Child Safety Day Camp Workshop Guide


Agricultural operations by necessity have many hazards with the potential to seriously injury or kill. The main purpose of the Farm Safety Association is to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities by educating those persons engaged in agricultural-related work through various training methods. We feel that safety hazards are something children need more knowledge of based on frightening fatality statistics.

Child Safety Day Camps provide one such method, where farm family members can participate in learning more about the hazards to health and safety in rural areas.

The purpose of this activity guide is to assist you in planning and conducting a Child Safety Day Camp.

Recommended Target Age Group: Children 7 to 11 years of age.

The following are covered in detail:
  • Planning a Day Camp
  • Planning the Program
  • Promoting the Day Camp
  • Follow-up Activities
  • Order Forms




Planning and conducting a Child Safety Day Camp is not as awesome a task as one would think. We have put together this easy "How To", step by step, manual to guide you through the When, Where, Who and What of a day camp. Here is a quick overview of some of the questions you may have initially.

  • time of year
  • day of week
  • 1/2 day, all day
  • start time, finish
  • equipment dealership
  • local farm
  • community hall
  • school
  • rural children and others interested
  • topics to be covered
  • equipment needed
  • films, slides, video tapes
  • guest presenters
  • refreshments
  • t-shirts
  • literature handouts
  • posters, fliers
  • media promotion
  • local agricultural office
  • local farm groups
  • local police
  • fire department
  • local hydro offices
  • first aid trainers
  • farm equipment dealership
  • safety equipment suppliers
  • insurance company
  • local county Farm Safety Association
  • service clubs
  • local Federation of Agriculture office
  • Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario
  • Women's Institute
  • commodity groups
  • stores
  • recreational dealers
A. What type of facilities will you need to arrange?

The most effective and probably easiest place to hold a Day Camp is a local farm equipment dealership. Dealers are usually very receptive to an activity of this type. Holding the Day Camp at a dealership will also eliminate the need to arrange for necessary pieces of farm equipment since they will generally be available right at the dealership.

When contacting a dealer to schedule a Day Camp, ask the following questions:
  1. Is there a location at the dealership that is available to set up the appropriate number of stations?
  2. Will the shop or other well-lit area be available to hold up to 6 stations if a night meeting is scheduled or bad weather should prevent outside activities?
  3. Is the dealer willing to have his mechanics or sales personnel participate in the Day Camp. (These individuals, if available, will act as discussion leaders at each of the related work stations.)
An alternative facility that might be contacted is a centrally located school. Excellent classroom facilities are usually available. Disadvantages are, 1)the necessary farm equipment will have to be transported to the school, and 2)this facility is usually only available during school holidays, weekends or evenings. Other facilities to consider - town hall, church hall, community center, farm, grain elevator, fair grounds, etc.

B. What equipment should you arrange for the Day Camp?

Depending on your program, the following pieces of equipment would be ideal to have readily accessible at the workshop site.
  1. Tractor and hay baler, rotary mower, lawn mower (riding and push), ATV, PTO shaft.
  2. Corn picker or forage harvester.
  3. Manure spreader.
  4. Self propelled combine with corn or grain head.
  5. Chainsaws, flowing grain, augers, fire extinguishers, etc.
C. What audio-visual equipment will you need for the Day Camp?

The audio-visual equipment needed to conduct the Day Camp will depend on the types of stations you select to use.
  1. large screen to fit size of audience
  2. carousel slide projector
  3. cassette tape player
  4. T.V. or video monitor
  5. VCR recorder/player
  6. heavy duty 3-wire extension cord, of sufficient length to fit the room
  7. overhead projector
  8. flip chart
Most county Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs offices have the necessary equipment just as some churches, community centers and libraries do. If the equipment is not available through any of these sources, it can be rented from a commercial firm. Check the yellow pages of your directory.

Scheduling well in advance of the Day Camp will ensure the availability of equipment and reduce a lot of last minute running around.

