Camp Details / Security

Harmony Explosion Northwest prides itself on taking every precaution to provide for the safety and security of our students.  The following are some of the precautions that are taken:

We are a fully chaperoned camp.  Harmony Explosion 2017 included 135 students, 28 Student Staff members, and 22 Staff members for a ratio of around 3 students to every 1 staff member.

Staff Members - We are very proud of our Staff.  Many of them have been with us since our first camp sixteen years ago.  We have known our 22 Staff members an average of 18 years, and have extensive knowledge of each of them.  Staff includes a doctor, a nurse, several teachers, and a police officer and/or security officer.  Most of them have been with us for at least 8 years.  They are our friends, people who we regularly socialize and sing with, and we trust them completely.

It is a requirement that all Staff Members have a working relationship with the camp coordinators before they are allowed to be on staff.  We only accept positive role models, and will not allow an adult to be on Staff if there is any doubt about their character, or if we hear of anything negative about them that can't be explained.

All of the Staff and Student Staff belong to the Barbershop Harmony Society, and some belong to Sweet Adelines International.  We acquire as much information as possible on potential staff members before accepting them.  Background checks are also run, and training is required each year before they are allowed to participate.

Student Staff - We are very proud of our Student Staff.  Student Staff members are at least 18 years of age, have participated in at least one camp, and have demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities.

Again, we collect as much information on student staff members as possible.  We interview teachers, friends, family, and anyone else who can give us insight to the potential Student Staff member.  We continue to check on them, and we keep in contact with them throughout the year.   Background checks are also run, and training is required each year before they are allowed to participate.  These students are exceptional young people who we are honored to call friends.

Check-In - When a student checks in at the beginning of camp, he/she is assigned to a student staff member.  Each student staff member is given responsibility for 7-12 students.  The students report to their student staff member for attendance during camp.  Attendance is taken no less than 10 times during camp, including before each session, and in the evening.  Students are not allowed to leave the campus once they have checked in unless there is an emergency, and they have been given permission to do so by the camp coordinators.

The student staff member is also asked to try building a relationship with their students and making sure they have everything they need to have a successful camp.  By doing so, they get to know their group and are able to better determine if all are present and accounted for, and if any problems are developing.

Pictures - Each camp participant has his/her picture taken at check-in, holding a sign that includes their first name and their camp identification number.  Two sets of pictures are printed, one for the student staff member responsible for that student, and one for the camp director.  These pictures are used to identify students who cannot be found, and are not shared publicly.

Name badges - Name badges are 2 sided and include first name only. For security reasons, we do not include last names.  We also include the student's city, their camp identification number, and two emergency phone numbers.  Students are required to wear their badges at all times while in public.  The badges must be worn around their neck and in plain view.

Shirts - Each Student Staff/Staff member is supplied with staff shirts which they must wear in public at all times during the camp.  The shirts are a bright color that can be spotted easily by students and other staff members.  Students know that they can go to any Student Staff/Staff member for assistance during the camp.

No Shows - After Check-In closes, we call all students who signed up for camp but didn't check in, to make sure they are safe.

Registration Information - Registration is done online.  Registration information is only accessible to the camp coordinators, the staff registration web master, the staff doctor, and the staff registrar.  All personal information is kept confidential.

Medical Information - Medical information is only accessible to the camp coordinators and to the staff doctor.  All medical information is kept confidential.  However, if a student has a condition that may need attention during the camp, the student staff member assigned to that student may be notified.  There may also be other staff members observing the student if necessary, in addition to the staff doctor.

Housing – If a student does not indicate a preferred roommate in their registration information, a student of similar age and gender is assigned.  Students may not switch rooms without the consent of the camp coordinators. Staff and Student Staff are placed in rooms by stairways and exits so that they can hear any unusual activities on the floor.

Separate floors of our dormitory are designated as "male floors" or "female floors."  Signs are posted stating, "This is a female floor, males are not allowed" or "This is a male floor, females are not allowed."  Staff and Student Staff members are assigned rooms at the end of, and in the middle of each floor so that they may respond to any problems on the floor.

Unless a Student Staff member has requested to room with a non-Student Staff member, Student Staff members room with each other.  Staff and Student Staff are placed in rooms at the end, and in the middle of hallways so that they can hear any unusual activities on the floor.

Campus Security - Harmony Explosion Northwest is held on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University (PLU).  Over the years, we have found them to be very responsive.  Their average response time is around 4 minutes. We also have a dedicated security guard in the dorm lobby from midnight to 6:00AM each night.

Buddy System - All students and Student Staff are required to use the buddy system.  They must travel in groups of at least 2 while on campus.

Cell Phones - Most of our Staff and Student Staff have cell phones.  We put together a list of cell phone numbers and give it to all Staff and Student Staff so that they can communicate with each other.