- Information on H1N1
- Deer Tick & Lyme Disease Information
- Review with your camper TIPS for staying healthy at camp
- Rules of medications at Camp Olson
- Communicating with Parents about a Child’s Health Status
- Paying for Healthcare – Health Insurance
- Environmental and Healthcare Challenges of Minnesota’s North Woods
Healthcare at Camp Olson
The Camp Olson Health Center is staffed with a minimum of two Registered Nurses and many weeks we have the services of an MD. Our service practices are shaped by regulations and/or guidelines from entities such the Minnesota Department of Health, standards of the American Camp Association, the Standards of Camp Nursing Practice and our insurance companies. The new constructed Camp Olson health care center is equipped to handle the daily needs of our campers and staff. The facility has two sleeping rooms for our health care providers and four infirmary rooms.
We want to provide a healthy experience for each camper. To accomplish this goal, we collaborate with you. You know your child’s health needs; we know the capabilities of our program. Our healthcare plan is designed to complement the growth and development needs of children and youth within normal parameters.
Is Your Child Ready for a Camp Olson Experience?
This is an important question. Given our mission and the program that’s been designed to support that mission, to be a camper, your child should be able to:
- Meet his/her personal needs such as getting dressed, showering, using the toilet, and eating
- Move independently from place to place
- Effectively interact in our group-based and community-living environment
All medication, with the exceptions of rescue inhalers and EpiPens, is collected on Opening Day and is kept in the Health Center. The Health Center staff distributes daily medication at routine times.
What is a “Medication” at Camp Olson?
Anything an individual uses to maintain and/or improve their health is considered a medication at Camp Olson. In addition to prescription medications and over-the-counter medications, this includes — but is not limited to — vitamins, homeopathic remedies, and topical ointments.
IF YOU ARE SENDING MEDICATION WITH YOUR CAMPER:
- Send enough for your child’s entire stay.
- Each medication must come in its original and appropriately labeled. bottle/container, including vitamins and other nutritional supplements.
- Do NOT mix medications.
- Use the health form to record the medication and explain why your child is using the medication.
- Our healthcare staff expect that medication indicated on the health form will arrive with the camper. If a medication status changes, notify us in writing of that change.
- Must come in a pharmacy container with a legible label in the camper’s name. We cannot accepted or administer medications that come in daily dose container.
- Must be labeled with the camper’s name, the name of the medication and correct instructions for administration.
NOTE: Healthcare staff must follow labeled directions. If there is a change to your camper’s medication, make sure the label correctly reflects that change.
- Must come in its original container with a legible label.
- Must have the camper’s first and last name clearly written in indelible ink on the container but in a place that does
- not obscure label information.
The camps healthcare staff administers medications during the following times unless special circumstances are indicated on health forms.
- 8:00 AM – At the Dining Hall
- 12:00 Noon – At the Dining Hall
- 3:00 PM – At the Health Center
- 6:00 PM – At the Dining Hall
- 9:00 PM – At the health Center
Use our health forms to tell us about your child’s health history. Our desire is to work effectively with your child, something made possible only with complete information from you, so please be thorough and forthcoming. The information you provide is shared with appropriate staff on a “need to know” basis. Please note the following:
- Return your child’s health history form, a required document for participation, three weeks prior to their scheduled arrival at camp: We need it early because information on the form impacts menu planning, housing, staff education and health center preparations.
- Make a copy of the completed form for yourself; record health updates between the time you send the form and when your child arrives at Camp Olson. Notify us in writing of these updates.
- Prior to your child’s arrival, healthcare staff review health forms and may call to clarify questions. A health screening is conducted on arrival day.
About Camp Olson and Your Child’s Health
- We expect that your child will be healthy upon arrival and ready to fully participate in the camp experience. If there are questions or concerns about this policy, contact us immediately.
- We reserve the right not to admit a person who poses a communicable illness threat. This includes head lice; Camp Olson has a “no nit” policy.
