art campASummer Camp! What do you think of? Fun, Excitement, New Friends, Camping, Smores? All those things happen but summer camp is more than games and friends, especially when you are a Camp Counselor.

Camp is about knowing you made a difference in a child's life. Do you know how you tell? It's the last evening of the session, you have spent a few weeks with the kids, some amazingly cool while others were a bit more challenging.  Then a camper who took the most energy comes up to you with tears in her eyes and says "You’ve made a difference in my life, I will remember you forever" and in the same breath asks "Are you coming back next summer? I want to be in your cabin." This is the moment when you know you changed a life and in some small way changed the world. It becomes clear all your effort was worth it. But what is surprising is you know your camper leave camp a better person and on your last day at camp you too will find that you have grown tremendously from the summer camp experience.

 

Here are the top reasons being a Camp Counselor is a summer job every student should try.


  1. 1. You are in a place where you and your campers grow to form the most unique and wonderful friendships you could ever have. You will want to stay in touch with your new friends long after camp is finished.
  2. 2. There will be nights when you are awaken by a camper who needs to go to the bathroom, so you get and go outside, while looking up the stars it take your breath away and your camper feels honored that you pointed them out and to have spent that time with you

3. At some point you will realize our clothes, hair,dirt under our fingernails and smell are really not as important as we might think. What matters is who we are on the inside. This is a freeing experience that role models for the campers what is important in this world.

 

4. Camp is all about creativity, imagination and spontaneity. Your job will change every 15 minutes, from playing, to cleaning, dressing up like a super hero. Nothing beats the feeling of being a kid again and finding the simple joy of a pillow fight before going to bed.

 

5. The campers look up to you. They’ll mimic what you do, they will dress like you, they will believe everything you say. In short they think your the coolest ever and they want to be like you.

 

6. Tie Dye will be a staple of your wardrobe and you will keep trying to make the perfect one.

 

7. Many of your stories back home will start with “This one time, at camp…,” and most folks, except your camp friends wont get it.

 

8. Your happy to make time for an extra long hot shower. These are rare yet, most appreciated.

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9. You’ll will be outside everyday in nature. So sunscreen will be art of your ritual as well as bugspray. You will thank the creators of these 2 wonderful products almost daily.

probably get the best tan-lines. Farmers tan? Check. Shorts tan? Check. Headband tan? Check. Flip-flop tan? Check. It’s an inevitable truth, sadly. But the tan-line competitions are real

 

10. Your summer will be separated from the outside world and technology. Relationships will form face to face with face-time or face-book. Real faces & real people. This is a 21st century life skill.

 

11. you will appreciate your time off and away from camp but on the drive back you will be wondering how your kids are, whats been going on. The excitement will only increase as you get closer to camp and once you hit camp you will want to find your co-counselor to hear how everyone is.

 

12. Your coworkers become your best friends because you have spent "camp"together and they get it.

 

13. You quickly learn life’s most important lessons are easily solved by campers.  Oh sure they sometimes need help finding the path but they always figure it out. They just need a freiend like you to guide rather than fix things.

 

14. Helping a camper gain confidence and face their fears builds a self-worth unlike any other. Cheering on a camper who is swimming for the first time or holding a camper who is affraid of a storm. although they will meet challanges, they will love camp as much as you.

 

15. Sadness is the last day of camp, your campers are gone, the work is over and their is only you and your co counselor in your cabin packing. It's then you get you see why camp is such a magical place.and how much camp and your campers have changed you.

 

16. You learn how important sleep is, you look forward to going to bed early and snuggling up for a long cool night or you cherish that 15 minute nap under the shade of a pine.

 

17. You make time to refocus on all the beauty nature can show you with out a screen.

 

18. Camp will forever have left it's mark on you and you will be a part of the fraternity of camp counselors who value the importance Summer Camp Counselors truly have on today's youth. You’ll never be the same.