D. What audio-visual materials will you need to schedule the Day Camp?

The Day Camp may include audio-visual presentations at the stations you choose to cover.

The Farm Safety Association has a very extensive library of 35mm slide sets and VHS video tapes. Use the order form to obtain a copy of our Audio-Visual Catalogue. This catalogue includes a short description of each of the slide sets and videos we have available.

NOTE: If you plan to include emergency first aid on your program, instructors from the various training groups will have their own slides and/or videos to use.

Since there may be a considerable demand on the videos and slide sets used in the Day Camp, it is important that you reserve what you need well in advance of the planned date.

REMEMBER: A video that becomes damaged from improper handling often results in the video being out of circulation for months while it is being repaired or replaced. In addition to creating scheduling problems for other potential users, damaged videos add unnecessary costs to already tight budgets. Use only well-maintained equipment and an experienced individual to operate it. Return the videos promptly and note any damage or problems.

E. Who will you need to help conduct the Day Camp?

As with any undertaking, the Day Camp needs an interested coordinator to see that all the details are worked out. In addition, the following needs should be considered:
  1. Coordinator or CO-chair - An individual is needed to keep the Day Camp moving on schedule. Consider farm safety members, your local agricultural representative or staff, 4-H group leader or farm equipment dealer, teachers, etc.
  2. Station Discussion Leaders - If you plan to have stations as suggested by the activity guide you will need individuals familiar with their related topics. Farmers, equipment salesmen, dealers, or equipment mechanics, etc. can be very effective station discussion leaders.
  3. First Aid Training Leader - If you plan to include a section on the need for first aid, contact one of the local training groups - St. John Ambulance, Red Cross, Ski Patrol. Explain the program and what you wish them to cover. DO NOT TRY TO INCLUDE A FIRST AID TRAINING COURSE WITH THIS PROGRAM. If there is sufficient interest, you may wish to hold a training program at a later date.
  4. News Media Contact - Someone should be in charge of all media announcements and arrange for other publicity.
  5. Audio-Visual Equipment Operator - Someone with experience operating the projection equipment is essential.
  6. Always have an extra station ready in the event a presenter does not show up.
F. What printed material should you order for the Day Camp?

There is a wide selection of excellent safety literature available from the Farm Safety Association office in Guelph.

Only order material that you feel can be effectively incorporated into the Day Camp you plan. Flooding participants with more than four or five pieces of literature will generally result in a waste of material. A display of other safety literature and where it can be obtained will encourage parents, etc. to pick it up or request further material on their own.

The Farm Safety Association will provide promotional and informational items in limited quantities (less than 50) free of charge to all organizations in the Province of Ontario that are involved in the planning and sponsorship of a Child Safety Day Camp.

Please remember when requesting materials for handout at your Day Camp that there is a cost associated with the above materials to the Farm Safety Association and that it should be used wisely and ordered with discretion.

Handouts (Take home material)
  • take home material is a keepsake for the kids; could include certificates showing that they attended the camp; t-shirts work well, but are a big cost to the day camp
  • use bags to hand out printed materials to kids, printed material could be pertinent fact sheets or other printed material on topics covered (to be given at the end of the day).
Things to keep in mind:
  1. The presentation should incorporate a lot of repeats to enforce safety to young children.
  2. The presenters should use words and terms the children understand.
  3. Children should be categorized into groups according to their age.
  4. Groups could be called by machinery names such as tractors, combines, etc.
  5. Keep the presentations to a maximum of 20 minutes including 5 minutes to rotate.
  6. Have lots of help for registration, set up, clean up etc.
  7. Have at least one adult with each group as they rotate through the stations.
  8. The presentation should be "Hands On".
G. What about a fire extinguisher demonstration?

A fire extinguisher demonstration is a very important activity to include on the program of these Day Camps as it provides each child with actual "hands on" training on how to effectively put out small fires.

