Basic Information

The difference between an emergency and a crisis is that emergencies take place within a defined realm and crises pose an excessive demand and require action from several people. Furthermore if an emergency is happens and you can react properly in the moment, while crisis can arise out of an emergency (which got out of control) or is an upcoming event (storm, etc.). The crisis management will help you to manage an upcoming crisis, for example a thunderstorm, or gives you a guideline to deal with severe emergencies / emergencies which got out of control. Psychological stress can also cause a crisis. For example: excessive demand, shock, panic attack. To be prepared in the event of a crisis we recommend to develop a crisis plan.

Some organisations already have a crisis management plan. Before creating a new crisis management plan ask your organisation / association if one already exists and check what needs to be changed / added.

Crisis management arises out of the risk analysis and is an ongoing process!

Background Information

Team Roles

Crisis management is a tool to manage crises of any kind, used here in the context of a treehouse camp. Crises describe decisions at a turning point of activity in a peaked situation such as an accident getting out of control. The aim is to be able to use a standardized approach to actively steer this crisis in a positive direction so that all participants, staff and the association, etc., are protected and supported as much as possible. Crisis management arises out of the risk analysis and is an ongoing process! The standardized procedure enables a continuous improvement of the processes.

Crisis management takes effect when a crisis occurs. Crisis management is a series of measures, sometimes involving individuals, that help to steer or even avert the consequences of the crisis that has occurred. The management must be considered holistically and not only as it affects the persons involved, but goes far beyond that.

Overview of the Staff
Specialist for First Aid and Injuries (FA Specialist)
  • Is set before the start of the camp
  • Has the best medical knowledge and experience in the current team
  • Is part of the treehouse camp team and stays at the camp
  • Important: think of who will be responsible for rescuing tree climbers?
Emergency Commissioner / Agent (Coordinator)
  • Leader of the camp; takes decisions on, preventative measures or evacuation 
  • Knows the terrain and conditions best
  • Is part of the treehouse camp team and stays at the camp
Internal Emergency Officer (Association Management)
  • Examination of accident proceedings and their handling
  • Discussion and clarification with the camp leader
  • Mostly is not part of the treehouse camp team and doesn’t stay at the camp
  • The internal emergeny officer is usually the leader of the head organisation or somebody from the association, who is responsible for emergencies. In some cases, the EC also has the duties of the IEO at the same time.
Press Officer in Emergencies / Accidents
  • Only these persons have contact to the press, examiners, insurances etc. in the case of an emergency 
  • This should be a person outside off the treehouse camp team, to be unbiased while communicate with the reporters.


CVJM-Akademie gGmbH
Institut für Erlebnispädagogik
Im Dru­sel­tal 8
34131 Kassel

Tele­fon: + 49 (0) 561 30 87–506
Fax: +49 (0) 561 30 87–501

Funded by Erasmus+ "Youth in Action"

The website and the content was developed in the project "Treehouse Camps - a Method to Strengthen Key Competences and Integration in Youth Work".

Project duration: September 2018 - August 2021