YMCA Camps Address Lightning Safety With Early Warning Detection System

Verona, WI – Commercial Recreation Specialists (CRS) provided site assessment, consulting and design services for an early warning lightning detection system at YMCA Tockwogh Camp & Conference Center in Worton, Md., and later installed a similar system at YMCA Fairview Lake Camps & Conference Center in Newton, N.J., according to Rich Wills, vice-president of Commercial Recreation Specialists.  After a 2005 lightning-safety incident at YMCA Camp Tockwogh, CRS completed a safety and risk evaluation and recommended installation of a Strike Guard early warning lightning detection system, manufactured by Wxline.  “The Strike Guard system ensures guest safety by using technology to automatically detect and monitor lightning strikes up to twenty miles away, determining alarm and all-clear conditions, and eliminating difficult decisions about what is or is not considered safe for onsite lifeguards, staff and volunteers,” said Wills.

“YMCA Tockwogh Camp & Conference Center not only relies on this system for guest and staff safety, but believed in this product enough to confidently recommend it to YMCA Fairview Lake Camps & Conference Center,” said Phil McGovern of YMCA Camp Tockwogh.  The system components installed at Camp Fairview Lake included WAVE transmitters and antennae, sirens, strobe lights and Strikeview Software, which allows automatic email notification to members of the camp management team when lightning is present, even if that team member is away from the property.  CRS provided assistance to customize the early warning lightning detection system based on each camp’s unique needs, including system set up and programming support.

Lightning detection systems not only ensure guest and staff safety, but can also protect assets such as irrigation systems, electronics and computer equipment.  According to Wills, when a standardized lightning safety policy is combined with investment in an early warning lightning detection system, insurance premiums are often reduced for campgrounds, water parks, golf courses, amusement parks and other commercial recreation venues.