- Our program has a busy schedule filled with activity. Campers live with eight or more people in a cabin, prepare your child so these experiences are exciting rather than intimidating.
- Our program expects that campers can meet their own personal needs, but we also seek to be as inclusive as our facilities and program design allows. We are particularly concerned that youth with mental, emotional or psychiatric diagnoses are ready for our program; please call us in advance to discuss these issues.
- Community living skills are new for many campers. Your camper may appreciate knowing that his or her cabin will be shared with many other people and everyone sleeps in bunk beds. Talk with your child about picking up personal items, the noises people make when they sleep and whether a top or bottom bunk would be best.
Camp Olson has a designated healthcare provider onsite; and at a minimum, one healthcare provider is a registered nurse. All of program area directors and most of our counselors are certified in first aid and CPR and available when children are in the program areas. Camp Olson has over 25 certified lifeguards. An AED is located in the Health Center
Responsibility for Campers
- Our healthcare staff assumes responsibility for your child’s healthcare when they arrive at camp on opening day. They relinquish care when the child gets on the bus or is picked up at camp.
- Campers are responsible for self-care, including self-medication, while in transit between home and the camp.
- Campers who travel via plane or bus should carry a “just in case” copy of their health history in their carry-on bag and know where that form is packed. Parents are asked to contact the health services office if there are concerns about this interim time.
Scope of Service
The scope of service provided by our Health Center staff is limited to care of routine illness and injury; we do not have physicians in residence. We do, however, have medical protocols signed by our supervising physician so care for some common problems is available. We stock selected over-the-counter medications (see the list on your child’s health form), and dispense these as directed in our protocols.
The scope of care provided by individual healthcare staff is based on each individual’s credentials and the policies in our Manual for Health Center Staff. Your camper will be referred to the local medical community when need is beyond what your child’s Health Center staff can provide. In these situations, your child will be accompanied by a staff member who will remain with your child during the physician’s exam.
Communicating with Parents about a Child’s Health Status
- Our Health Center staff will make every effort to contact you by phone if your child has need for out-of-camp healthcare. Because of timing and schedule conflicts we cannot promise that we will be successful in reaching you
- The phone numbers you provide on your child’s health form will be used. Please make sure that we know how to reach you during your child’s stay
- In addition to phone contact, it is Camp Olson’s policy to provide parents or guardians with a written summary of out-of-camp healthcare received by your camper.
- We generally do not contact you if your child is seen in the Camp Health Center for routine problems (e.g., skinned knee, sore throat, bee sting, overnight stay). We will call if we have questions, as determined on a case-by-case basis by the Health Center staff. If you would like us to do something different, attach a letter to your child’s health form explaining your alternate plan
- A child’s usual response when not feeling well is to tell the parent or guardian. Sometimes children at camp react the same way — they write a letter telling you how they feel and may not consider telling their counselor or the Health Center staff. Talk with your child and explain that our staff are there to help. Instruct your camper to tell these people about needs so care can be provided
Care of Campers with Chronic Health Concerns
We expect children with chronic health concerns (i.e., asthma, allergies, diabetes) to be capable self-managers and to bring the supplies they need to manage their diagnosis. Because treatment modalities vary, our healthcare staff rely on campers’ familiarity with and ability to do their own treatments. Our healthcare staff will provide general oversight but they partner with the camper to follow individual treatment plans. Please contact the Camp Olson office for special forms which have been developed for asthma and diabetes.
Reviewing Health Forms
Prior to your child’s arrival, healthcare staff review health forms and may call to clarify questions. A health screening is conducted on Opening Day that includes
- a general appraisal of the child’s health status;
- a request for updates to the health form;
- collecting medication brought to the program;
- determining history of exposure to communicable diseases; and
- a head lice/nit check
Paying for Healthcare – Health Insurance
Parents/guardians are financially responsible for costs associated with providing healthcare to their child. Should your child be taken to see an out-of-camp provider, you will be billed by that provider based on the billing directions you provide on your child’s health history form. Note that pharmacies do not bill; they require payment for prescriptions.
