Code of Conduct and Behaviour Expectations
Camp is a special place where we all live together. Developing and displaying positive character values is important to us. Camp Shalom is committed to creating and maintaining a safe, respectful, inclusive, equitable, accessible environments for all the counselors (Madrichim) and campers (Chanichim). Bullying is the opposite.
Those who bully are expected to learn a different way of behaving.
Definition of Bullying
Bullying is to deliberately target someone in a hostile or aggressive manner.
The impact of bullying can include:
• Hurt feelings
Bullying can include discrimination or harassment against a person because of one or more of their personal characteristics and is based on the enumerated grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code, such as:
• Place of origin
• Ethnic origin
• Sexual orientation
• Gender identity
• Gender expression
Bullying can also target personal or group interests as well as attire/style or appearance.
Bullying can occur in one-on-one situations, group situations, and when an individual and a group interact.
Prevention of Bullying
· Regular programs at camp (e.g., creating art, writing poems and short stories about bullying, reading stories about bullying, doing scenarios/role plays about bullying, having discussions about bullying and why it is important to be doing so)
· Regular training workshops and discussions with Camp Tzevet (staff) about the what a “safe space” looks like and feels like, and how best to make Camp Shalom spaces safe for everyone
· Annual review of the Code of Conduct to ensure it meets the needs of the Camp Shalom communities
What Does Bullying Look Like?
Emotional: being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g., hiding someone’s clothes, books, camera), making threatening gestures
Physical: pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or other acts of violence
Racial: racial slurs, racial taunts, graffiti, gestures, racist jokes, making fun of someone’s accent
Sexual: unwanted physical contact, sexist jokes, inappropriate gestures or comments (e.g., commenting on someone’s body), commenting on someone’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, homophobic jokes, calling something gay
Verbal: name-calling, using sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
Cyber/technological: inappropriate use of videos or cameras
Objectives of this Policy
· All counselors (Madrichim), all campers (Chanichim) and all parents are expected to have an understanding of what bullying is and how to ensure that Camp Shalom is a safe space.
· All counselors (Madrichim), all campers (Chanichim) and all parents are expected to know this Policy and follow it whenever bullying is reported or witnessed or suspected.
· Chanichim and their parents are to be supported when bullying is reported.
· Bullying is not to be tolerated, ignored, allowed to fester or to go unchecked.
Possible Signs and Symptoms of Bullying
A camper’s behaviour may indicate that he or she is being bullied, but these signs or symptoms may be very subtle. Madrichim must be on the look out given that bullying is common. Some signs or symptoms that may indicate a child is being bullied are:
o Doesn’t want to participate in group activities
o Begs to be permitted to leave camp early
o Becomes withdrawn, anxious, or lacking in confidence
o Starts stammering
o Runs away
o Cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
o Frequently complains of feeling ill
o Appears with torn clothes or damaged belongings
o Belongings start to go “missing”
o Has unexplained cuts or bruises
o Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
o Bullies other children
o Stops eating
o Appears to be frightened when asked what’s wrong
Expectations of a Camper who may be Bullied
· Ability to safely report bullying incidents to a counselor, unit head, head staff, nurse, doctor, or Camp Director
· Give support to the individual being bullied by encouraging them to talk about their experience and involving them in the resolution of the incident
· Allegations of bullying will be investigated to determine the facts
· Staff will keep a record of the incidents and maintain confidentiality of the incidents
· In some cases parents are to be informed and will be asked for their input
· The bullying will be stopped as quickly as possible, while maintaining an educational and long term view of the problem. This means that a situation in which bullying is occurring must be stopped and immediately the process of repairing relationships, confidence and especially the safe space for all Camp Shalom participants begins.
· If necessary and appropriate, police will be contacted
Outcomes & Discipline Procedures
We understand that, while everyone will try to demonstrate and practice positive character values and behaviours, sometimes individuals or groups may have challenges doing so. Given that campers understand the responsibilities and expectations as outlined in this document, it is important that they also understand the possible structures/consequences in place should they choose not to follow them.
When possible/reasonable, Camp Staff will warn a camper that their behavior is inappropriate and the camper will be given the opportunity to correct the behavior and/or meet the expectations. If this does not occur:
· The Camper may be required to take a short “time out”.
· The Camper may be required to sit out for some or all of an activity or program.
· The Camper may be required to make a verbal and/or written apology.
· The Camper may be required to meet with a Senior Staff member or Director.
· The Camper may be required to complete an appropriate task in place of regular camp activities.
· The Camper may lose some privileges.
· The Camper may be required to discuss their behavior with a parent or guardian over the phone.
Although we hope to avoid this ultimate consequence, if these steps fail to help the camper make appropriate choices regarding their conduct and the behavior expectations, the camper may be required to leave camp. The parents/guardians would be contacted to arrange transport home. Camp will always strive to use a behavior management progression and give campers opportunities to learn and grow from their mistakes. In extreme circumstances, especially if the camper poses a risk to themselves or others, it may be necessary to immediately remove a camper from the camp program.
[Revised June 2015; Thanks to Camp Shomria, Camp BB-Riback and our other Jewish Camp colleagues for their assistance in creating this code of conduct]