As a camp hosted on the Texas A&M campus and serving adolescents and young adults, the Aggie School of Athens abides by the following code of conduct to guide our volunteers, staff, and youth participants, in order to protect everyone’s right to feel safe, secure and supported.
Aggie School of Athens prioritizes the safety and well-being of its youth participants by requiring that staff abide by the following rules of conduct. Our staff, including facilitators, volunteers and special guests, must:
- treat all youth participants with respect and dignity;
- adhere at all times to the camp’s policies and procedures in maintaining a professional demeanor and in dealing with youth participants;
- establish, respect, and maintain boundaries with all youth participants, including refraining from any communication outside the context of the camp’s programming;
- consider the final outcomes of any behavior, as well as youth participants’ reaction to any activities, conversations, or interactions so as to avoid embarrassing, shaming, or humiliating them;
- avoid any activity, comment or physical contact that endangers youth participants or makes them uncomfortable by violating reasonable boundaries;
- refrain from offering youth participants “special” treatment that falls outside of the camp’s mandate, or that may (or may appear to) place them at risk of exploitation;
- use the creative works produced by youth participants (including photos and videos featuring them as models) solely in the charity’s online and printed publications and related informational materials;
- treat all suspicions or allegations of domestic child abuse or neglect seriously, and report them following established procedures;
- refrain from any activity that may be reasonably regarded as posing a risk to the security or personal integrity of youth participants and the charity generally.
Before joining the Aggie School of Athens team in any capacity, all staff must undergo an official police record background check and review the camp’s extended code of conduct. Failure to adhere to the code of conduct by the camp staff will result in an investigation and disciplinary action if necessary. Staff misconduct will not be tolerated, especially as it relates to the well-being of youth participants in the camp’s care.
The Aggie School of Athens ensures safe educational programming for its youth participants by requiring that they abide by the following rules of conduct:
- follow the safety guidelines and program mottoes established by the charity’s staff;
- remain with the group at all times (never be alone or where staff cannot see them);
- treat all staff and youth participants, including junior facilitators, with respect and dignity;
- refrain from any behaviors (actions, remarks, attitudes) that are violent or aggressive in nature;
- take care of the program space (indoor and outdoor environments) and show careful consideration for the materials, equipment and supplies that the camp makes available to them;
- leave all valuable belongings at home, including electronic devices unless otherwise requested; cell phones are allowed but please be responsible with and for them;
- report to a staff member any behavior or activity that causes discomfort or suspicion (see something, say something);
- avoid all foul, profane, or inappropriate language, clothing and behavior (nothing lewd, crude or rude).
- avoid making comments that demeaning about the camp and thus also demeaning to the other campers, e.g., this camp is dumb or I never wanted to come to this camp.
At the outset of the Aggie School of Athens programs, participants talk through the key elements of the code of conduct to ensure they understand expectations. Failure to adhere to the code of conduct can result in the following steps:
- The camp’s staff will remind the youth participant of the code of conduct and redirect them to more appropriate behavior;
- If the issue persists, the camp’s staff will discuss the problem with a parent or guardian, based on documentation of the issue and corrective actions taken;
- If a participant refuses to follow the code despite the involvement of a parent or guardian, they may be dismissed from the program.
- Violent behavior, especially physically violent behavior, will not be tolerated and the camper could be dismissed directly—without going through steps 1-3. See the note below.
Aggie School of Athens has a zero-tolerance policy toward violence: any behavior deemed violent, including but not limited to physical violence, intimidation, emotional aggression, property damage and bullying, will result in immediate removal from the program. Similarly, to ensure a workplace free of violence and disrespect, Aggie School of Athens reserves the right to refuse service to families who exhibit hostile behaviors toward any of its employees, including acts of shouting or swearing, harassment, condescension, personal attacks, public humiliation, threats and intimidation.
This code of conduct was adapted from Brila Youth Programs. Our thanks to Natalie Fletcher for her advice.