Liability in Summer Camps: Who Is Responsible?

28 February, 2020
Summer camps are one of the most positive activities that children or teens can do while on vacation. But there are also risks of accidents and injuries.

You may already be thinking about summer camps and wondering whether you should sign your children up. One of the most important things to take into account is children’s safety.

Who can be held responsible for injuries at summer camps?

Summer camps are a very fruitful and positive experience for students. You can think of them as a time of unconventional learning. Socialization, autonomy, integration and communication are all strengthened through games or play.

Similarly, the children will learn other skills such as respect, tolerance, and adaptability, and know how to put them into practice. We can consider it as a way of putting into practice everything that a child learns at home or at school.

Parents are responsible for choosing the right camps for their children. Among other things, they should look into the ages, area and the activities they include.

In addition to that, you need to find out who the monitors are and how many people will be responsible for your child during their time at the camp. In short, they’re responsible for looking after your child and ensuring they have a good time while they’re away from their parents.

You’ll also need to look into whether there’s an accident and civil responsibility insurance. This insurance guarantees that someone will be responsible for any damage or injury suffered during their days at camp.

Liability in Summer Camps: Who Is Responsible?

Who is responsible for accident claims in summer camps?

The organizer or public or private entity that is responsible for the summer camps is liable for any damage or injuries. From the moment the student enters the camp to the moment he or she leaves it, the organizer is responsible for their safety.

These protective measures include the physical space of the camp as well as any other places they go to as well. It’s very common to carry out walks or tasks in the open air near the camp.

Liability is where the responsible party has to compensate for damage caused by omission, action, or negligence. The monitors or the company need to be proven guilty before the courts or insurance companies will award any compensation.

There is also liability for the creation or increase in risks, and those organizing the camp have to respond to this.

Public places are also liable when the damage is caused by deterioration in their facilities. In all these cases, it’s possible to request compensation liability from the monitors when the problem has been verified, and the guilt proven.

Procedure for submitting claims to the summer camps

The parents of the injured party have one year to file a claim. Collecting evidence is a very important factor in obtaining a positive response. Pictures, testimonies, medical certificates and other documents are necessary to prove the civil liability and to assess the damage.

Those who have suffered damage or injury that didn’t originate from natural causes can initiate the corresponding lawsuit. The first step is to try to negotiate with the school. If, after doing this, no agreement can be reached, then you can proceed to take the case to the courts.

What activities take place in the summer camps?

Each camp has its own activities and they vary from camp to camp. The ages of the children are a determining factor for the type of games or outings that they carry out.

In the camps, there are many different types of risks, and the teachers and monitors are in charge of preventing potential problems. An adult team coordinator should have between 8 and 10 students, in the case of children under the age of 6.

Liability in Summer Camps: Who Is Responsible?

Some outings or activities may require specialized monitors. Climbing exercises, water activities, or survival activities require specific knowledge. The degree of control and supervision should also be greater in these types of activities.

Improvisation shouldn’t be part of a summer camp. Each activity should be fully planned, evaluated and the camp organizers should inform the parents. Children will sometimes need relevant permits and even medical certificates to show their suitability for certain activities.

Can you ever blame the victim?

The courts have sometimes attributed guilt to the victims. The courts may consider that the injured child may, in some cases, be mature enough to discern the risk and act accordingly. This could release the organizing center from any liability. Alternatively, it could lessen their guilt and they may share the responsibility.

These days there are plenty of options for adequate insurance for summer camps, and these companies play a vital role. Therefore, it’s their responsibility to respond to any claims that are made, and to issue compensation for damages, where appropriate.

  • Sociedad de pediatría Sccalp. Los campamentos de verano. Extraído de: https://www.sccalp.org/documents/0000/0379/campamentos.pdf
  • Luján Ferrer, Manuel Enrique, Rodríguez Sánchez, Keilyn. (2011). EL CAMPAMENTO COMO PROGRAMA DIDÁCTICO: HACIA UNA PROPUESTA TEÓRICO-METODOLÓGICA PARA SU IMPLEMENTACIÓN EN LOS MUSEOS. Revista Electrónica “Actualidades Investigativas en Educación” [en linea] 2011, 11 (Enero-Abril).  Disponible en: http://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa