Camp Meeting Guardians

Procedure Guidelines
Camp Meeting Guardians
Camp Meeting Guardians
Camp Meeting Guardians
Camp Meeting Guardians
Camp Meeting Guardians
Camp Meeting Guardians
Camp Meeting Guardians
Camp Meeting Guardians
Camp Meeting Guardians

Every year, there are underage young people who wish to stay on the campground during Apostolic Faith camp meeting conventions, though their parents are not attending. The following guidelines have been established for such situations.

Eligibility of Minor

If a child is twelve years or older, regularly attends the Apostolic Faith Church, and has the permission of his/her parents and pastor to stay on the campground under the supervision of an approved guardian, the child may be permitted to do so. (A pastor may grant an exception regarding the age requirement if this restriction disqualifies a young person who is close to the required age and otherwise eligible to attend.)

Eligibility of Guardian

Guardians must be over the age of twenty-one, regularly attend the Apostolic Faith Church, and be staying on the campground during the time the young person will be there. They should fully understand the responsibilities of guardianship, be committed to following the guidelines established by the Apostolic Faith organization, and be approved by their pastor.

We recommend that any prospective guardian who is not an authorized worker in the Apostolic Faith Church be given a copy of the Apostolic Faith Church Volunteer Handbook and be asked to read it. This document provides necessary information regarding child/youth safety policies and the organizational response to any allegations of abuse.

Guardians cannot accept responsibility for more than two underage individuals during the same period of time at the camp meeting.

Steps in the Guardianship Process

  • The minor’s parent selects a prospective guardian who meets the standard of eligibility described above.
  • The parents and the prospective guardian obtain copies of this document (posted online on the safety page of the church website) and review it carefully.
  • The prospective guardian takes the online child safety training recommended by the church insurance company. (Information on how to access this training is available at He/she should then print documentation which indicates successful completion of the training, and provide a copy to the pastor.
  • The prospective guardian submits a completed Guardian Application form (also posted online on the safety page of the church website) to his/her pastor for approval.
  • The parents discuss with the young person the behavior that will be expected, the young person’s responsibility to the appointed guardian, and the importance of upholding his/her part of the guardianship agreement.
  • The parents and the prospective guardian discuss the parents’ expectations for the young person during the camp meeting. The parents should inform the guardian of any medical or allergy conditions the child might have, along with providing information regarding what to do if a medical emergency arises. The guardian should be given complete contact information, along with back-up emergency numbers.
  • The parents fill in the Underage Camper Guardianship Release Agreement, and obtain the signature of the prospective guardian on that form. The parents and the minor child both sign the form. The agreement is then given to the pastor for his signature. Pastors will not grant guardianship permission to any individual about whom they have questions regarding suitability.
  • The pastor sends the approved Guardian Application and the Underage Camper Guardianship Release Agreement to the headquarters office. (Alternatively, the minor child may bring the documents and present them when registering at the camp office.)

Responsibilities of Guardians

The guardian should encourage the young person in his/her care to view camp meeting primarily as a time for spiritual growth. The guardian is expected to be aware of the young person’s whereabouts at all times, whether on or off the campground. He/she will inform the parents of any accident or medical emergency involving the young person, and will keep them informed of the care being administered to their child in such an event. He/she should also ensure that the young person fulfills the responsibilities of minors (listed below).

Responsibilities of Minors

Young people who stay on the campground under the supervision of a guardian are expected to:

  • Attend every service (Sunday school, Bible teachings, evening services, and youth services appropriate for his/her age).
  • Show respect for the ministry, church staff, and others in attendance at the camp meeting.
  • Obey the rules of the campground, including the dress code and curfew times.

Code of Conduct

The following guidelines must be observed by those in attendance:

  • Those who participate in the work are expected to set a good example in behavior, attire, and adherence to campground guidelines.
  • Workers must be aware of and follow the established procedures regarding the reporting of abuse or suspicions of abuse.
  • Campers should immediately report any accident or injury of a minor to the child’s guardian.
  • Campers are expected to be respectful of others, and avoid loud talking or other disturbances during the hours when others may be sleeping.
  • Campers will be held responsible for deliberate or careless destruction or defacing of camp property.
  • Minors must obtain permission from their guardians before leaving the campground.
  • Minors are not allowed to stay overnight in a cabin other than the one assigned to them by the campground staff without obtaining permission from the guardian, and notifying the camp office.

Prohibited Behavior

The Apostolic Faith organization has a zero tolerance policy for any sexually inappropriate behavior; this includes any physical, verbal, or visual misconduct. Lewd speech, inappropriate touching or gestures, and possession of sexually-oriented materials such as magazines, books, cards, images, videos, etc. are strictly prohibited. All attendees at the camp meeting must be fully aware that even borderline sexually inappropriate conduct will result in immediate removal from the camp.

The following actions on the part of campers are also prohibited, and could result in removal from the camp meeting:

  • Endangering the health and safety of attendees or staff at the camp meeting.
  • Stealing or damaging campground or Apostolic Faith Church property.
  • For minors: leaving the campground without permission of his/her guardian.
  • Going into the cabin of a person of the opposite gender without approval by the guardian and proper adult supervision.
  • Use of profanity, vulgarity, or obscenity.
  • Physical violence.
  • Possession of tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, firecrackers or explosives of any kind, or firearms or other weapons.
  • Ongoing refusal to follow the behavior guidelines or instructions by those in authority.

