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Health + Safety

Contents

Medications

  • All medications and vitamins MUST be in original containers. Include doctor’s name and instructions with medications. Camps have a supply of commonly used over-the-counter medications. It is not necessary to send these to camp.
  • The health supervisor will keep medications, vitamins, ointments, etc. in the health center during camp.
  • On a trip, we will send medications, etc. with staff. Inhalers, Epi Pens and other necessary items will be kept with each camper as determined by the health supervisor and information on the health history form.

If your camper has specific health needs (i.e. injections, specialized equipment, dietary concerns beyond vegetarian), contact the Camp Director two weeks prior to your camper’s attendance.

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Illnesses, Communicable Diseases + Lice

Do not send your camper to camp if she has been exposed to a communicable disease or if she is ill. Camp has a no nit policy. Please check your camper for lice before coming to camp. All girls are screened upon arrival or at the bus stop. Any child with lice or a communicable disease will need to leave camp. We will make every effort to reschedule your girl in a different session, but no refunds will be issued if a camper goes home due to nits or lice. For more information, visit the National Pediculosis Association’s website or contact them at 617-449-NITS.

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Medical Insurance

Please attach a copy of your camper’s insurance card to the Resident Camp Health History form. Supplemental sickness and accident insurance is provided for campers through their Girl Scout membership. The Girl Scouts’ plan provides secondary coverage and is not intended to replace the benefits available under a family medical plan.

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Bedwetting

Please let us know if your camper is a bed wetter (which is not unusual and nothing to be worried about) on the camper information sheet and/or health history form. Your camper should speak with her counselor or another staff person, if she has an accident. Staff will discreetly launder the bedding and clothes.

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Homesickness

This summer, hundreds of girls will experience their first taste of independence at summer camp. For many, it will also be their first encounter with homesickness, but families don’t have to feel helpless about homesickness. The best prescription is a simple solution of preparation and patience. According to a study by Dr. Christopher Thurber, feeling homesick is a normal occurrence at camp. A whopping 83 percent of the campers studied reported homesickness on at least one day of camp. The American Camp Association (ACA) suggests the following tips for families to help their camper prepare for camp:

  • Encourage independence throughout the year.
  • Discuss what camp will be like before your camper leaves, such as using a flashlight to find the bathroom.
  • Remind your camper ahead of time that you will not be able to contact each other via phone during your camper’s stay.
  • Send a note or care package ahead of time to arrive the first day of camp. You can send a River Valleys Camp Care Package either through a shop or our website.
  • Pack a personal item from home, such as a stuffed animal.
  • When a “rescue call” comes from the camper, such as a letter saying she is homesick, offer calm reassurance and put the time frame into perspective. Avoid the temptation to take the camper home early.
  • The camp director has extensive experience with homesickness. If you have a concern, voice it to the camp director before camp, so the staff can provide the best experience for your camper.
  • For many children, camp is a first step toward independence and plays an important role in their growth and development.

Other resources for preparing for camp can be found at the American Camps Association’s website.

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Emergency Contacts

All designated emergency contacts should be available while your camper is at camp. Camp staff may call you for the following:

  • Homesickness of your camper that is getting worse, not better
  • Inappropriate conduct by your camper for Girl Scout camp
  • Illness or injury to your camper for an extended period of time, requires medical attention outside of camp, or requires her to be picked up by the parent/guardian

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Water Safety

Campers participate in a swim skills assessment early in their session, and will be assigned to swim areas according to their ability. If campers are not comfortable in the water or taking the swim skill assessment, please alert the staff when dropping off your camper.

Life jackets are required in all boats, regardless of swim ability. Certified lifeguards supervise all aquatic activities.

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Weather + Emergencies

Camp staff teach and practice emergency action and weather procedures. If the weather is unusually hot or cold, activities are changed for safety.

Weather alert radios are monitored, and there are designated storm shelters for each camp. Please remember, during weather alerts, phone lines need to remain open to contact different parts of camp or emergency services; please do not call during severe weather.

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