Allergies at Camp — What's a Camp Director to Do?

According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50 percent between 1997 and 20111. And, many of these children attend camp. Are you ready?

Kids with Diabetes in the Non-Diabetes Camp Setting

I'll never forget walking into the infirmary for my week as a camp nurse and hearing one of the outgoing nurses say, "I got the kid with diabetes again. Don't worry, you don't have one this week." In my six years as a camp nurse at this non-diabetes camp, I always hoped I'd get "the kid with diabetes." That's because I happen to specialize in diabetes — and I have diabetes myself! My hope is that camp nurses and camp staff everywhere will feel comfortable including and accepting children and adolescents with diabetes in their programs, without fear or dread.

Making Sense of MESH: Partnerships with Parents

As we tackle mental, emotional, and social health (MESH) issues in our programs, we must use every tool possible to help the struggling person. Sometimes, the most powerful tool can be the partnerships that we form with our parents. When strong, these partnerships can yield a support system where risks can be mitigated and the best interests of all can be advanced. However, at issue are the moments where these partnerships are weak or even nonexistent.

Camp: An Antidote to Stress?

At a recent gathering, a group of camp professionals were talking about stress. They mentioned how it seemed fairly pervasive among campers and staff, sometimes at debilitating levels. Then they said that for some youth, especially returning campers and staff, camp arrival triggered a huge sigh of relief and seemingly low stress levels. Exuberant comments like "I'm back!" and behaviors such as running pell-mell around camp provided solid testimony to their delight, a freeing of their spirit and a drop in their stress level. It took new people more time to experience that.

MESH Health Fair Series

Mental Health! A State of Well-Being

Mental health is not a "dirty phrase" and creating positive conversations will ensure its acceptance as a measure of one’s health. Learn more by watching one or more of the presentations in our MESH Series

Camp Access to Epi-pens in Washington State

New Epi-pen law for Washington State

SB 6421 passed and was signd into law March 10, 2016. The law amends the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 70.54.  The law may be viewed Chapter 10, 2016 Laws. The law is effective June 9th, 2016. 

Allergies Galore! Managing Allergies Is More Than a Call to 911

In the summer of 2001, Congressional Camp found itself hip deep in allergies. Of the 490 campers on our campus, 222 had identified allergies. This fact left us limp and sweaty with concern . . . and it wasn't because of the humid Virginia summers.

We knew that food allergies never take a break, never rest, never leave well enough alone, and never forgive a tiny transgression - "just this one time." The worry about an exquisitely allergic child is continuous - for the parents and for our director and staff.

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors Accessibility Laws and Camps

Updated August 2018

Childhood allergies are on the rise.  According to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, twenty-five percent of children have their first allergic reaction at school or while participating in out-of-school activities—such as camp.

Recently, state legislatures have begun to see the importance of allowing camps to obtain and administer epinephrine auto-injectors (*).  Thirty-two states have passed legislation to allow an authorized entity, such as a camp, to do just that.

Health Care Providers: Who's Best for My Camp?

With another summer tucked into history, many camp professionals use autumn to review the summer as well as decompress from it. This is often when we consider changes that would "make things better" for next season. This article is written with that in mind. Specifically, it's designed to help you through an assessment process to determine what kind of health care provider(s) is best suited for your camp.

Selecting Camp Healthcare Technologies

Considerations in the Selection of Camp Healthcare Technologies

Futurists predict that camps will have compelling interests and benefits for utilizing electronic health records within the next 3-5 years. Some camps are already using electronic records and incorporating technologies in a myriad of ways to support camp healthcare.  Camp professionals have asked for more information about selecting appropriate technologies to support camp health services.