Local fire departments or distributors of fire extinguishers should be contacted to inquire if they would be interested in participating on the program. For example:
    a) Many local fire departments may be interested in conducting the demonstration for the Day Camp by providing at no charge the personnel and fire extinguishers required for the station demonstration.
    b) Many local distributors of fire extinguishers (as listed in the yellow pages of the telephone directory) may be interested in providing the personnel and fire extinguishers required for the demonstration at no charge. It would provide them with an excellent opportunity to promote their equipment.
NOTE: You may need a Fire Permit.

Check with your local Fire Department or Municipal Office.
    c) To generate the funds to cover the cost of recharging fire extinguishers, a small registration fee for the Day Camp could be established. Check with your local supplier to determine recharging fees for both 10lb. and 20lb. extinguishers.
    d) Contact a local Mutual Insurance company to discuss the program and solicit their support in sponsoring the demonstration by providing the funds to recharge the fire extinguishers.
    e) Contact local agribusiness, rural organizations, commodity groups and service clubs to discuss the program and solicit their support as a cosponsor of the Day Camp by providing the funds to cover the costs associated with the recharging of the fire extinguishers.

Agribusiness - co-operatives, machinery dealers, feed mills, etc.

Commodity Organizations - soil and crop, beef, dairy, pork, etc.

Rural Organizations - Women's Institutes, Federation of Agriculture, etc.

Service Clubs - Lion's Club, Optimist Club, Kiwanis Club, etc.

H. What will it cost to hold a Child Safety Day Camp?

The cost involved to hold a Child Safety Day Camp will vary with the length , type of activities and location.

A simple two to three hour evening program may involve only light refreshments such as juice, milk, fruit etc. With a full day program, you may wish to approach local business - farm equipment dealers, farm supply companies, local insurance groups, etc. to help sponsor a portion of your program. You may also have a local club which may have an interest in promoting safety in the community.

NOTE: You should charge a minimum of $5.00 per child pre registration fee as a firm commitment to attend the event.

  • service clubs are often youth oriented, and are often willing to help finance a Day Camp
  • mail request to all agri-related commodity groups and businesses, including Insurance Companies, local Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs offices have lists of commodity groups, addresses and contact people
  • Your local Federation of Agriculture may be willing to help finance a camp
  • use your own letterhead so that groups know who they are donating money to

3 months before:
  • hold initial planning meeting
  • discuss topics
  • establish proposed agenda
  • establish possible dates
  • check conflict with other events; school sports, holidays, etc.
  • locate and confirm site
  • establish date based on availability of location
  • arrange for equipment
  • arrange for leader(s), presenters
  • send for video and literature catalogues
  • contact outside sources for assistance
  • set up subcommittees - publicity; refreshment; equipment, etc.
2 months before:
  • finalize date
  • finalize agenda
  • prepare and distribute publicity notices, posters
  • order handout materials
  • order slides, videos
  • make arrangements for necessary projection equipment
  • advise local news media of details (faxing is ok).
  • establish contact person(s) for information
  • establish how you will thank all who were involved.
1 month before:
  • hold short meetings to confirm all plans to date
  • follow up where needed
  • contact local suppliers for donations
  • follow up with local farm and community groups for support
2 weeks before:
  • reconfirm with Day Camp presenters
  • check publicity and feed back for attendance
  • reconfirm use of Day Camp site
  • phone committee if needed
1 week before:
  • ensure videos and materials have arrived
  • reconfirm equipment rental
  • sub-committee report
  • pick up prizes, supplies, t-shirts, etc.
1 day before:
  • go over final details
  • take care of last minute emergencies
  • follow-up with sub-committees
  • check Day Camp site
  • pick up and check out rental equipment
  • pick up supplies
Day Camp Day:
  • thank participants
  • thank sponsors
  • thank Day Camp leaders
  • arrange for equipment, materials, supplies, to be returned
  • send out press release re: Day Camp activity

A theme should be followed "throughout the day, using it on name tags, graduation certificates, letters to parents and newspaper promotion."


