See the complete Camper Safety Guide here
Background checks for attending churches
Falls Creek Youth Camp requires that each church perform background checks on all participants 18 years of age or older attending with their group. Falls Creek honors background checks for 18 months from the date of the check.
Background check service providers must perform a:
- National criminal background check that includes…
- A check of the National Registry of Sex Offenders and…
- A county or state criminal court search…
- Social Security trace/verification.
Please use reputable, specialized firms that are able to provide the specific types of checks that Falls Creek requires!
DO NOT use the following types of agencies, companies, or individuals to run your checks:
- Local, county, or state law enforcement agencies (These organizations are obviously reputable, but their checks are seldom if ever, NATIONAL checks)
- Obscure providers found on a google search
- Friends or church members in or connected to law enforcement that can get you a deal
Below is a list of PREFERRED SERVICE PROVIDES for these checks. The names of these organizations are provided as a means of convenience and easy reference. If you use one of these preferred providers, you will receive background checks that are compliant with Falls Creek Youth Camp requirements. If you choose to use another company, we cannot guarantee that the check is complete or the report is thorough enough to pass compliance checks at on-site registration.
These providers all charge a nominal fee for their services; check with each service provider for pricing. Churches are not required to use the preferred service providers, but they are examples of the types of organizations your church needs to use to run these checks.
PROTECT MY MINISTRY (PLUS PACKAGE)
SHIELD SCREENING (BGCO Church Package)
MINISTRY SAFE (Level 3 or above)
FLAGGING BACKGROUND CHECKS
Each church is responsible to review the background checks that are run on their leaders and sponsors and make determinations regarding each person’s fitfulness for service. In order to help you as a church to make these determinations, we are providing you with a list of RED FLAG and YELLOW FLAG offenses. These lists are thorough, but not exhaustive.
RED FLAG OFFENSES
If any of the following offenses are reported on a potential sponsor’s background check, you should not use that person as a sponsor at camp.
- Providing alcohol/tobacco/drugs/pornography to a minor
- Voyeurism (peeping Tom)
- Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
- Criminal solicitation of a minor
- Public Indecency
- Exhibitionism (flashing)
- Sexual Assault (or any crime that is sexual in nature)
- False Imprisonment
- Injury to a child/elderly individual/disabled individual
- Abandoning or endangering a child
- Leaving a child in a vehicle
- Matters related to interference with child custody
- Failure to stop or report the aggravated sexual assault of a child
YELLOW FLAG OFFENSES
If any of the following offenses are reported on a potential sponsor’s background check, you will need a written document from your church, signed by the senior pastor, that states the church is aware of the offense(s) listed on the background check report form, is taking full responsibility for the individual as a sponsor, and has determined the person is suitable to serve as a sponsor for the church at Falls Creek. You may use the YELLOW FLAG OFFENSE form found on our RESOURCES page for this required documentation.
YFOs will include any of the following felony or misdemeanor offenses within the last 10 years:
- Driving under the influence
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Making a firearm accessible to a child
- Theft, including identity theft
BACKGROUND CHECK COMPLIANCE PRE-SCREENING
You may pre-screen your background check report forms to save time at onsite registration! Once you have secured your background check reports, take the following steps:
Step 1: Complete Online Orientation and Ministry Safe Camp Training
Step 2: Falls Creek Program Office verifies Ministry Safe Camp Training completion and sends your orientation code and a link to start pre-screening
Step 3: Enter information for adult leaders in your group, including yourself, to be pre-screened by the Falls Creek Youth Camp Program Office
Pre-screening can take place 2 weeks or more from your arrival to camp. Pre-screening verification is not guaranteed inside of the 2-week window.
Step 4: Receive your link to your upload adult leader background check reports for pre-screening in your Ministry Safe Portal.
Once complete, the program office will pre-screen and verify the background check reports and then will check them off in your camp registration.
Please note our office hours, Monday – Thursday, 7:30am – 5:30pm, and Wednesday, 7:30am – 5:00pm. Pre-screening will take place during those hours.
BACKGROUND CHECKS AND ON-SITE REGISTRATION
Background checks are run by service providers on behalf of the churches. The church will be responsible for the information contained in the reports and will maintain the privacy of those reports.
At on-site registration, churches will be asked to produce the documents listed below and registration officials will verify checks have been run on all necessary individuals. All churches will be required to have their checks further inspected and compliance checked with camper safety requirements.
