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.
It is imperative that we thoroughly protect the health and safety of children, families, and counselors. We will utilize protocols that are in line with CDC and Maryland Department of Health guidelines and have been proven to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools, camps, and other child care settings.
The following is a preliminary overview of COVID-19 safety protocols that will be in place for Summer 2022:
The entire camp family (staff, campers, and teen adventurers) must be vaccinated and boosted (when eligible). Proof of vaccination will be required. See the registration page for information about uploading your child's COVID-19 vaccination card.
Masks will be required indoors and outdoors when social distancing is not possible. Masks are also required in all camp vehicles.
Families will be asked to conduct a health screening each day before dropping their child off at camp.
The entire camp family will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 5 days of the start of each camp session.
Rapid antigen tests will be administered to any camp participant exhibiting COVID-like symptoms. Participants testing positive will isolate until a parent arrives to take them home.
Please keep in mind that the guidance from the CDC and MDH is subject to change and Nature Camps' safety protocols will be responsive to those changes.
Additional Safety Practices
Camp swings, 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, First Aid or Wilderness First Aid (WFA), and American Canoe Association Canoeing Safety. At least two certified lifeguards are on duty at the pool at all times. 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 University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, and Emergency Medical Services Division of the Jarrettsville Fire Department is the nearest emergency service, just 11 minutes from camp.
Health and Registration Forms
All registration forms, including those related to health and safety, must be filled out by May 15th. Some forms are required for all campers and others only need to be completed when relevant to the individual needs of your child.
All forms must be received by May 15th or PRIOR TO children’s first day of camp (for registrations after that date). Children cannot attend camp without these forms completed.
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 or if you are opposed to your child receiving these medications, 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 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.