The Summer Staff Community

Being a part of the Lutheridge, Lutherock, Luther Springs, or Lutheranch staff is being a part of a dedicated team. Staff life has many opportunities for Christian ministry, fellowship, growth, self-giving, and support. Staff relationships build upon a foundation of respect, acceptance, honesty, and love. The strength and inspiration for this lifestyle is a common faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Staff members are expected at all times to set an example in Christian living for guests, campers, and each other, in language, dress, behavior, and attitude. The community is rooted in forgiveness and joy experienced through serving, worshiping, praying, and learning together. Staff should take advantage of frequent opportunities for these experiences, both for renewal and growth of the individual and to strengthen and renew community life.

Please read the following policies. Signing your contract means that you agree to live by them!

Personnel Policies for NovusWay Summer Staff

Covid-19 Related Protocols: All summer staff agrees to live under the Covid-19 related protocols both when camp is in session as well as during their off time. These will be shared by Program Directors prior to the summer and may need to be adjusted as the summer progresses. These protocols may include but are not limited to mask-wearing, testing, how we conduct ourselves while off-site, and the ability to travel and leave the site. All of these protocols will be put in place to move our community forward towards the goal of keeping campers, staff, and guests healthy and safe.

Alcohol and Non-Prescription Drugs: All summer staff members agree to live without alcohol or illegal drugs during the summer contract period. This agreement means that regardless of age, staff will not consume or have possession of alcohol or illegal drugs during the dates listed on one’s contract.

Tobacco: Smoking and other use of tobacco products by staff members is discouraged in all areas and is NOT permitted in buildings or the presence of campers or guests. Program Directors will designate specific times and locations where tobacco use may take place. All other use is prohibited.

Staff-Staff Relationships: While friendships formed among staff highlight camp life, they should never interfere with staff focus on campers. If romantic relationships develop among staff, campers should be unaware of them. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) does not condone pre-marital or extra-marital sexual relationships. As an affiliated outdoor ministry site of the ELCA, these relationships are not allowed among staff members. In all situations, leadership expects staff to model Christian morals and behavior and protect the ministry from damaging actions and damaging perceptions.

Romantic relationships between campers and staff are prohibited.

Online Social Networking: Each NovusWay staff member who posts information including text and photos on the internet on any platform, including social networks, personal websites, and any other information posted on the internet, must do so in accord with that of a Christian lifestyle (please read attached addendum for full expectations). Staff may not post pictures of campers on their personal social media accounts. Staff may share posts published on Lutheridge, Lutherock, Luther Springs, or Lutheranch social media accounts.

Dismissals: If a staff member is engaged in the use of, under the influence of, or in possession of alcohol or illegal drugs while under summer contract, or if a staff member engages in sexual misconduct, physical or mental abuse of a camper, guest or another staff member, or if a staff member participates in any action or activity that would adversely affect the health or safety of any person, or the reputation of Lutheridge, Lutherock, Luther Springs, and Lutheranch, then that staff member may be subject to immediate dismissal and will be required to leave the premises promptly.

Appearance and Dress: Personal appearance of staff members is often the first impression made on campers, guests, and parents trusting us with their children. NovusWay expects staff members to make this the best possible impression. Cleanliness is essential, particularly when working in the snack bar, dining hall, and other food service areas. There is not a daily staff uniform, and casual clothes are always acceptable. Good taste and Christian witness are the only guidelines. Staff are encouraged to consider the messages which T-shirts and other clothing convey. Staff will be provided with a staff T-shirt and name tag to wear on Sunday afternoons and Saturday mornings.

Tattoos and Piercings: New tattoos and piercings require care to avoid infection, which is impossible when caring for campers and participating in camp. These also draw undue attention from campers. Staff are asked not to get any new tattoos or piercings immediately before or during the contract period.

Cars and Drivers: Staff are allowed to bring vehicles to camp. Summer Staff will park vehicles in designated areas. Except for some senior staff, the use of cars is limited to off-duty time. Posted speed limits must be observed or driving privileges on grounds will be suspended. Campers are not allowed in staff members’ cars. Staff members must be 21 or older and have written authorization to drive a camp vehicle – including golf carts.

Contract Time and Time-Off: NovusWay expects staff members to work the entire time contracted, including orientation and staff meetings unless staff members make other arrangements with the Program Directors. Except for emergencies, staff members must request time off and negotiate with Program Directors by May 1st. Typically counselors have a portion of the weekend off, which differs at each site. However, Program Directors may request staff members to work extra on weekends for additional compensation.

Health: Each staff member is encouraged but not required to have a complete physical examination. Even without a physician’s exam, summer staff must fill out and submit a NovusWay health form before the contract period begins. This form includes insurance information and policy numbers. Staff should report any pre-existing conditions that might limit activities or require special consideration. Failure to document pre-existing conditions may have implications for worker compensation coverage as well as staff assignments.

Insurance: Summer staff must report any on-the-job accident or incident requiring medical treatment immediately to a supervisor. The supervisor will work with the Health Care Director and staff member to determine appropriate care and complete the Accident/Incident form within the 24 hours required period. NovusWay provides worker’s compensation insurance coverage for all on-the-job accidents. NovusWay provides no health insurance or additional medical coverage for seasonal employees. In the event of an on-the-job accident, expenses not covered by Workers’ Compensation for treatment sought without knowledge/consent of the Health Care Director are the individual staff member’s responsibility. Each staff member should ensure that he/she has adequate health insurance coverage during the summer contract period.

