Why is there a visitor policy for Minnesota Farmers Union Camp?
The number one reason we have a specific visitors policy in place is for the safety of the campers. If we receive unannounced visitors it is an obvious safety concern for the campers and camp staff. Even visitors that inform us ahead of time carry inherent risks. There is no way to run background checks on every individual that would want to visit the camp. Knowing whom, when, where, and for how long a visitor will be at camp greatly enhances the ability of the camp staff to do their jobs effectively.
Minnesota Farmers Union is liable for anything that happens at camp, during camp. To limit the liability of MFU a clear and concise visitors policy need to be in place and the visitor needs to agree to this policy, in writing. This helps limit the liability of Minnesota Farmers Union and increase the safety of the campers and camp staff.
#3. Lack of Authority Over Visitors
Without a visitors policy, the camp staff for Minnesota Farmers Union has no way of enforcing reasonable visitor activity. Without a clear and concise policy visitors to camp may overstay, or try to visit camp multiple times. Current campers and staff have expressed concerns over former campers returning to camp and being extremely disruptive. Camps that are currently operating are for current campers, not for campers or parents who have already had their camp experience.
Making campers feel that a camp is a safe place is a huge part of a successful camp experience. Homesickness of campers can happen very easily and with almost no warning. If a camper sees an individual on the campground that they do not recognize this can cause considerable anxiety and ultimately homesickness.
Sometimes, if the person is a relative of the camper it can cause an even higher possibility of homesickness. Campers that are successful at camp don’t even think about home or their parents. Seeing a parent can remind a camper that they are away from home, upsetting their entire camp experience.
#5. Allowing Campers to Branch Out On Their Own
Attending camp provides a unique opportunity for campers to gain independence and self-reliance. It can be challenging for campers to readjust after a family/friend visit for both the camper and fellow campers or cabin mates whose parents cannot visit. Minnesota Farmers Union Camp is a great opportunity to gain independence and self-confidence when a parent or friend visits it undermines that. If a camper can complete a camp session without contact with a parent or friend, they will have a huge sense of accomplishment, and a definite boost to their confidence.
#6. Disruption of Camp Activities
Daily camp activities run on a very full and tight schedule. If visitors were to be constantly coming and going it would be a huge disruption for the camp staff and could lead to many problems that multiply exponentially. For example, if a visitor shows up to camp unannounced a camp staff member will have to attend to the needs of the visitor, pulling them away from their assigned duties. If that duty was not finished the camp staff will have to attend to it later, throwing off their entire schedule and possibly leading to problems down the road like lack of sleep.
#7. Visitor Policy Modeled after other Farmers Union and General Camps
Minnesota Farmers Union’s visitor policy is by no means unique. National Farmers Union All States Camp limits the time for visitors to one evening meal, and many camps nationwide do not allow visitors at all due to the many reasons listed above.