If we anticipate that your child will need a prescription, you will be instructed to call your credit card information to the pharmacy used to fill your camper’s prescription.
We recommend that you contact your health insurance company to determine if your policy extends coverage while your child is attending Camp Olson YMCA. Our staff is not responsible for managing your insurance; you retain this responsibility, including the responsibility to pre-authorize care. Attach a copy of your insurance card (front and back) to the health form if that card is needed to identify your plan.
Questions about Healthcare?
You are encouraged to contact Camp Olson, especially if special arrangements are needed to support your child’s stay in our program. Such requests are needed at least four weeks prior to your child’s arrival.
Environmental and Healthcare Challenges of Minnesota’s North Woods
As in any geographic area, program participants are exposed to risks associated with location. While our program has developed risk reduction strategies we rely on the help of parents and campers so these strategies are as successful as possible. Even then, there are no guarantees of success. Of particular note are the following:
- Poison ivy is part of our natural flora. Instruct your camper to keep on camp paths and tell a counselor or Health Center staff about red, itchy patches of skin. Campers who participate in overnight camping have a greater risk of exposure to this obnoxious plant. If your camper is especially sensitive to poison ivy, teach your child to identify the plant, advise the child to sit upwind during campfire programs and consider use of a barrier cream (talk with your pharmacist) as a preventive measure.
- Dealing with mosquitoes is part of our location. Especially active at dawn and dusk, there will be more mosquitoes when our weather is warm and wet. Help minimize mosquito bites by providing your child with an insect repellent with about 30 percent DEET. Teach your child how and when to apply their repellent. Cabin counseling staff remind campers to put on repellent at various points throughout the day. Your child should talk with his or her counselor if his or her repellent is not effective. While preventing bites is our goal, the camp Health Center has calamine lotion and aloe gel available during office hours to help ease itching.
- Minimizing West Nile virus carried through mosquitoes. Camp Olson YMCA monitors recommendations for management of this risk through the Centers for Disease Control, the American Camp Association and the Association of Camp Nurses. We recommend using a repellent with approximately 30 percent DEET. Staff monitor campers for signs and symptoms associated with West Nile infection. It is our intent to stay abreast of information as more is learned and to take actions that minimize this threat for our participants. Please contact us if you have specific questions.
- Avoiding wood ticks is difficult because both the common dog tick and the small deer tick are in our area Teach your camper to do a daily “tick check.” In particular, campers should check their hair and hairline, groin, auxiliary area, back and behind the ears. A tick that is merely crawling on a person poses little concern; those that attach to the skin should be removed. You may teach your child to remove ticks that attach, but it is our preference that campers come to the Health Center to do so. Using an insect repellent appropriately with about 30 percent DEET is fairly effective in minimizing tick bites
- Lyme disease. Our program monitors for signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness. Carried by some deer ticks and transmitted when the tick finishes feeding and disengages from the person’s skin, the potential for Lyme disease can be minimized by effective use of repellents, daily tick checks (to interrupt the feeding before the tick is done), and wearing appropriate clothing when in tick-heavy areas. Contact Camp Olson if you have questions about Lyme disease.
- Avoiding sunburn. Most of our activities are done outside, so be sure your camper brings and knows how to use sunscreen. At minimum, an SPF 30 product is recommended. We consider sunburn a preventable injury and will minimize this health risk as much as possible.
- Dressing for the weather. Northern Minnesota’s weather can vary from hot and muggy to quite chilly, from sunny and warm to drizzly and damp. Your camper should bring everything recommended on the packing list.
- Staying hydrated. Talk with your child about drinking enough fluids. Outdoor activities are generally quite active, so drinking enough is a constant challenge and is the reason why a water bottle is on our packing list.