How Social Media Can Endanger Campers

camp tug of warSummer is winding down. Hopefully, you made it through camp season with no injuries. You can breathe a sigh of relief. The risk is over for a little while. Or is it?



One way camps promote events is with images from last year’s or last season’s events. Pictures from camp also make good engagement content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

But in this short videoChurch Law Group‘s David Middlebrook warns of two dangers when it comes to the use of camp and youth activity images on social media:

1. Violating Consent Laws

You know that, by law, images of children used publicly or for promotion must be used only with parental consent. This is easy to handle by including a checkbox on the registration application giving parents the right to approve or disapprove the use of their child’s image.

It gets a little trickier when it comes to publication. Maybe it’s weeks, months or years later. Who on your team is looking back at these applications to see which pictures can and cannot be legally published?

Note these two exceptions:

  • Consent to publish images of adults is considered “implied”
  • Group shots where no one is identifiable can be used without consent, but extreme diligence is required on your part. And here’s why:

2. Predators

The dangerous world of the Internet means that we must take extra precaution when it comes to children. Predators put 2 and 2 together. An image of “Mary S.” in her high school jersey on the camp’s sites, combined with a similar girl named “Mary Smith” on another site, and suddenly, someone knows where to find this girl. Even a name tag showing in a photo could be used adversely.

Middlebrook warns that the same caution should be applied to information. For example, “Here’s Mary S. from Chicago…”

Keep Kids Safe

Camp is about creating a safe environment where kids can have fun and grown-ups who love kids can pour into their lives. The last thing you’d want is to endanger them simply by sharing how much fun they had.

Be alert and diligent when it comes to using camper images on social media.

Your Turn: Have you found effective ways to handle this issue? Please comment.