Sending your kid off to summer camp can certainly come with plenty of worries, but worrying whether or not theyre in the hands of a criminal shouldnt be one of them. “We do a background check on every single employee thats hired” says Fort Wayne YMCA Human Resources Director Casey Weimer. Fort Wayne YMCAs Camp Potawotami does background checks on its employees, but it isnt required. If you head to the American Camp Associations website, www.acacamps.org, and look under Indiana, you will see that the state does not require criminal background checks on camp employees. “We do the State of Indiana check, as well as go back three years and look anywhere theyve lived and do a criminal background check in those areas” says Weimer. “I feel a lot more comfortable knowing that my counselors have gone through the same background checks” says Camp Counselor Joel Bullis. All Camp Potawotami counselors are also required to go through a week-long orientation that includes specific training on sexual abuse prevention, recognizing signs of child abuse, and reporting requirements. In addition, the camp also follows the rule of three to prevent any sexual misconduct. “That ensures that a counselor is never alone with a camper nor are campers never alone without adult supervision” says Craig Cheney, Executive Director of Camp Potawotami. Cheney says he would like to see a nationwide policy in place for background checks for camp staff. “Its just one more thing that we can do to keep the kids safe” adds Cheney. Only twenty-one states require camps to do background checks, that includes Michigan. In addition to Indiana, other states that do not require background checks include Illinois and Kentucky.