Children could be presented with a graduation certificate (Exhibit 10), presenters should be given framed certificates of appreciation. Donors should be sent letters and certificates of thanks. (There are examples at the back of this document.)



  • FEES









A. Choosing the Topics

The primary purpose of this safety day is to educate rural children to the specific dangers of rural areas and the need to develop a plan to handle emergency situations on their family farms.

In addition to tractor and machinery safety, you may wish to include such topics as water safety, safe handling of chemicals, fire safety and prevention, dangerous gases, etc. Find out the concerns of local farm families and discuss these with your committee.

B. Time Allotment

When setting up your Agenda, allow 15 - 20 minutes for each topic presentation including a discussion period and/or activity. Do not try to cover too many topics (limit to 6 or 7).

Plan your Agenda, to begin no sooner than 9:30 a.m. and to end no later than 3:00 p.m. End your program soon if driving distance is extensive or weather conditions are adverse. Evening Day Camps should start no later than 7:30 p.m. and end by 9:30 p.m.

C. Possible Topics
  • live P.T.O. demonstrations vividly show children the power and destructiveness of farm machinery
  • fire extinguisher demonstrations by fire departments allows a hands on, vivid reminder
  • chemicals, lawn mower, animal safety, Personal protective equipment, tractors, machinery, sun protection, electricity, ambulance, 911 or emergency call, C.P.R., bicycle safety, rabies
  • need back up demonstrations in the case of one of the presenters being sick, or doesn't show up. also fire departments have to leave, in the event of a fire call
  • hazard search may be good for the kids to do at the start
  • testimonial may be appropriate (someone talking about their accident)
  • have an ambulance crew explain what they do (possibly show kids the ambulance)
  • evacuation plans for your home
  • first aid basics by St. John Ambulance (possibly use a teddy bear as the victim)
  • topics should be kept at age level for participants, determine what the youngest age level will be, and have your presenters build their talk from that age up to the top age group
Other Suggested Topics
  • lawn mower demonstrations
  • fire extinguishers
  • flowing grain
  • dropping a farm gate on a watermelon
  • ATV safety
  • drowning hazards
  • snowmobiling
  • hypothermia
  • fill balloons with various items, flour, water, rice, etc. to show kids that when they handle containers on the farm, that they may not know what is inside (i.e.) chemicals, etc.
  • personal safety in the country
  • kids alone at home - answering the telephone, using the O.P.P., etc.
Example Topics and Explanations

Chemical Safety

Could be presented as a skit showing that many household and farm products look like other edible products. Various chemical symbols, could be shown using a wide range of products for kids to look at and a dummy could be dressed up in a chemical safety outfit, etc.

P.T.O. Safety

A mower and tractor can be used to show how to shut off the P.T.O. By using a straw dummy you can show how quickly someone can become caught up in moving equipment.

Fire Prevention

A fireman could wear his firefighting garb and ask the kids questions about methods of starting fires without a match being lit.

Equipment Safety

Presenters could use a huge variety of toy farm equipment to demonstrate various principles of safety. The equipment could be placed on a hay wagon or table so children could see. A toy man in a mini gravity box could demonstrate suffocation in a grain wagon.

First Aid

Pressure bandages, puncture wounds, suffocation and choking could be discussed and demonstrated by St. John Ambulance or Red Cross, etc.

Lawn Mowers

A push mower and a riding mower could be used. Presenter could relate the importance of shields, picking up debris on the lawn, slopes and All Terrain Vehicles. Discuss proper clothing, shoes, etc.

Care must be taken to have enough information and activities to fill 15 minutes and the presenter should keep children as active as possible in the stations.



Have a guarded P.T.O., an unguarded P.T.O. and a rolling shield on a table between you and the children. This way you can use them to help visualize your talk.

Start Discussion: - "at this station, we are going to discuss the hazards associated with a P.T.O."
Question? How many live on the farm?

- Show of hands
Question? How many visit the farm to see a friend, Aunt, Uncle, Grandparent?

- Show of hands
"Statement" - Everyone here has something to do with the farm
Question? What does P.T.O. stand for?

