Beginning with the spring 2011 Environmental Camping season, different options were developed for screening volunteers for Environmental Camps.  The 4-H Youth Development Agent will be responsible for determining which option best fits the Environmental Camp program for their county and the participating schools.

Three different scenarios are available:

a. Environmental Camps as 4-H Events
b. Environmental Camps as collaborative ventures between 4-H and the School
c. Environmental Camps as School Events

“Environmental Camps as 4-H Events” meet one or more of the following criteria:

a. An Extension professional or paraprofessional coordinates or plans the event
b. The 4-H / Extension rate is charged for the facility
c. Youth participants are counted as 4-H members or 4-H campers

The protocol for screening volunteers for each scenario is as follows:

Environmental Camps as 4-H Events

In this situation, the entire protocol for screening volunteers must be followed.  This includes the following:

a. Environmental Camp Volunteer Application Packet (ECVAP)

  1. Completed Application
  2. Motor Vehicle Records Request (if transporting youth, equipment or supplies)
  3. Youth Leader Request
  4. Reference letters
  5. Kentucky CES Expectations for Volunteers form.
  6. Results of the interview (include a copy of the questions and the volunteer’s responses)
  7. Background Check Results
  8. Sex Offender Registry Results
  9. Volunteer Position Description
  10. Include the Processing Checklist in the volunteer’s file.

b. Background check request is submitted to the KY Administrative Office of the  Courts

c. Agent checks the Kentucky State Police Sex Offender Registry

d. References supplied by the volunteer on the application are contacted by one of the following means:

  1. In person
  2. Electronically by e-mail
  3. By US Mail
  4. On the phone

e. The volunteer is interviewed by the agent, the CMC Chair, or the CPC Committee or the volunteer completes the open-ended questionnaire for environmental camps in lieu of the interview. 

f. Completed ECVAP is categorized as “green,” “yellow” or “red” by the CPC Chair and the Agent. 

g. “Green” ECVAPs are accepted.

h. “Yellow” ECVAPs are submitted to the CPC for interviewing and a final decision about acceptance. The completed file includes the following documents:

  1. Volunteer is accepted.
  2. Volunteer is accepted conditionally or for a probationary period.
  3. Volunteer is rejected

i. Agent sends a letter of acceptance or rejection to the volunteer.

j. Volunteer attends Orientation.

For environmental camps that are 4-H events, the agent is involved (although perhaps not solely responsible) in identifying, recruiting and/or screening the volunteers.  In this situation, it is appropriate and acceptable for the “Extension rate” to be charged for UK-owned camp facilities.  Participants may be counted as 4-H campers.

Environmental Camps as collaborative ventures between 4-H and the School

In this situation, where the environmental camp is a joint venture between Kentucky 4-H and the school, the screening protocols of both organizations must be followed.  However, there are some ways to make this easier for both groups.

Screening Process:

a. For individuals who have been accepted as school volunteers and have satisfactorily completed the school’s screening protocol, the teacher can complete and sign the form “School Volunteers for Environmental Camp” and return it to the 4-H Agent.

b. For individuals who have been accepted as 4-H volunteers, the Agent can complete and sign the form “4-H Volunteers for Environmental Camp,” keeping a copy on file and presenting a copy to the teacher.

c. Volunteers identified in a. and b. will not need additional screening.

Background Checks:

d. Individuals for whom the school has run a background check and will allow the agent to inspect the actual documentation containing the results of said background check, a second background check will not need to be run by the    4-H agent.

References:

e. For parents, school volunteers, and other individuals with whom the teacher has developed a relationship and is willing to serve as a reference, the teacher will complete and sign the form “School References for Environmental Camp Volunteers” and return it to the 4-H Agent.

f. For individuals with whom the 4-H Agent has developed a relationship and is willing to serve as a reference, the agent will complete and sign the form “Extension References for Environmental Camp Volunteers,” keeping a copy on file and presenting a copy to the teacher.

g. Volunteers identified in e and f will not need to submit references, nor will the agent be expected to follow up on references.

For environmental camps that are collaborative events between 4-H and the school, the agent is involved (although perhaps not solely responsible) in identifying, recruiting and/or screening the volunteers.  In this situation, it is appropriate and acceptable for the “Extension rate” to be charged for UK-owned camp facilities.  Participants may be counted as 4-H campers.  The agent and the teacher can determine who will be responsible for conducting each step of the screening process.  However, the 4-H agent is still accountable for those screening activities required by UK CES.

Environmental Camps as School Events

In this situation, the 4-H agent’s only role is to provide education.  Since the agent is not involved with identifying, screening or supervising the school’s volunteers, there are no screening requirements imposed by UK CES.  Please note that in this situation, the agent’s only role can be one of education.  The youth participants, therefore, are counted as “contacts” and not as 4-H members or 4-H campers.  Additionally, the non-Extension rate must be charged to schools if the environmental camp is held at a facility that is owned by UK.  Under this scenario, the agent cannot contract the facility.

 

Questionnaire for Environmental Camps

Accepted Volunteers and References Lists

Environmental Camp Counselor VPD