Camp Meeting Safety

Safety and Security Manual
Camp Meeting Safety
Camp Meeting Safety
Camp Meeting Safety
Camp Meeting Safety
Camp Meeting Safety
Camp Meeting Safety
Camp Meeting Safety
Camp Meeting Safety
Camp Meeting Safety

Introduction - 8.1

The safety of those attending an Apostolic Faith camp meeting is of prime importance. It is our desire to do all in our power to provide a camp meeting environment that is spiritually, emotionally, and physically safe.

With that goal in mind, the Apostolic Faith organization has established the following policies, procedures, and operating guidelines pertaining to camp meetings. While some information is specific to the Portland, Oregon, camp meeting, the directives apply to all camp meetings held by this organization in the United States. Those in charge of camp meetings held outside of Oregon also should be aware of and abide by any legal requirements in the state where the camp meeting is convened.

All staff and volunteers who serve in Apostolic Faith ministries are required to read the Volunteer Handbook produced by the organization. Camp meeting workers must follow the guidelines in this document concerning supervision of youth, the organization’s physical contact policy, abuse prevention and reporting policies, etc. They also should be thoroughly familiar with the “Emergency Procedures” section of the Volunteer Handbook, and be prepared to implement those procedures in the camp meeting environment.

The organization’s Safety and Security Manual, the Volunteer Handbook, the forms mentioned in this document, and all other safety documents related to this work are posted on the corporate website at

Legal Requirements Regarding Camp Meeting - 8.2

Organizational camps in Oregon operate under the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Chapter 333 Division 30. This authority prescribes the requirements for the construction, operation, and use of organizational camps.

Organizational camps include camps operated and maintained under the guidance and supervision of a religious organization. The Portland camp meeting is considered a “family camp,” which means the camp meeting is operated and staffed by our people. Parents or guardians are on-site and have frequent contact with and make decisions on behalf of their children.

As facility owners, the Apostolic Faith organization is responsible to meet state requirements regarding sanitation, insurance liability, building and equipment maintenance, etc. It is the responsibility of the Apostolic Faith ministerial and camp meeting staff to ensure that workers and those in attendance at the camp meeting are informed of all camp regulations and guidelines. Staff members are expected to follow the same regulations as campers.

Portland Campground Locations - 8.3

The campground mailing address is 5414 SE Duke Street, Portland, Oregon 97206.

The camp office is located in the small building just to the west of the drive-in gate on SE Duke Street. Camp office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. except during services. The telephone number for the campground office is 503-777-1741, and the fax number is 503-517-2545.

The international headquarters office is located across 52nd Avenue to the west of the campground. The address of that facility is 6615 SE 52nd Avenue, Portland, Oregon, 97206 and office hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during camp meeting.

The campground security office is at the west end of the garage building a few feet inside the drive-in gate on Duke Street.

Entrances are located on the north and south sides, and a bank of windows faces the Fellowship Lodge.

The church parking lot located across Duke Street is available for the parking convenience of campers and local attendees at camp meeting services.

Camp Meeting Registration - 8.4

All campers who expect to stay on the campground during the camp meeting must be preapproved by their local Apostolic Faith Church pastor. Attendees at the Portland camp meeting can preregister on the church website at

Campers are asked to check in at the camp office upon arrival at the campground.

If there is a need for campers to change housing or RV parking spots while camp meeting is in progress, the camp office staff must give approval first.

Campers are expected to check out when they vacate the campground.

Individuals who wish to stay on the campground, but who are not regular members of an Apostolic Faith congregation, are asked to submit a Camp Meeting Visitor Information Form (available on the church website) for prior approval.

Transportation - 8.5

All staff drivers appointed to provide transportation for guests going to and from the camp meeting must be pre-authorized and meet the driver requirements established by the organization as listed in Procedure Guidelines for Transportation Providers (available on the church website). Drivers are expected to adhere to the safety guidelines and practices described in that document.

Portland Campground Security - 8.6

The main gate to the campground opens at 7:00 a.m. and closes at 12:00 midnight.

