Laity Lodge Youth Camp is licensed and inspected each summer by the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS), and we are graded on every critical aspect of camp facilities including kitchen facilities and food preparation, clinic facilities and administration of health care, cabin standards and ratios between campers and counselors, waterfront safety and life-guarding procedures, adventure-recreation elements and target sports safety, and an audit of our staff-application process, our Sexual Abuse and Awareness Training program, and our criminal background checks. We are pleased to report our recent TDSHS inspections scores have been perfect with no deficiencies.
Safety is a priority we commit ourselves to daily. We have a Maintenance Team that oversees the safety of our camp facilities and grounds.
Historically, rains in excess of five inches in a few hours can cause flooding. We have a robust flood response in place.
Our camp counselors and staff are painstakingly interviewed, carefully selected and specially trained to provide campers with thoughtful, spiritual and compassionate attention. Our incredible staff help make LLYC an exceptional experience for young people.
The camper-to-staff ratio at LLYC is 4-to-1, ensuring no camper gets overlooked. We are pleased to say that more than 55% of our staff return to work a following summer, ensuring lots of valuable experience in the canyon. The majority of our referrals for new hires come from our existing staff, who we often trust most to bring us great people.
In our applications and interviews we really try to get to know the applicants. We ask intentional questions about their story, their interests, their strengths, and their faith. All staff are required to submit two references, and, in addition, we audit their social media pages and determine if there are any caution flags that do not arise in an interview. LLYC also requires thorough background checks on all staff. We run criminal background checks on all levels of staff and volunteers at camp for both in-state and out-of-state hires.
We work hard to make sure our staff are well prepared for working at camp. All staff are required to complete an online course prior to arriving at camp that teaches and tests each person on the facts about sexual abuse and awareness. During our Staff Training Week we use a state-approved consultant and professional counselor to make sure everyone understands the rules of conduct with campers, and to be a resource to any staff with personal issues related to any form of abuse. During our training, we teach standards for community living and articulate and demonstrate appropriate behavior when working at camp and building relationships with campers.
Because we are 60 minutes from the nearest hospital, we have doctors and nurses in the Canyon, most of whom have expertise in either emergency care or pediatrics. One doctor and two nurses along with health care assistants serve Singing Hills and Echo Valley clinics 24 hours a day.
We want our campers to feel genuinely cared for, loved and accepted while they are with us, which is why we hire high-caliber staff and facilitate a full week of top notch staff training.
During training, staff discuss how to help campers feel heard, how to respond if campers open up about challenges or painful experiences, and how to walk alongside campers with questions about faith and life. In addition, we teach staff to recognize and respond to bullying in the camp setting. Our goal is to create a healthy, encouraging environment in cabins and in camp so that campers can be themselves without fear of judgment or criticism from anyone.
We use vehicles to transport campers to activities outside the immediate boundaries of Singing Hills or Echo Valley. All passengers are required to be seated in the bed of a truck with the tailgate up, and the speed limit in the river is 10 mph.