Staff Screening: All Lutheridge staff members must have a background check completed by NovusWay before employment. Staff who are 21 and willing to drive for camp will also have driving records checked.

Payment of Salary: Salary will be paid by direct deposit weekly upon completing tax and employment forms. NovusWay provides room and board for summer staff. NovusWay will withhold all appropriate federal, state, and social security taxes. NovusWay will mail final checks to staff members after reconciliation and deduction of any outstanding charges.

Personal Information: NovusWay will not release any personal information shared with NovusWay through health forms, background checks, driving records, or other methods unless the staff member gives consent.

Pets: Summer staff are not allowed to bring or acquire pets without permission from the Program Director. Summer staff may not house pets of any type in facilities where guests and campers stay.

Camp Property: NovusWay expects staff members to respect camp property and equipment. NovusWay may make charges for excessive breakage or damage through carelessness or willful destruction.

Personal Property: NovusWay Insurance does not cover personal items that are lost, stolen, or damaged, even if you use items for program purposes. These items include clothing, electronics, bicycles, jewelry, ANYTHING! We suggest that you do not bring items to camp if they are expensive or have great sentimental value. You are solely responsible for any items that you bring.

Sufficient Sleep: Staff work is demanding, both physically and emotionally, so NovusWay expects counselors to get adequate rest. Leadership expects staff to return from time off rested and ready to give energy to campers. Each camp has specific guidelines for lights out, which Program Directors will communicate during orientation.

Staff Assignments: Staff members will work in areas and positions assigned weekly by the Program Directors or their designated representative.

Cell Phones: Camp is a “place apart.” Campers are not allowed to have cell phones while at camp. Staff may have cell phones for limited use. Staff may not use their cell phones when around campers except as an alarm clock or music source. Senior Staff, Leadership Staff, counselors at day camps, and OAP staff may need to use their cell phones for emergency contacts while off-site. Counselors can only use their cell phones for talking during time-off.

Tipping: Tipping is not to be encouraged. If guests or parents leave a tip, counselors should give it to a Program Director. These funds will cover campers who do not have money for snack bars or camp stores.

Visitors: Guests of a staff member are encouraged to visit only on weekends or during time-off to keep staff focus on campers. Staff members must clear any exceptions beforehand with the Program Director. Guests must register upon arrival at the site.

Please talk with a program director if you have questions or concerns about any of these subjects BEFORE you sign your summer staff contract.


NovusWay Ministries Year-Round Staff Policies

Staff Policies for Online Social Networking and Blogging Websites

Once a person accepts a staff position at Lutheridge, Lutherock, Luther Springs, or Lutheranch, they accept a great responsibility that lasts well beyond the time one spends at the specific sites. Camp staff members will forever be recognized by campers, parents, clergy, fellow staff members, and many others as representatives of the camp and, more importantly, the Christian faith.

In general, NovusWay views social networking sites (e.g., Twitter, Facebook) and personal web sites positively and respects the staff’s right to use them as a medium of self-expression. With the advent of internet technology and social networking websites, information can be posted on the internet and seen by just about anyone with access to the internet.

Each staff member who posts information (text and photos) on the internet, including social networking websites and personal websites, must do so according to a Christian disciple’s actions. Also, NovusWay requires that staff observe the following guidelines when referring to this ministry, its programs or activities, its campers, and other staff, in a blog or on a Web site:

      1. Staff should remove any inappropriate photos or messages linked or tagged from friends and attached to your sites or profiles.
      2. Staff must be respectful in all communications and blogs related to or referencing NovusWay, its campers, and other employees.
      3. Staff must not use obscenities, profanity, or vulgar language.
      4. Staff must not use blogs or personal Websites to disparage NovusWay, other campers, or staff of Lutheridge, Lutherock, Luther Springs, or Lutheranch.
      5. Staff must not use these venues to discuss engaging in conduct prohibited by camp policies and a Christian lifestyle. This conduct includes, but is not limited to, the use of alcohol and drugs, sexual behavior, sexual harassment, and bullying.
      6. The use of the official camp logo is not allowed without permission.

Any staff member found to violate any portion of this policy will be subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including the staff member’s dismissal from the staff. Infringement of this policy would also be a factor in decisions of rehire or acting as a reference.

Equal Employment Statement

NovusWay Ministries is committed to both the spirit and the applicable legal requirements of equal employment opportunity.  NovusWay provides employment opportunities without bias or prejudice, based on business needs and on each individual’s qualifications and ability to perform the job’s essential functions.  We encourage all persons employed with us to strive for advancement on this basis. NovusWay will make reasonable accommodations for employees and applicants with disabilities.

The Executive Director or designee may grant exceptions to specific policies from time to time when leadership judges that such exceptions are in the best interest of both this organization and the employee(s) concerned.  For example, when there is a need for a Lutheran theological background, training, or experience, hiring agents can give preference to persons with those qualifications.

NovusWay Welcome Statement

Adopted by NovusWay Board, March 2020

We welcome all who seek God’s love and grace. We welcome all as God welcomes all, regardless of race or culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, family status, socio-economic circumstances, physical or mental abilities or citizenship. Our unity is in Christ.