 8, or any like offense under the law of
another state or under federal law.
(h) Persons whose presence at a youth camp may be precluded.
(1) Youth camps may preclude a person from being a
paid or unpaid staff member or volunteer at a youth camp, or may preclude
a person from having unsupervised contact with campers other than
the person's own children, if the person has the following types of
criminal convictions or deferred adjudications:
(A) a misdemeanor or felony committed within the past
ten years under §46.13 (Making a Firearm Accessible to a Child)
or Chapter 49 (Intoxication and Alcoholic Beverage Offenses) of Title
10 of the Texas Penal Code, or any like offense under the law of another
state or under federal law; or
(B) any other felony under the Texas Penal Code or
any like offense under the law of another state or under federal law
that the person committed within the past ten years.
(2) Camp management shall have on file a written evaluation
by two or more camp executive staff for any staff member or volunteer
whose presence at the youth camp may be precluded under this subsection
showing that management has determined the person is suitable for
a position at the youth camp despite a criminal conviction or deferred
(i) Sexual abuse and child molestation awareness training
and examination program.
(1) Effective June 1, 2006, a youth camp licensee may
not employ or accept the volunteer service of an individual for a
position involving contact with campers at a youth camp unless:
(A) the individual submits to the licensee or the youth
camp has on file documentation that verifies the individual within
the preceding two years has successfully completed the training and
examination program required by this subsection; or
(B) the individual successfully completes the youth
camp's training and examination program approved by the department
during the individual's first workweek, and prior to any contact with
campers unless supervised during the first workweek by an adult who
has successfully completed the program.
(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term "contact
with campers" does not include visitors such as a guest speaker, an
entertainer, or a parent who visits for a limited purpose or a limited
time if the visitor has no direct and unsupervised contact with campers.
A visitor may have direct and unsupervised contact with a camper to
whom the visitor is related. A camp may require training and an examination
for visitors if it chooses.
(3) A youth camp licensee shall retain in the person's
personnel record a copy of the documentation required or issued under
paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection for each employee or volunteer
until the second anniversary of the examination date.
(4) Prior to their use, the department may approve
training and examination programs offered by trainers under contract
with youth camps, by online training organizations, or programs offered
in another format, such as a videotape, authorized by the department.
(5) A training and examination program on sexual abuse
and child molestation approved by the department shall at a minimum
include training and an examination on:
(A) the definitions and effects of sexual abuse and
(B) the typical patterns of behavior and methods of
operation of child molesters and sex offenders that put children at
(C) the warning signs and symptoms associated with
sexual abuse or child molestation, recognition of the signs and symptoms,
and the recommended methods of reporting suspected abuse;
(D) the recommended rules and procedures for youth
camps to implement to address, reduce, prevent, and report suspected
sexual abuse or child molestation;
(E) the need to minimize unsupervised encounters between
adults and minors; and
(F) the potential for consensual and nonconsensual
sexual activity between campers, steps to prevent sexual activity
between campers, and how to respond if sexual activity between campers
(6) The training program shall last for a minimum of
one hour and discuss each of the topics described in paragraph (5)
of this subsection.
(7) The examination shall consist of a minimum of 25
questions which shall cover each of the topics described in paragraph
(5) of this subsection.
(8) To successfully complete the training program,
each employee or volunteer shall achieve a score of 70% or more correct
on an individual examination. If the examination is taken on-line,
the employee or volunteer shall retain a certificate of completion
indicating they successfully completed the course.
(9) The department may assess a fee of $125 to each
applicant to cover the costs of the department's initial review and
each follow-up review of a training and examination program.
(10) Applications and fees shall be mailed to the Environmental
and Sanitation Licensing Group, Department of State Health Services,
Mail Code 2003, P.O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347. Applications
may be obtained by calling the Environmental and Sanitation Licensing
Group at (512) 834-6600 or may be downloaded from http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/youthcamp/default.shtm.
(11) The department, at least every five years from
the date of initial approval, shall review each training and examination
program approved by the department to ensure the program continues
to meet the criteria and guidelines established under this subsection.
(j) Supervised contact with campers.
(1) A person supervising another person who is prohibited
from having unsupervised contact with campers:
(A) may include one or more paid or unpaid members
of camp staff or management; law enforcement officers; security personnel;
lifeguards or other responsible staff at any off-site facility; or
parents or other adults;
(B) must be charged with responsibility to monitor,
oversee, or supervise the person on behalf of the licensee or camp
(C) must have the ability and means to summon competent
assistance at all times while remaining within sight and hearing distance
of the supervised person.
(2) A person who is prohibited from having unsupervised
contact with campers must be supervised at all times during which
that person has or might have any contact with one or more campers,
whether intentional or unintentional, and whether part of scheduled
camp activities or not. The potential for contact with campers by
a person is presumed at all times during which one or more campers
are present at the facility at which the person is present unless
there is an impassable barrier between them.
(k) Records retention. All applications, background
check reports, training documentation, and other required personnel
documentation required by this subchapter shall be maintained in hard
copy or electronic format for a minimum of two years following a person's
last day of service.