Elaborate, explain or restate from participant feedback so that all know and understand
Question? What does the Power Takeoff do?

- Elaborate, explain or restate from participant feedback so that all know and understand
"Statement" - The Power Take Off is a very aggressive piece of farm equipment, that powers other mechanical equipment behind the tractor
Question? What kind of equipment does it power?

- Restate what participants say or elaborate so that all hear and know
"Statement" The Power Take Off turns at 540 R.P.M., it revolves 9 times every second
Question? What is human reaction time?

- Wait for answers
"Statement" Human reaction time is the time it takes you to swat a mosquito once it starts to sting you - about 1/3 of a second.
"Statement" In 1/3 of a second or the time it takes you to swat a mosquito, a P.T.O. will revolve 3 times - if you get too close to a rotating P.T.O. it may grab you, and you will be rotating 9 times a second.
Question? What does an unguarded revolving P.T.O. like to grab onto?

- Restate what participants state or elaborate (i.e.) long loose shoe laces, coat draw strings, loose or torn clothing, long hair, jewelry, coat flaps, pant legs, gym suit material, etc.
"Statement" If part of your clothing or yourself comes in contact with a rotating P.T.O. shaft it will wrap you in very quickly.
Question? If you stepped up on the drawbar of a tractor with the P.T.O. going and it grabbed your shoe laces, how long would your shoe laces have to be to keep you safe and allow you time to turn the P.T.O. off?
"Statement" 8 metres long and no one has shoe laces 8 metres long
Questions? Are you faster than a rotating P.T.O.


Can you get away once it has grabbed a hold of you?


How fast does a P.T.O. turn?

540 R.P.M.

What does it like to grab a hold of?


Restate each answer again to reinforce the message and assure everyone heard.
"Statement" Never trust a rotating P.T.O. even with the rolling shield in place - you never know when it will fail, and you can just as easily be wrapped around it also.

Stay away from all rotating equipment whether it is moving fast or slow.

Slow moving shafts are often not seen as being too threatening, but if they grab hold of you, they can be just as deadly - STAY AWAY!
Question? What should you do if the P.T.O. is in operation?

"Statement" Each year in Ontario we have several people seriously injured and killed while working with or playing around the P.T.O. while it is operation.

Stay away from the Power Take Off shaft and all types of rotating shafts whether fast or slow because they can and will maim or kill you.

D. How big a group?

We suggest that you limit your Day Camp to 70-100 participants. Too large a group requires more space, more equipment, and more people to assist with the program. The type of activities and program length will also dictate the size of the group. Control your group size by having participants pre-register.

E. Should there be a registration fee?

This will depend on the sponsoring group. A registration fee puts a value on the workshop. For many people "no cost = no value". A commitment of a few dollars will help with preregistration. You may wish to charge a small fee to cover the cost of refreshments and have the participants bring their own lunch. The alternative is to charge a modest fee and have food and drinks supplied.

F. What clothing is appropriate?

Stress the fact that the dress code is casual - slacks, jeans, but appropriate as to the weather conditions (i.e. rain, snow, hot, etc.) and appropriate footwear. Closed toed shoes or boots should be worn.

G. Other planning suggestions to consider
  1. Have name tags available for everyone.
  2. Contact local agri-businesses for donations (money).
  3. Have a registration sheet for everyone to sign in - name, address, and telephone number. This makes a good contact list for follow-up sessions.
  4. Have a contact person to handle inquiries and accept reservations.
  5. Registration sheet should request allergy information and parent contact telephone number.
  6. Have participants evaluate the Day Camp.
Chalkboard chalk (colors) look for smooth board surface and solid backing
Whiteboard marker pens (dry erasable), glass cleaner try not to leave written work on too long
Flip Chart blank pad, marker pens, tape try to ensure that the easel is a solid one
Lectern built-in microphone and light, storage area Make sure that the lectern is a solid one that won't "travel" or shake
Poster Board posters, thumb tacks, magnets Ensure that the location won't readily allow passers by to brush against it
Handouts required number in envelope or folders if you have a lot, make up a table of contents for them
Pens, Pencils, Paper Pencil sharpener  
Overhead Projector pens (water soluble) transparencies, spare bulb (type), screen (tilting type), paper towels, small bottle of water Ensure that all glass is free of dirt and scratches, check for prism distortion
Slide Projector Slides, slide tray (carousel), spare bulb, screen, remote control Check that all slides are inserted properly; if sound is involved, ensure compatibility of sound equipment available
Videotape Player videotapes (cassettes), monitor, cable connector, Ensure correct tape format: Beta, VHS
Projection Screen   Beaded type preferred
Extension Cord   3 prong, multi-connection