The pedestrian gate in front of the Tabernacle is opened at 9:00 a.m. and locked at 10:00 p.m.

Campground security personnel are on duty throughout the camp meeting. Security team members will patrol the campground nightly.

A security staff member will drive through the church parking lot periodically during the night.

In event of emergencies, a minister can be reached during nighttime hours by calling the camp office at (503) 777-1741.

Video surveillance cameras will be in operation throughout the campground.

Safety During Church Services - 8.7

Trained and certified Church Emergency Responders (CERs)—individuals in the Apostolic Faith organization who are prepared to facilitate an effective response to emergencies which occur in the church—will be on duty during camp meeting services. Prior to the convening of the camp meeting, CERs will have a training session covering how to perform their duties in the camp meeting environment.

Portland Campground Traffic - 8.8

Vehicle traffic is restricted to the roadways on the campground. Drivers on the campground are expected to observe the posted speed limitations, and be very watchful for pedestrians. No vehicles should be driven across the front of the Tabernacle.

Interior access gates across the roadways will be closed to prevent vehicle traffic through the campground after 10:30 p.m. These may be opened by campground security for late arrivals or emergencies.

Exit gates are automated and will open when a vehicle approaches from the inside of the campground.

Campground golf carts are to be used only with permission from the office or security staff; drivers must be over the age of eighteen.

Portland Campground Parking - 8.9

Parking is available for camp meeting attendees in the church parking lot across Duke Street.

Short term parking for loading and unloading on the campground is allowed only in marked areas.

Parking for guests with disabilities is provided in marked areas near the camp office and in a few designated locations throughout the campground.

Parking behind the Fellowship Lodge is restricted to those with a current year parking permit (issued by the camp office).

Camp Staff Requirements - 8.10

All church workers who participate in camp meeting services or activities must be preapproved by their local pastor, have filled out a Workers Application Form at their home church (or Youth Worker Application Form for participants under age eighteen), and have completed the required training for the area(s) of service where they will be involved.

Workers are expected to follow the guidelines in the Volunteer Handbook concerning supervision of youth, the organization’s physical contact policy, abuse prevention and reporting policies, etc. They should also be thoroughly familiar with the “Emergency Procedures” section of the Volunteer Handbook, and be prepared to implement those procedures in the camp meeting environment.

Camp Health - 8.11

Organizational camps are required to have the following:

  • An appointed camp health supervisor.
  • Posted contact information for medically trained personnel in attendance at the camp meeting. At the Portland campground, this list is posted in the camp office, the security office, and the Fellowship Lodge.
  • Campground maps which show the location of first aid supplies, AEDs, fire alarms, exit gates, and emergency evacuation safe zones. These are posted on the bulletin boards and copies are available at the campground office.
  • A designated isolation area. At the Portland camp meeting, this is the family restroom in the van dispatch building, west of the security office.
  • A designated vehicle available at all times for the transport of a person needing professional medical attention. At the Portland camp meeting, the camp office staff will have a key to the van designated for health related transportation.

Child Youth/Safety - 8.12

The Apostolic Faith organization has a zero tolerance policy 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. Mandatory reporters include ministers and 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 pastor or the camp director.

Guidelines for abuse prevention and reporting, supervision of minors, our communication policy, our guidance and discipline policy, our physical contact policy, and our restroom assistance policy are all specified in the Safety and Security Manual for the Apostolic Faith organization, and also in the Volunteer Handbook. These guidelines must be scrupulously followed.

Leaders and adult workers who participate in youth activities at camp meetings must be familiar with the “Emergency Procedures” section of the Apostolic Faith Volunteer Handbook, and be prepared to implement the proper response in the event of an emergency situation, taking into consideration the physical environment of camp meeting activities. They will be responsible for the safety of children entrusted to their care.

All children under the age of eighteen who are staying on the campground must have a parent or approved guardian who is also staying on the campground. The approval process is given in the document Procedure Guidelines for Camp Meeting Guardians (available on the church website).

Guardians of minors must be over the age of twenty-one, regularly attend the Apostolic Faith Church, and be residing on the campground during the time the young person will be there.

Parents and guardians should be alert to where their children are on the campground at all times, and see that camp regulations are followed.

Only those caring for a small child, or children with an adult who is caring for a small child, are allowed in the baby rooms during services. Caregivers during church services must be at least twelve years of age.

Minors must obtain permission from their guardians before leaving the campground.

Any accident or injury of a minor must be reported immediately to the child’s guardian.

Minors are not allowed to stay overnight in a cabin other than the one assigned to them without obtaining permission from the parent or guardian, and notifying the camp office.

If childcare is provided during the services, all regulations and staff requirements listed in the Procedure Guidelines for Church Nursery Providers (available on the church website) must be followed. This includes ensuring that all staff members have taken the online child safety training recommended by the church insurance company. (Information on how to access this training is also available at

Campground Safety - 8.13

Any hazardous conditions should be reported immediately at the camp office.

Firecrackers or explosives of any kind are not to be brought onto the campground. If any are found, they should be given to security personnel.

Fire extinguishers are located in each kitchenette and at designated locations on the campground (see posted campground maps). All fire lanes must be kept clear.

Those walking to or from the campground are expected to use the corners and crosswalks when crossing Duke Street or 52nd Avenue.

Emergencies should be reported to the camp office if the event occurs during office hours. In the event of an emergency during the night, contact the security personnel.

Poisons, chemicals, insecticides, pesticides, and other toxic materials must be properly labeled or in original containers, and stored in locked areas. They must be separate from all food service, food storage, food preparation areas, and sleeping areas.

No skateboards, bicycles, razor kick scooters, or rollerblades are allowed on the campground while camp is in session.

Children are not to use or have access to matches or lighters.

Prohibited Actions

The following actions on the part of campers are not acceptable, 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.
  • Repeated refusal to follow the camp guidelines or instructions by those in authority.
  • 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.
  • Pranks, rock throwing, stick duels, and any other potentially dangerous behavior.

Water Safety

If there is a body of water or swimming pool at the campsite, water safety must be an important focus. Prior to the camp session, the camp director should obtain the facility owner/manager’s guidelines regarding water safety, and these must be strictly adhered to. In addition, Apostolic Faith camp meetings must abide by certain guidelines that our organization has established for the protection of those who engage in water activities at our camps.

All swimming and small craft and boating activities must be supervised by a person holding a current American Red Cross Senior Life Saving Certificate or its equivalent. No swimming, either by camp attendees or staff, should take place when the lifeguard is not present.

Swimmers should be tested to evaluate their abilities, and restricted to areas designated for their level of ability.

Swimmers should pair up with a buddy while in the water.

Appropriate lifesaving equipment must be on hand.

There should be no running and/or horseplay on docks or around pools and diving boards.

Athletic Activities Safety

The camp director or his appointee should inspect the athletic facilities and equipment for unsafe objects and general conditions prior to the beginning of the camp meeting. All games and athletic activities should be planned with safety in mind, and carefully supervised to make sure they take place in a responsible manner. Staff members should ensure that the proper equipment is used for each activity, and that the equipment is in a safe-to-use condition.

Kitchen Safety

If Apostolic Faith personnel are handling food preparation and service for the camp attendees, the following guidelines must be followed:

  • A Church Emergency Responder (CER) will be on duty during meal hours at the dining facility.
  • All church kitchen equipment will be maintained in a manner to minimize risk and best ensure safe operation for those who use the kitchen.
  • Smoke alarms, fire alarms, and first aid kits should be located in proximity to the kitchen (guidelines regarding this are included in the Safety and Security Manual). These guidelines include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Working smoke alarms should be installed in the church kitchen area and inspected on a regular basis.
  • A fire extinguisher must be installed in the kitchen or immediate proximity.
  • A first aid kit must be kept in a visible location in the kitchen.
  • Equipment such as stoves, refrigerators, and dishwashers should be maintained in good condition.
  • Stove hoods, filters, and exhaust ducts should be cleaned on a regular basis.
  • Refrigeration motors, cooling coils, and compressors must be kept free of combustible materials and cleaned regularly. Keep refrigerators set to 40° or cooler.
  • If feasible, a commercial dishwasher should be used to ensure that dishes and utensils are properly sanitized. Make sure the water temperature is set to reach at least 180°F.
  • The kitchen should have a properly working hand sink with soap and single-use paper towels.
  • All state regulations regarding food preparation and handling must be followed in the camp kitchen. We recommend that a state food handler’s booklet be available in the campground kitchen, as guidelines vary from state to state.
  • Kitchen coordinators and key staff members should have current food handling certification as required by the state. (This generally involves going through a brief online course and taking a test.)
  • Regular staff in the campground kitchen must have read the Procedure Guidelines for Kitchen Staff and Food Handlers. Food preparation and serving must be done according to the guidelines listed in that document.
  • Kitchen staff members should be aware where emergency and first aid equipment is located and where fire alarms are located.
  • Those who work in the campground kitchen should remember that safety must come first when making work decisions regarding participation in food preparation, serving, or clean-up after an event. They should never come to work in the church kitchen when they have a contagious illness.
  • For sanitation reasons, the kitchen is restricted to staff who are involved in food preparation and serving.
  • Children of primary-school age and younger should not come into the kitchen unless accompanied by a responsible adult and closely monitored.

Campground Facilities

Permanent Sleeping Units

All sleeping units must:

  • Have cross ventilation or comply with the ventilation requirements established by building codes.
  • Be kept in good repair. Campers are asked to report unsafe equipment or hazards to the campground office.

Restroom Facilities

All restroom facilities must:

  • Be adequately ventilated.
  • Have floors that are smooth, impervious, and easily cleanable.
  • Be kept clean, sanitary, and free of mold and mildew.
  • Have handwashing sinks in close proximity to toilets.
  • Be kept supplied with soap and single-use towels

Laundry Facilities

All laundry facilities must:

  • Be located in areas separate from sleeping units, food preparation areas, and perishable food storage area.
  • Be kept clean and well maintained.
  • Provide clean storage rooms or cupboards for storage of linens.
  • Be equipped with locked cupboards for any cleaning supplies kept onsite.

Waste Facilities

Garbage containers must have tight-fitting lids, covers, or closable tops. They must be durable, rust-resistant, watertight, rodent proof, and easily washable.

Garbage must be collected for disposal or recycling at regular intervals so as not to create objectionable odors, overflowing containers, or other unsanitary conditions


On the Portland campground, kitchenettes are located among the cabins. For that reason, any use of these areas after 10:30 p.m. must be quiet.

Campers using the kitchenettes are asked to keep the areas in a clean and sanitary condition. Dishes should be washed and put away immediately after a meal.

All garbage, papers, cans, and glass items must be placed in the appropriate containers.

Campers are asked to dispose of all personal food/perishable items when they vacate the camp.

Emergency Procedures

By law, each organizational camp must retain an onsite written emergency plan outlining procedures to be followed in each of the following situations:

  • Natural disasters and other emergencies
  • Fires
  • Severe illnesses, injuries, or communicable diseases
  • Intruder in camp
  • Supervision and release of minor campers
  • Emergency evacuation procedures
  • Information regarding the nearest emergency medical facilities and fire stations
  • Control of vehicle traffic through the camp
  • The organization is responsible to:
  • Designate individuals to be responsible for carrying out the emergency response procedures
  • Instruct staff and volunteers of the plan and their duties
  • Post emergency response numbers by each phone
  • Have a vehicle available at all times to transport a camper or staff member requiring medical services
  • Provide an area for the temporary isolation of a sick or injured camper
  • Have first aid supplies and an AED available on the campground

Record Keeping

A record of all campers and staff must be retained in the local church files for at least two years. The record should include the name, address, phone number, and dates of attendance for all camp attendees. After two years, the record should be sent to the Portland headquarters office for retaining in the organization’s files.

Any accidents or injuries occurring during the camp meeting which are addressed by CERs or camp meeting staff must be recorded on an Accident/Incident Report Form (available on the church website).