Our hotel is a regular place for swim teams from out of the city & State to stay. But there is one thing that bothers me security-wise: Door Decorations. Coaches and Chaperones decorate the swimmers' doors with pictures, posters, ribbons..... and the name of the kids staying in that particular room! I guess it is all done for team spirt and whatnots, but I do hate the fact that they advertise where a minor is staying and have access to their names.
Also, for the most part, chaperoning is done in name only. Kids have pretty much on their own and kids being kids, know squat about being safe. I know of one instance where the chaperon was basically drunk all the stay at the hotel and the group was the one that got into the most trouble specially when the kids got a hold of the chaperone's booze.


If you have a kid involved in a sporting event that will take him/her on the road, make sure they follow basic safety procedures.

1) Treat your Hotel Room door as if it was your House's main door. Don't open for anybody unless they can identify who is it. Use the peephole for confirmation and, if they don't like what they see, to call the Front Desk and request Security inmediately. And don't leave the door propped open to "Look for ice" or "I am just going next door to get some candy" or "My friens is coming any second now" or any excuse. You'd be surprised how easy is for somebody to sneak in the room. If they have to leave, they must make sure to take the key and make sure the door is closed!

2) Travel in groups. Don't go out wandering on your own outside the hotel. And to stick to well lit & public areas. And no, the boyfriend or the cute boy from the other team is not companionship enough to keep a girl safe. I had a group of 4 girls (13 to 15) not long that would always travel together with faces saying "You mess with us, you are dead" They would go to the hotel store, pool, beach, etc. together and come back together. They had the right idea and attitude and I told the so. They beamed proud as hell.

3) Tell them to do some recon. To ask and find out what hotel areas are open 24-7 and what areas close at certain times. Befriend the Security personnel and get their direct extension, don't trust the operator to relay your message. It is unfortunate, but kids go wild and one of their favorite things to do is to harrass the operartor to the point of madness and that will get you ignored. Again, befriend the Security people, ask them all teh relevant questions (How secure is outside/inside the hotel. Where should they go for a stroll, Whhat areas are off limits, etc.)

4) Be kind to your neighbors. The hotel will try to get all the kids & chaperones in a floor on their own but, such is life, it may not happen and you'll be lumped with somebody who just wants to sleep. Keep quiet because your neighbor might turn into a certified violent idiot if bothered too much. I have seen it, not pretty.

5) Most Important: If something seems fishy CALL SECURITY!. If it is a violent crime being commited CALL 911 and then Security. Keep hotel stationary at hand: it will have the address & phone number which 911 will need to send a responding unit. It is also good to have in case a kid is accidentaly separated from the group and needs to find the way back to the hotel.