Once you have your program organized, the dates and location confirmed, your next step will be to promote the Day Camp. This should be the next most important job on your list. Allowing as much time as possible will help you to better promote the workshop.

A. How should we promote the event?

Posters, invitations to various groups, local federation of agriculture, and announcements in newsletters. You can easily use a small poster as a mailing notice. Distribute notices through area schools. Contact your local news media - newspaper, radio, t.v. Some offer free announcements to non-profit organizations. Personal contacts and phone numbers should be considered.

B. Posters

Posters can be placed in machinery dealers, feed and farm supply outlets, beauty parlors, grocery stores, government offices (e.g. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural, Affairs, Post Office, municipal government). See examples, use these as flyers or as handouts.

C. News Media

The news media - local radio, T.V., daily and weekly newspapers are always interested in what is happening in the communities they serve.

Once your plans are finalized, contact each media and supply them with a copy of the meeting notice or agenda. The reporters can prepare suitable news releases for their own use.

Be sure to invite the media to attend the workshop. This will give you additional press coverage and help to further promote safety in your community.

Radio and T.V. stations may want to do an interview. There is nothing to fear about doing these. Relax, remain calm and imagine yourself telling a friend the details of the event. The interviewer will assist by asking questions.

D. Where can we get help to design a poster/flyer?

* See attached registration form.

E. What about costs?

The type of meeting, how large an audience you wish to attract, how extensively you want to promote the workshop, what refreshments, hall costs, etc. will determine what size budget you may need.

When you have determined any and all costs, seek out ways to reduce or eliminate them.

What type of sponsorship can we get? What donations can we expect? What other source of funds are available?

Put a committee together to look after this topic. You will be amazed at how creative people can be.




This program designed specifically towards the safety of rural children will not have much impact if what was learned is not put into practice and reviewed periodically. Consider at some future date holding a follow-up meeting involving members of the family and covering other areas of rural safety.

Additional safety activities you might consider promoting include:
    a) A program designed specifically towards the safety of rural women. Topics such as poisoning, first-aid, riding on equipment, restraints systems for automobiles and toy safety could be covered.
    b) Encourage greater participation from both boys and girls in the 4-H Safety Clubs. If your county doesn't have one, contact your county Agricultural Office and volunteer to get one started.
    c) Participate in first aid training and other programs designed to increase and upgrade emergency skills.
    d) Conduct a rural family safety day to include all members of the family and any employees
    e) Hold a rural couples meeting. This could be an evening or afternoon session.



We are pleased that your child attended the Safety Day Camp. It is hoped that we have stimulated an interest in safety that will stay with them a lifetime.

If you would be willing to assist in the planning and organizing of another Day Camp, please complete this information sheet and return it to the organizer.

Thank you.

NAME: ________________________________________________

ADDRESS: ________________________________________________

POSTAL CODE: ________________________________________________

TELEPHONE: ________________________________________________

The information and recommendations contained in this publication are believed to be reliable and representative of contemporary expert opinion on the subject material. The Farm Safety Association does not guarantee absolute accuracy or sufficiency of subject material, nor can it accept responsibility for health and safety recommendations that may have been omitted due to particular and exceptional conditions and circumstances.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More