Kanakuk Kamps Historical Perspective
Kanakuk Kamps has a longstanding reputation of excellence in camping ministry spanning generations of dedicated camp families. To date, over 300,000 campers and 50,000 staff have experienced the excitement and impact that comes through their involvement at Kanakuk. Likewise, Kanakuk has been dedicated to the careful management of safety and risk in both field and operational practices. From campers, to staff and volunteers, facilities and grounds to food service, health and wellness to transportation and more, Kanakuk has invested both time and resources to promoting a healthy and positive experience for all.
Leading up to 2009, Kanakuk Kamps continued to implement abuse prevention and response strategies enacting policies and procedures as recommended by various regulatory and industry-related entities. The use of applications, references, work history verification, criminal background and sex offender screening, abuse awareness training and supervisory oversight enabled camp leaders to qualify, train and supervise staff and volunteers. According to the best known advisors and resources at the time, this criterion was both acceptable and compliant as a means to prevent or respond to an incident of child abuse.
In March 2009, Kanakuk learned that a long-term camp director had inappropriate contact with a child. Further investigation would reveal multiple victims spanning a ten year period of time. The reality that a long-time, trusted colleague would engage in misconduct and remain undetected by staff, family and friends, amidst a well-developed prevention, supervision and response strategy was staggering. In response to this realization, Kanakuk dedicated time and resources to the research and development of The Kanakuk Child Protection Plan, a comprehensive child safety system to prevent, detect or respond to child abuse in a camp setting.
A message from John Ashcroft, former U.S. Attorney General
“I asked two of my partners, both former United States Attorneys with vast experience in prosecuting crimes against children, to assist me in reviewing the extensive materials regarding Kanakuk’s plan. We found the materials to be well-researched, current with best thinking on how to prevent child exploitation, practical and pointed. In our opinion, these materials evidence Kanakuk’s substantial commitment to and investment of resources to the protection of children from would-be predators. In our opinion, yours is a first-rate program.”