As the holidays approach, that means camp is right around the corner! In just a few short months, we will be welcoming our first group of campers for 2016.

Our leadership team spends a great deal of time during the off-season to assemble a team, who share our core values, to dedicate their time and talents to serve as mentors and role models for the camp community. Our staff go through a rigorous process before they are offered an opportunity to be part of our team. A critical piece of our vetting process is the background checks of our staff. Currently, our background checks consist of the following searches: Social Security Trace, County Criminal Conviction Search (All counties of residence), National Criminal Conviction Search, National Sex Offender Registry and Motor Vehicle Record.

falling creek staff

This background search is extensive and does provide great detail into the background of our staff, however, there is no single all-encompassing background check database available in this country. While still not all-encompassing, an FBI check is the best background check available, yet it is not always accessible to camps and other youth-serving organizations. The FBI check is the only truly nationwide check available. Individual states are the gatekeepers of criminal history information and they can decide who can access the information, as well as who can have access to the FBI’s information. In fact, thirty-four states bar access to FBI information!

At Thanksgiving of this year, the Child Protection Improvements Act was introduced to both houses of Congress, Bills S. 2332 and HR 4703. The purpose of the bill is to close a gaping hole in the federal law that prevents camps, children’s groups, mentoring organizations, after-school programs and other organizations that work with children or vulnerable adults from gaining access to federal criminal background checks on employees and volunteers.

We need your help!

We would like to ask that you support this legislation and advocate for Falling Creek and other camps alike. Advocating for the passage of this important legislation is very easy! ACA has an online tool with key messages and sample advocacy messages that can be sent immediately to your legislators. Participate today or learn more about the bill by visiting the Child Protection Improvements Act Advocacy Tool. Please take the time to help us advocate for this legislation and protect our campers today and for years to come.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for your time and support!