Falls Creek requires that you bring the following to onsite registration, Day One of your camp session:
- Completed Camper Background Check Compliance Form, along with a folder containing a copy of the *report forms for all campers who have had background checks run on them.
- PLEASE NOTE: Though you are required to bring a copy of these reports, they will only be used to verify you ran the checks. If your group is randomly selected to be vetted at onsite registration, ONLY sponsor background check reports will be reviewed.
- Completed Sponsor Background Check Compliance Form, along with a folder containing a copy of the *report forms for all sponsors who have had background checks run on them.
*The report form is the page of the background check that has the subject’s name and any offenses listed.
BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR VISITING OVERNIGHT GUESTS
Anyone, who is age 18 or over, and is not registered as a camper, who plans to stay overnight at camp should have a background check run BEFORE arriving at camp. In the event a guest arrives, who has not had a background check run on themselves before arrival, the Conference Center will run a check on the individual (at the individual’s expense). This check must be run on or before 2:00 pm on the first day of their planned overnight stay. Checks will not be run after 2:00 pm and guests arriving before or after this time, but having no check previously run, should not have the expectation of accommodation, as they will be turned away from staying on grounds until the background check requirement is met. It is NOT possible to run background checks on Sunday.
Falls Creek Youth Camp Student Pick-Up
In order to allow for the safest parent pick-up for their children while at Falls Creek Youth Camp, Falls Creek Conference Center will operate according to the following procedures:
- Parent arrives at gate.
- Parent informs gate attendant of child pick up and provides the:
- Student’s name
- Name of the church with which they are attending
- Cabin name or number, in which the church is staying
- Parent is then assigned a parking space just outside the gate at a numbered station.
- There will be five parking spots along the fence of our Main Gate area, numbered 1-5.
Courtesy Staff Action
- The gate attendant will then call for a Courtesy Team member, who will go to the cabin and alert the lead sponsor/available sponsor of the parent’s location outside the gate.
- After delivering the message, the Courtesy Team member will leave the cabin and will not be responsible to transport the student to the pick-up location.
- The church is responsible to verify the student is present and that the parent requesting the pick-up has custody rights to the student.
- The church is responsible to transport the student to the pick-up location outside of the main gate to see the student off.
Why are background checks required?
Falls Creek requires background checks in order to protect the lives of students and the reputations of churches. With the growing number of incidents at schools, camps, and other institutions, it is imperative Falls Creek operate for the safety of all participants.
How long does it take to receive a background check?
Typically, it only takes a few hours for reports to be available. Since there are exceptions to every rule, most service providers set their “guarantee” at 24-48 hours.
How often do I need to run a background check?
Falls Creek will honor all background checks for 18 months, starting from the date the background check was run. This means, for example, if a church runs the checks on required individuals a month before camp, they will not need to run those checks again the next year on those same people. However, any NEW participants that are 18 years old or older in the following year would require background checks at that time.
Can I use a company other than the companies that are listed here?
Yes, you may. You should fill in the proper blank space on the Background Check Compliance Form with the name of the company you use to run the checks. This document will be required at the time of registration on Monday at camp.
When is the best time to run a background check?
We recommend running the background checks at least a month before camp. This allows you to solidify your sponsor list, receive your reports back from the checks, have time to deal with any hits that may show up on those reports and replace any sponsors if need be. This also ensures that given the “18-month acceptance window” on checks, persons returning in the following year will not require the checks to be run in that year.
One of my sponsors is attending an additional week with a different church. Can I verify that we have already run a check on them, or should they run another?
If a sponsor is attending with a different church, that church will need to run a check on them also. A background check on an individual is the information intended to be held in confidence by the institution requesting the check.
What constitutes a sponsor and do we only run checks on them?
Sponsors are individuals at least 18 years of age and one year removed from high school. NOTE: Cooks will be registered as sponsors in the registration system. If anyone serves as a cook who is not at least 18 years of age and one year removed from high school, they will be registered as a camper. However, please remember, you must run background checks on all persons 18 years of age or older. This includes campers.
Will my background check from another organization substitute?
No, a background check on an individual is the information intended to be held in confidence by the institution requesting the check. If your place of employment has run a background check on you, that check belongs to them, and cannot be transferred to your church. Every church is required to run its own background checks on each person attending that is 18 years of age or older.