Updates on Coronavirus in Preparation for Summer Camp
The emergence of Coronavirus is a serious issue for all of us, camps included. At Rockmont, we are paying close attention to this situation, regularly monitoring developments from the CDC and other health authorities, consulting reports from the Association of Camp Nursing, and working with our own health care team. We maintain a relationship with our local health department, and they are an important resource for us this and every year.
While we are not aware of any immediate concern for camps, we do have communicable illness plans already in place, and we will continue to keep parents updated if there are revisions to those plans. We have also created a link on our website for updated information and guidance about Coronavirus as you prepare for camp.
As we prepare for the summer, we ask (as always) that all campers be fever-free for 24 hours before arriving at camp. This year we will take temperatures during registration rather than later in the day. If any child has a fever, we will ask one of our senior Health Center professionals to consult with parents about the best plan for care and prevention.
We have existing practices that we know will continue to be important, including: hand washing, the regular cleaning of surfaces in living and eating spaces, and training our whole staff in illness recognition strategies. We are meeting with our local health team and directors to enhance these and other features of our illness plan.
Preventing and Treating Illness at Camp
While the Coronavirus requires specific preparation, it is also important that parents and guardians be aware of our existing plans to prevent and treat communicable illness, so we are offering the broad outlines of those plans here as part of a regular series on health and safety at Rockmont. You can find the full series here.
One of the greatest gifts of camp is the creation of a community of celebration, friendship, welcome, and growth. We spend a lot of time in close proximity to one another at Rockmont, and that kind of community living has required us to develop healthy medical practices that address a variety of communicable illnesses.
Our health plan begins with a health history form that we require and review for every camper. Further, we ask parents and guardians to delay bringing their son to camp until he has been fever-free for 24 hours. We perform an Opening Day health screening for fever and lice, and we train our staff in illness-reducing and identification strategies.
Staff Contributions to Rockmont’s Health Plan
Our health care administrator, Cindy Bruce, and our health care provider, Jess Peckham, live on camp property and work year round to review our plans and prepare for the summer. Every year we submit our health care plan to a local pediatrician for review and commentary.
Our Health Center is staffed by four or more residential nurses. The nurses are at every meal, distributing medication and seeing campers in “The Patch Box”. They actively observe the campers for any signs of illness.
Our counselors play an important role in our health care plan, and we train them in illness-reducing and identification strategies. They are directed to take campers to the Health Center at the first sign of any communicable illness, and the Health Center staff is directed to isolate campers with questionable symptoms until they can make further determination about their readiness to rejoin the camp fun. When there are signs of any communicable illness, the directors are notified, and they take action to increase the monitoring and cleaning of living spaces.
More Preventative Measures
Handwashing has always been critical to the prevention of illness, so we have built extra sinks outside of the dining hall, in the center of camp. We also have hand sanitizers placed on every table. Our food service staff know and implement safe food handling procedures and work closely with our directors. Proper hydration, rest, and plenty of healthy food are essential components of any healthy camp, and we emphasize them every summer. Mosquito and tick bite prevention and treatment are other important parts of our daily routine at camp.
Camp is about friendship, community, adventure, growth, and wide open fun. And camp is made possible by good habits of health and well-considered practices of medical care. As you prepare for a summer of camp, we encourage you to consult our health and wellness information on the Rockmont website, and our new Coronavirus update page.
You may also want to visit the Association of Camp Nursing website and learn more about the practices of healthy camps. If you have any further questions about health and wellness at Rockmont, please contact our office.
or give us a call anytime: (828) 686-3885
There is also a place to submit a question about our health and wellness procedures at the bottom of our Health and Wellness page.
We appreciate your partnership and trust, and we look forward to another summer of health and growth at Camp Rockmont.
Director of Risk Management