Safety Checks for Retreat Centers & Summer Camps

by | Jan 15, 2024

Ensuring the safety of participants is paramount in retreat centers and summer camps. With various activities and diverse groups of people involved, it’s crucial to have robust safety measures in place. Here I’ll share a few specific safety checks that are essential for the well-being of your staff and guest at your facility.

Especially for summer camps where you have been gone all year, there are a lot of things that can go wrong when you aren’t around, leading to potential risks for camp participates and staff.

Is your AED in working order?

There have been multiple times when I have taught CPR, First Aid, and AED at a summer camp and pulled out their AED to show them how theirs works and everything is expired and the AED battery is dead. So you need to check the following items to make sure it is ready to use. Also, having an AED maintenance plan is a great way to be more prepared.

Is the AED Indicator light green?

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are life-saving devices, but their effectiveness relies on proper maintenance. Regularly check the indicator light to ensure it is green, indicating that the AED is ready for use. This simple yet critical step can make a significant difference in emergency situations. Simply make a habit of looking for the light whenever you pass by an AED.

Is the AED Battery in Date?

AED batteries have an expiration date. It’s imperative to keep track of these dates and replace batteries before they expire. An AED with a dead battery is as good as not having one, underscoring the importance of timely replacements. Some AED batteries may not have an expiration date, in that case you are relying on the indicator light or check mark.

Are the AED Pads in Date?

Just like batteries, the adhesive pads on AEDs have an expiration date. Ensure that these pads are within their validity period. Outdated pads may not adhere properly and are less conductive, affecting the AED’s ability to deliver a life-saving shock.

Is Your First Aid Kit Fully Stocked?

A well-equipped first aid kit is a fundamental requirement for any retreat center or summer camp. Regularly check and restock supplies to ensure that the kit is ready to address minor injuries or medical issues promptly. Common items include bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any specific medications relevant to your participants.

I also recommended having a stop the bleed kit with a tourniquet and wound packing kit. This is especially needed if you have more serious activities at camp.

Additionally, having first aid supplies through your campus is important so you don’t waste time getting supplies before treating an injury.

Does your Staff Have Valid CPR, First Aid, and AED Certifications?

Competent staff is at the core of a safe environment. Ensure that all staff members responsible for the well-being of participants hold up-to-date certifications in CPR, First Aid, and AED operation. Regular training and certification renewal sessions should be scheduled to keep certifications up to date.

We teach CPR, First Aid, and AED training across Georgia and South Carolina and have done so for over 23 years. Our experienced trainers know how to cater the information to your team, so your team will be prepared for any emergency. We come to your facility at your convenience, making it super easy. Many camps will do it as part of a training day for the whole staff. Request a class for your for team here or view our existing classes you can join here.

Do You Have a Plan if There is CPR or First Aid Emergencies?

Preparation is key in emergencies. Establish a clear and concise plan for CPR and First Aid situations. Designate specific staff members with the responsibility of initiating emergency procedures, and ensure that everyone is familiar with the steps to take. Regular drills can help reinforce these protocols.

Outdoor First Aid Tips

Outdoor activities are often just as dangerous as they are fun. Even the simple things like hiking can cause serious injuries. Checkout this article on outdoor first aid to learn about outdoor preparedness.

Additionally, being outside means there is a risk of being bit by venomous spiders and snakes. Here is a guide to recognizing and first aid response for venomous spiders in Georgia and South Carolina and here is a guide for venomous snakes.

Fire Safety Checks

Fire safety is a crucial aspect of overall safety. Conduct regular fire safety checks to ensure that fire extinguishers are in working order, emergency exits are clearly marked, and evacuation routes are well-known to staff and participants alike. Also, check that smoke detectors are functional and have fresh batteries.

We also teach Fire Safety, which is a great way to get your team on the same page for fire prevention, response, and evacuation. Request a class here.


Prioritizing safety through regular checks and proactive measures is non-negotiable in retreat centers and summer camps. By focusing on AED functionality, first aid preparedness, staff certifications, emergency plans, and fire safety, you create an environment where participants can enjoy their experience with peace of mind, knowing that their well-being is the top priority. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

About First Response

First Response provides CPR, First Aid, and Fire Safety training to clients across Georgia and South Carolina for over 23 years. We believe training should be relevant, informative, and fun! Feedback from our clients consistently shows that they not only enjoy our classes, they learn something new–even for folks that have taken the class many times before.

Contact us to book a class for your facility, or sign up for a class here.

About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">Matt Enser</a>

Matt Enser

CPR, First Aid, and Fire Safety Instructor

Matt has taught CPR, First Aid, and Fire Safety courses for First Response since December 2018. He also coordinates much of the digital marketing and creative tasks. Outside of First Response, he can be found getting up in the mountains as well as serving in the local church.

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