The FellowshipOne Blog

The New Camp Risk: Kids’ Pics on Social Media

Summer is winding down. Hopefully, you made it through church camp, swim parties, and other summer youth activities with no injuries. You can breathe a sigh of relief. The risk is over for a little while. Or is it?

For churches, fall youth events are now gearing up. One way churches promote events is with images from last year’s or last season’s events. Pictures from camp and youth group activities also make good engagement content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

In this short video, Church 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
The law states that 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, 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 church’s site, 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 holds true for information about what happens at camp such as baptisms or testimonials.

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.

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