Appropriate Apparel

Campers are asked to dress modestly and appropriately for a church camp. Tank tops, shorts, or cutoffs are not acceptable for teenage boys. Low necklines, extremely short-sleeved tops or dresses, short skirts, pants, or shorts are not acceptable for teenage girls. It is the responsibility of the guardian to ensure that the young person he/she is supervising adheres to these guidelines.

Abuse Prevention and Reporting

The Apostolic Faith organization is committed to providing a safe, secure environment for children and their families, so we make every effort to safeguard the children who have been entrusted to our care. We have zero tolerance for abuse in church programs and activities. It is the responsibility of every staff member and volunteer in the Apostolic Faith work to act in the best interest of all children in every program.

While suspicions or knowledge of abuse are extremely difficult situations, we do not have discretion in this matter: we are legally obligated to immediately fulfill our responsibilities in accordance with state requirements. According to Oregon law (the state in which this organization is registered as a corporation), mandatory reporters include ministers and school teachers, along with law enforcement personnel and medical professionals. (Oregon Statutes: ORS 419B.005, ORS 12.117) For that reason, staff members or volunteers who observe any policy violations or suspected abuse, or receive an allegation of abuse, must immediately report the matter to their ministry supervisor or the pastor.

Definition of Abuse

In general, the term “child abuse” refers to any injury to a minor not caused by accident, which results in observable and substantial impairment of a child’s ability to function, including any injury which appears to be at variance with the explanation given of the injury. This includes sexual abuse or exploitation, negligence, maltreatment, or threatened harm to a child.


Staff members and volunteers should have a basic understanding of the characteristics of sexual predators and their behaviors in “grooming” a child for sexual abuse. Grooming is the process used by an abuser to select a child, win the child’s trust (and the trust of the child’s parent or “gatekeeper”), manipulate the child into sexual activity, and keep the child from disclosing the abuse.

Prevention Policies

The Apostolic Faith maintains a legally-approved risk management
policy regarding children and youth. The following procedures are strictly enforced:

  • All church employees and volunteers who work with children and youth are screened, selected, trained, and certified according to the guidelines recommended by legal and insurance advisors.
  • Any individual who has been convicted of child abuse is prohibited from working with children in the Apostolic Faith Church. Allegations of abuse or other criminal offenses may also disqualify an individual.
  • Church employees and volunteers who work with children and youth are required to adhere to the procedures and guidelines established by the Apostolic Faith Church.

The Apostolic Faith reserves the right to immediately dismiss any volunteer or employee who is accused of violating the procedures and guidelines established by the organization.

Failure to report a prohibited act to the designated person is a violation of policy and grounds for termination of employment of an employee of the church. Volunteers who fail to report a prohibited act may be restricted from participation in any church activities involving children or youth.

What to Report

Reasonable grounds to report suspected abuse exist if:

  • A child says that he/she has been abused. This is known as “disclosure.”
  • A responsible individual states that a child is being abused.
  • There is basis for concern based upon physical, emotional, or other indicators of possible abuse.

Steps in Reporting

If a child or young person discloses that he/she is being abused, or his/her actions suggest that abuse is occurring, staff and volunteers are instructed to take the following steps:

  • If the alleged incident occurred on site, make sure that the child is not in immediate danger. If the suspected abuser is present, separate the child and other children from that individual.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Reassure the child that he/she took the right step in telling.
  • Tell the child that people who can help will be notified.
  • Write down exactly what was said, noting the time, place, and context in which the disclosure was made.
  • Immediately report the alleged abuse to the department or activity supervisor, who will report the allegation in writing to the pastor.

Do not:

  • Make it apparent to the child that you are shocked.
  • Ask specific questions, as these could influence the clarity of the child’s memory.
  • Promise that the abuse will stop.
  • Conduct any personal investigation.
  • Share information with those outside the proper reporting channels.

Organizational Response to Allegations of Abuse

When the pastor receives credible information suggesting that abuse has occurred, he will immediately contact Children’s Services Division or the appropriate law enforcement agency in the state. He will also inform the Superintendent General of the allegation. The church will coordinate its internal investigation with the governmental entity involved.

A designated church representative will interact with legal counsel and insurance representatives, and will respond as directed to questions from the media concerning allegations of abuse or neglect. Other staff members should refrain from comment. During the investigation, the alleged abuser will not participate in any church activities involving minors.

If the internal or external investigation results in credible evidence supporting the allegations, the pastor will impose appropriate disciplinary restrictions, which may range from dismissal from duty to barring from church attendance.

Termination of Guardianship Agreement

If, after assuming the responsibility, the guardian should prove unsuitable or is unable to fulfill his/her duties, the minor’s parents and pastor will be notified and the guardianship agreement terminated. At that point, the minor will be expected to move from the campground unless a suitable replacement guardian can be approved by the parents and pastor. If the minor does not uphold his/her part of the agreement, the child’s pastor will contact the parents and take whatever steps are necessary to rectify the situation.