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Mr. SARASIN. Not having the benefit of reading your report, do you investigate the accidents and injuries that are cited in that report? In other words, are you making any determination in the period of your study as to negligence or improper safeguards and that sort of thing, in your report?
Dr. Cook. Not very much in the report. The injury and illness forms both which were supplied by Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, both asked whether the camper was involved or the camper involved in an accident was violating a camp rule.
It asks whether the supervisors present were perhaps violating camp rules and it asks the person filling out the form whether this accident was a preventable accident.
I do not really recall how much of that I deal with in writing of the report.
Mr. SARASIN. Are the results of that information available in your report?
Dr. Cook. Yes, sir, I believe they are. Certainly the preventable one is. There really was not much in the way of people that have violations of camp rules, were involved and when there were violations of camp rules, it was things like the child was running and we have a rule against running.
I do not honestly remember what kind of discussion I had in the report but that was in the form and I think I discussed it in the report.
Mr. SARASIN. Thank you, Doctor.
Ms. Williams, the "Summary Matrix" as you report it, and I am not sure I know what “Summary Matrix” is and maybe you can help me, is confusing to me, and I wonder if you can help me to understand.
For example, looking at Connecticut, my own State, it has for camp personnel, the number "20” and maximum score possible is “24.” Can you tell me what it means?
Ms. WILLIAMS. That was arrived at. There were six categories identified by the panel, that is, the one convened by the Recreation Park Association and of those six various things such as age of director, age of counselor, training for their job, such things as that, I gave each one arbitrarily four points maximum for each of those subcategories.
The total of 4 times 6 equals 24. That is how the number was arrived at. Connecticut, in that score, has score of 20 which is quite high for-well, it is almost a total score for the camp personnel.
Mr. SARASIN. Does that mean within the regulation or statutes in the State of Connecticut there is one element or one requirement missing from your list of six requirements?
Ms. WILLIAMS. Either that or there might be one in three or four. It is a points score total of 24 and maybe it did not measure up in one area, say by one point and in another one by one point. There is in the report, which you should have a copy of, a complete outline of each one of these categories and that is why it is labeled “Summary" so you can check on each one.
It happens that references required is the only one they did not get a score on for Connecticut and in that item, that took them down four points which is a rather nominal requirement.
Mr. SARASIN. But that is explained or expanded in your full report?
Ms. WILLIAMS. Yes, it is. Dr. Verhoven, you said in your statement this morning on page 3, the more important question is “how many of the injuries and illnesses and deaths could have been prevented with safety regulation and enforcement ?” and this question is not satisfactorily answered by the study.
Mr. SARASIN. Are you referring now to the total study?
Dr. VERHOVEN. Yes, not only the 16-page summary but as Dr. Cook pointed out, there were very few cause-and-effect relationships established between the environmental situation or leadership available or whether or not an injury or illness was preventable in the data he collected.
Mr. SARASIN. Is that a failure of the study, not to have collected this cause-and-effect relationship, not to have provided informationwhen the first mandate began "to determine the extent of preventable accidents and illnesses” and I assume we are going to see accidents and illnesses in camps as everywhere else and there is no way to prevent them all.
But the Congress asked the question: what is the extent of preventable accidents? I would think that would be addressed, as it is 1 of 35, and obviously a very important aspect of the entire study. You did not handle the fifth one. I do not think the first one is more than cursorily examined.
Dr. Verhoven, your statement seems to very strongly endorse Federal involvement in this area, in the area that the members of the committee have discussed, as you have listened to our questions of other witnesses—I get the impression as I read this, you really feel strongly the Federal Government has an important role here and we are perhaps the only agency that can answer the need that exists.
Dr. VERHOVEN. We do believe that, yes.
Mr. SARASIN. Were these recommendations included as part of your report?
Dr. VERHOVEN. The report that we submitted to Century Research Corp.?
Mr. SARASIN. Yes.
Mr. SARASIN. Were they alluded to in any manner or were they
Mr. DANIELS. On behalf of the committee, I thank the entire panel for your testimony here today.
With this, we conclude these hearings.
[The following material was submitted for the record :}
LA JOLLA, CALIF., October 31, 1973,
DEAR REPRESENTATIVE DANIELS: I have read your bill H.R. 1486, and wholeheartedly agree with its purpose and scope.
