Each year, Buckeye Sports Camps (BSC) provides 140 summer camps to over 140,000 youth on campus with over 1,300 employees. From 2011 to 2012, the OSU Department of Athletics and CAYCI partnered to develop two seminars to support student-athletes and staff working for BSC. These seminars were intended to prepare camp staff to work effectively with diverse youth and to respond appropriately to signs of child abuse and neglect.
In 2011, a two-hour seminar was hosted for student-athletes and staff in BSC. At the conclusion of the trainings, student athletes completed a brief questionnaire to determine the quality and effectiveness of the seminar. Overall, perceptions of the training among the student-athletes were favorable. Survey respondents reported learning new content related to the role of camp staff, principles of youth development, camp rules and expectations, and overall camp infrastructure. They reported being more confident in their roles as camp staff members.
In 2012, “Protecting Youth at BSC” was created to enhance staff’s knowledge of child abuse and neglect (CAN), dictate appropriate reporting procedures within the University, and increase staff members’ willingness to report suspicion of CAN. Once again, results of the evaluation suggested that the training was highly effective. Participants who took a six month follow up survey overwhelmingly agreed that the training increased their awareness of the prevalence of CAN and their knowledge of the signs and symptoms. A majority recognized the importance of ensuring that all camp staff is trained in reporting procedures and felt like the training increased their own willingness to report suspicion of CAN. A version of this training is still being used for overnight camps, and since BSC became a success, it has has assisted The Ohio State University in developing policy and training for camps that take place on other parts of OSU’s campus.