Health and Safety
Much of the joy children, teens, and adults experience at Nature Camps is because of the care we have for each other in terms of health, safety, and overall wellness. The combination of Nature Camps’ in-camp procedures and parent follow-up at home provides a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable summer for all.
Challenge Course Safety
The Adventure Challenge Ropes Courses (the lower ropes course is down the stream, and the upper ropes course is up on the hill opposing it) are inspected annually and meet the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) Standards.
Additional Safety Practices
Camp swings, see-saws, horizontal cargo nets, and porch swings are inspected annually. Wood chips are deeply spread around these elements.
Our Staff Know How To Help
Each staff member and intern is certified in CPR, Wilderness First Aid (WFA), AED use, and trained in Ropes Course instruction, and American Canoe Association Canoeing Safety. Our staff members are also certified in lifeguarding. At least one Teen Adventure Counselor on Appalachian Trail, C & O Canal Towpath trips, and the Appalachian Journey are certified as a Wilderness First Aid Responder (WFR).
Please keep in touch with NC staff if you have any questions regarding the health, safety, or wellness of your child. Even the slightest question or concern is welcome. Our Medical Coordinator and directors are readily available to speak with you and our Wilderness First Responder and Camp Doctor are both only a phone call away.
Poison Ivy and Ticks – Oh My!
On the first and second day of camp, each child is shown poison ivy and jewelweed (Touch-me-Not), a remedy for poison ivy. The campers draw each of these in their newly made nature journals, and we discuss the functions of these co-inhabitants of our environment and what to do when we encounter them.
The same procedure applies to ticks, both the smaller deer tick and the larger brown or dog tick. Children learn how to perform a tick check, which we do each day at lunchtime in small groups. The same tick check should be performed at home. If you want to make sure of the complete absence of ticks in your children’s clothes, wash and heat-dry all clothing, including shoes. More information about ticks is available from the camp office and the Medical Coordinator.
Minor Health Issues
Bumps, scratches, bruises, and bug bites do occasionally happen. Most are superficial and will be treated appropriately. If your child or teen receives any sort of medical attention, from needing a band-aid after scraping a knee to finding a tick during one of our many routine tick checks, the staff will record it in our medical log and the Medical Coordinator will call you before the end of the day. Our counselors will explain to the nurse how the injury happened, so you’ll have a full understanding of the situation.
Serious Health Issues and Emergencies
If an accident or illness occurs that needs further attention, the appropriate steps will be taken and the parents (guardian) will be notified immediately. There is a physician available by telephone, the closest hospital is Greater Baltimore Medical Center, and Hereford Rescue is the nearest emergency service, just minutes from camp.
Health and Registration Forms
All registration forms, including those related to health and safety, must be filled out by May 20th. Some forms are required for all campers and others only need to be completed when relevant to the individual needs of your child.
All Health and Registration forms must be received by May 20th or PRIOR TO children’s first day of camp (for registrations after that date). Children cannot attend camp without these forms completed.
Reminder: Both parents must sign off on the Health and Liability Waiver before a child’s participation. Health and registration forms are accessible for download here.
Nature Camps keeps the following over-the-counter medications and supplies on hand: Children’s Tylenol®, Children’s Motrin®, Benadryl®, Benadryl Allergy & Sinus®, assorted poison ivy topical medications, and first aid supplies. If your child has an allergy or reaction to any of these medications, please indicate this on the health form. If for any reason you are opposed to your child receiving these medications if needed, please indicate this on the health information you submit during registration.
A Medication Administration Authorization Form is required for the Medical Coordinator and/or staff members to administer the required medication or for the camper to self administer medication. All prescription medications must be delivered to the nurse upon arrival to the first day of camp. Medications must be in pharmacy labeled bottles with the name of the child, name of the medication, name of prescribing physician, physician’s office number, dosage, and usual time of administration. Please do not bring in split pills or an assortment of pills in a single container.
In the event of a local emergency or disaster, such as tornado, terrorist attack, etc., please call our office number, 410-343-0223 and our Director’s mobile phone number (410) 935-1545. As soon as possible, we will post pertinent information on those voice mail systems regarding the status of camp. These voice mail systems should be functional, even if the camp's phone lines are down, but may be busy due to the high number of calls coming in. Please keep trying.
Nature Camps, Inc. complies with privacy regulations that were issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services for the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) Act of 1996. All health and medical information is stored in locked file cabinets. Only the camp medical personnel and the director have access to these files. Limited information is confidentially communicated to the camp counselors of children who have medical or health issues that must be attended to during daily activities, such as insect or food allergies, medications needed during the day, learning styles, parent notes, etc.