Risk Tip – Protect Valuables While Camping

With holidays, Christmas events and summer camps fast approaching now is a good time to talk about event security, particularly camps.

A point of interest for campground managers and organisers of camps, and the use of tents specifically, is the subject of security. Within a Conference tent, or a camper’s personal tent, sleeping gear, equipment and other valuables can possibly equate to a significant amount of money. It’s not a pleasant thought, but the possibility for theft is always there.

Thankfully our Church-operated campgrounds experience very little crime thanks to onsite security acumen and the responsible, community-minded folk who camp there. As a result theft is seldom an issue. Even so, it is expected that good sense should be used.

We have put together a list of tips to keep in mind when you’re organizing a camp event, either at one of our campgrounds or elsewhere:

  • As the camp organizer, it may be worth talking to the camp ranger (or facility manager) to find out if there have been any recent issues of theft. Some campgrounds provide lockers, and it may be worth encouraging campers and other event participants/helpers to hire one for valuables, especially for night time security.
  • Remind campers and other participants to keep personal valuables, like phones or wallets, visibly close by or in a backpack.
  • Remind people to be aware of their surroundings and keep an eye on valuables, particularly costly portable items.
  • Clearly label or mark Church or Conference-owned camping equipment with the organisation’s name. It can deter would-be thieves or “borrowers”.
  • Encourage campers and participants to be good neighbours by keeping an eye on equipment and helping to protect others’ property.
  • Ensure adequate night-time lighting is provided, not just to deter theft but also for the safety of all onsite.

Sometimes keeping equipment and valuables within sight is not always practical, but there are ways to reduce the risk of loss. Remind campers, participants and helpers that:

  • Portable devices such as musical instruments, cameras, tablets, mobile/smart phones, wallets and purses, personal jewellery, and other easily poached items should be kept concealed, secure and locked in the boot of a vehicle when not in use. Or provide a secure, locked camp trailer or find a lockable room where valuable equipment can be temporarily secured when not in use.
  • Valuables you wouldn’t want to lose should not be brought to camp or the event. Suggest bringing an older or less valuable equivalent. For example, bring a point and shoot camera instead of the expensive DSLR camera and lenses.
  • A good practice to deter thieves is to keep the cabins of vehicles neat and empty of “stuff”. A messy car can be more tempting to thieves.
  • Theft at campsites occurs more often at night so suggest campers double-check their cars are locked and valuables concealed.

While insurance can sometimes relieve the pain of a loss, insurance doesn’t cover the temporary inconvenience of being deprived of the item or any information that was stored on the device as well. In the event of theft (or crime of any kind), be sure to report it to the local police and obtain a police report number for insurance purposes.

We are grateful for the commitment of our camp and event organisers, and participants, who practice good security. Your efforts are fundamental to the Church’s success in managing all activities around our campgrounds and at our events.