This past summer, my daughter had the unfortunate experience of attending camp Ecole' Champlain in Vermont, which had unsafe facilities and unskilled counselors in water skiing and horseback riding as well as unsanitary health conditions. (Excrement from 'toilets was emptied into the lake used for swimming.)
After nine days at camp, my daughter became ill and fortunately Mrs. Schwartz was able to remove her from camp, and she spent her summer recuperating.
My main concern now is to prevent this woman, who is a menace to young children, from continuing her operation of this camp. Many parents who do not visit the camp are, unknowingly, sending their children without realizing the conditions.
I now must sue the owner, Mrs. Alice Chase Schaetz, for the return of part of my money and breach of contract with false advertising used in her camp brochures.
I felt that if you needed any ammunition to back up your arguments for the passage of H.R. 1486, I would be glad to elaborate even further on the camp's conditions. If you need any further information, please don't hesitate to contact me. Very truly yours,
MELVIN M. SCHWARTZ.
CAMP FIRE GIRLS, INC.,
New York, N.Y.
POSITION STATEMENT-YOUTH CAMP SAFETY ACT
Camp Fire Girls, Inc., consistent with its 63 years of conscious concern and action on behalf of youth, supports the intent of the Federal Youth Camp Safety Act.
Camp Fire Girls, Inc., consistent with its position of active involvement in the professional camping community, supports the position of the American Camping Association on the Youth Camp Safety Act and the ACA recommendations for implementation of this Act. We urge that the resources of the professional camping community be used in establishing minimum youth camp safety standards and in implementation of such standards.
CAMP FIRE AND CAMPERS' SAFETY
Camp Fire Girls, Inc. was founded in 1910 in the camping setting. The founder, Dr. Luther Halsey Gulick, believed that the camping experience was an extraordinary opportunity to influence the lives of girls for the future.
That position and conviction is reflected today in the nearly 400 day camps and 200 resident camps operated by chartered councils of Camp Fire Girls, Inc., encompassing 25,000 communities throughout the United States. Nearly a quar. ter million girls camped in 1973.
Camp Fire Girls, Inc. in providing a charter for local units, provides that charter and right to operate with the understanding that all camps and camping programs will be operated consistent with Day, Resident and Group Camping Standards of Camp Fire Girls, Inc. (see attached). These standards specifically address themselves to the welfare of campers in areas of Administration, Personnel, Program, Sanitation, Health, Safety, Sites, Facilities and Equipment.
Through its professional training for camp directors and in workshops for boards of directors and camping committees, the Camp Fire Girls standards are reinforced and interpreted.
Local boards and staff are responsible for the implementation of these standards in their camps. In each and every instance of camping and outdoor activity, safety standards are an integral part of the training and education of the adults and girls involved in the programs.
! Because the philosophy of Camp Fire Girls' camping is child-centered rather than activity-centered, we believe that our organization evidences in its safety practices a regard for the well being of children unparalleled in the field. We are not only concerned with health, safety and sanitation, but with the atmosphere of living that evidences concern for people. In such an environment, safety of a physical kind is inherent.
CAMPING AND LEGISLATION
Our support for camp safety legislation reffects our concern for all children in all camps whatever persuasion and leadership.
But our concern is for reasonable legislation which reflects the nature and conditions which make the camping experience extraordinary—legislation which is developed by and implemented by law-makers and their colleagues who have an understanding of the very nature of the outdoor experience.
If camping is to become legislated in such a way that it is no longer camping, then such legislation is not in the best interest of children and youth. Camp Fire Girls believes that camping can be legislated in such a way as to protect those youth participating while at the same time encouraging the type of educational outdoor experience as identified in Camp Fire Philosophy of Camping (see attached).
Camp Fire Girls, Inc. offers its resources in the continuing effort to develop and implement effective Federal Youth Camp Safety legislation.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MRS. FRITZ R. KAHN, CHAIRMAN, LEGISLATIVE SERVICE
COMMITTEE, NATIONAL CONGRESS OF PARENTS AND TEACHERS For the last 77 years, the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, an organization of more than 7 million members with a branch in every state, has placd safety of children among its top priorities. From the early years of the organization, when we were in the forefront of those working for state and federal standards to protect children from working in hazardous occupations, to recent years when we worked to ensure that young children's sleepwear be available in non-flammable fabrics, we have directed our efforts on behalf of children. Through education, legislation, and publicity, we continue to make constant progress in developing a safe environment in which children can grow and mature. As parents, we want such safety to be attainable, not by limiting our children's growing experiences, but by developing standards and safeguards which permit such experiences to take place within a non-threatening atmosphere.
HR 1486, the Youth Camp Safety Act, receives our support because it proposes such standards. For most children, a camping experience is a time of exciting exposure to new stimuli; a time for the development of technical skills and personal independence; and a time to acquire lifelong respect for our environment. But surely no one believes that parents intend to purchase these valuable attributes at the price of injury or death to their children. And yet, the statistics are alarming: More than 25,000 children are involved in serious camping accidents each year, and close to 100 deaths result; although some states have begun to develop safety standards, 19 states have no camping safety regulations at all, and 40 states have no standards dealing with age or training of counselors or enforcement of existing standards by means of safety inspections. One need only look at the condition of some of the buses which serve camps or inquire about the training which their drivers have received to see that the safety standards for both are in sharp contrast to the safety requirements that school systems and parents demand of school bus vehicles and drivers.
The difference is that parents have constant physical proximity to schools, and safety hazards to children there are clearly visible and within their power to correct. When children are sent to distant camps, parents must rely on the good name or reputation of a camp. Since safety for children at camp does not benefit from personal parental surveillance, legislation must provide the extension of parental concern. Parents want to be assured that camps are required to address such basic matters as protection against fire and water hazards ; adequate sanitation; training and experience for the adults who transport children or supervise their activities; safe physical facilities; and proper instruction and supervision of children in hazardous activities.
We approve the emphasis on assumption of state responsibility in these areas, but feel that this in no way should serve as an excuse for national neglect. Clearly, assistance to encourage states to take preventative action is necessary now, and the establishment of federal standards, as provided for in this bill, should proceed at once. There have been extensive hearings on this matter in the last four years. A year of study, as directed by the House last year, has been completed. All interested parties have had an opportunity to be heard. The parents and teachers in the National PTA feel the time for action is now, and we urge your favorable consideration of this legislation. Our support of this bill continues our history of concern for the safety of children. As adults, we must afford them the protection they cannot achieve for themselves.
We thank you for this opportunity to share our views with you.
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C., May 13, 1974. Hon. Dom DANIELS, Rayburn HOB, Washington, D.C.
DEAR Dom: The Boys and Girls' Camps in Texas are opposed to this Safety bill, H.R. 1486. I remember when this came up before and it tabled on the floor.
By its very nature camping is rustic. Down home we cannot understand how all of the control mechanisms can work and still maintain the spirit of camping for the youngsters.
I hope we can have additional hearings on this bill in the Fall after the camping season is completed. Best of luck to you,
JAMES M. COLLINS, M.C.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HON. STEWART B. MCKINNEY, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Mr. Chairman, for the past three years we have considered but failed to enact needed camp safety legislation to protect the estimated 7.2 million young people whose well-being is entrusted to summer camp programs each year. I respectfully urge the committee to unanimously endorse H.R. 1486, the Youth Camp Safety Act, which would establish a federally administered program of minimum safety standards to guide the states in regulating summer camps. This bill is the first important step to initiate each state's program to prevent unnecessary illness, injury and death at summer youth camps.
Last year, this important proposal was put aside again in lieu of a study undertaken by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to determine the extent of preventable accidents and injuries at camps across the nation and the effectiveness of the slim body of state law designed to prevent these camping incidents.
Now, that study is completed; and in the face of numerous admissions that the study fails to effectively or meaningfully present the facts about camp safety in the United States, the report somehow concludes that "federal legislation to regulate youth camps is not recommended.”
I cannot agree. Despite its many shortcomings, the study clearly points out that only eight states meet even minimum safety standards for youth camp programs. The study also concludes that the present state enforcement of safety regulations is cumbersome and, for the most part, ineffective. Yet, the authors of the study reach the remarkable conclusion that the young people attending these camps should remain unprotected by even minimum safety standards until the rest of the 42 states enact some form of legislation.
I believe that federal legislation is not only proper but vital to regulate a nationwide industry which, according to the HEW study, has "existed in relative or complete autonomy from outside influence and supervision."
Although I support the study's further conclusion that "(t)he State's role is central in any endeavor of this sort," I believe that H.R. 1486 protects that role while providing the safety standards, the administrative capability on the federal level, and the enforcement machinery which the states have been either unable or unwilling to furnish.