Best Camps 2104 copySo you have done all your homework, You have been planting the seeds with your new camper. You have talked about camp, done a sleepover and looked at websites. You have even taken an assessment of your child's needs and wants,  and you tried to match those with the proper summer camp. For instance our Nature Camp is the best for those kids who still like being outside and off the screen. So now you have picked the Right Camp- the mission meets yours and the dates work. Often, parents think all they have to do is now pay a deposit and they are off to camp. As an Overnight Summer Camp Director, I suggest you scour the website to answer the below questions or email to get the answers, ya might even do that crazy thing and pick up a phone and call. Not all camps are equal. A side note, as a camp director it is some what terrifying to me how few parents these days call to talk to a Camp Director. Most just see a few pretty picture and they are good to go. Not the best decision. Mu goal is not to scare you but, here are things to think about.

  •  
  • *What is the camper to counselor ratio for the majority of the day? How many staff total at camp? What are the ages of Counselors?

  • *How do they handle supervision of children, discipline issues? What is the discipline policy? When do they send a camper home?

  • *What age groups will be combined together? Do younger children mixed with older children? How are activities different for different ages?

  • *What is the schedule for the program, what will they be doing each day? What is planned or free choice? How much non-active time?

  • *What are the  qualifications of the Counselors? What about training. Do they have First Aid and CPR?

  • *Are staff  up-to-date on criminal background checks?

  • *What is the policy for handling injuries and illness?  Who is at camp to give care?

  • *Do the campers go swimming or near water? Do campers take swim proficiency tests? Are there a lifeguards on duty?

  • *What insurance does the program carry? Do they have liability insurance?

  • ,
  • These are all great things to think about. at Swift Nature Camp we have a Summer Camp Parent Answer Page that helps parents make a very informed decision. We believe we want you to have too much information so you KNOW you made the right decision.

Science & Nature Summer Camp
in Minnesota

 

campers with Animals

Often Parents from Minnesota, ask us "Where have this camp been". Well Swift Nature Camp has been giving children a wonderful overnight Summer Camp experience since the 1960's. But what I think they really mean is that they have been looking for a special overnight summer camp that meets their child's needs. You see they are looking for an Animal Summer Camp or a Nature camp, maybe a Science camp all near Minneapolis. Why? Because their child generally is not sportsy type and really thrives being outside going on frog hunts and doing other Nature activities.  So when a parent finds a small camp like SNC, they are very happy that their child will have the opportunity to play and be with kids who are also Nature Nuts.

 

You See at SNC we are not school so children learn about animals and nature hands on. Matter of fact one of our favorite activities is going on a frog hunt. See at SNC we believe when campers see, they remember. But when campers do, they understand. If we can increase a campers  self discovery and natural curiosity, it entice children to learn about and play Outdoors in NATURE and if children value our environment they will in the future see a reason to protect it.

 

What many parent enjoy is that camp is only 2 hours form Mpls., so on a weekend they can stop on by and see how their camper is doing or even take him or her out of this Animal Summer Camp for Lunch. It allow parent to stay in contact with their camper. However, don’t be surprised if your child has other plans, so often parents are happy to see that their camper has found a nature summer camp they can call home. But, get discouraged when their child would prefer to play in nature or do science experiments rather than go out for lunch. But that's OK, camp is all about helping children feel comfortable in their new surroundings and giving them the independence to do so.

 

Animals are why kids love Swift Nature Camp, we have plenty.  Each summer children enjoy adopting a pet and taking care of it. They need to be responsible to feed, water and play with it before any play time. This helps build responsibility and empathy for their pets. Speaking of Pets, SNC is one of the few camps that allows children to bring their animals with them to summer camp. How Cool! Little Billy can bring his pet hamster with him, one less thing for parents to worry about while your camper is at summer camp.

But it is more than just an active Nature Center, Pet Zoo, and Department of Natural Resources sponsored programs that keep bringing campers back to Swift Nature Camp it is our special recreational activities that include canoe and backpack trips, horseback riding, swimming, arts & crafts, team courses, archery, sailing, water skiing, tubing and sports, over 20 different land and water activities.

 

As a parent to learn more about this Overnight Minnesota Animal Camp, read more about how we encourage children to be more responsible and to be accountable for themselves as well as being kinder. For Campers at this Kids Nature Camp learn more about the cool activities, the friendships and the animals. Hope to see you at Swift Nature Camp

So the summer is coming and college students are beginning to schedule their summer. Good Plan. Yet, many will be looking for internships or for jobs along their career path. Not necessarily a bad choice but lets be real, you will be working the rest of your life. Why not have a job that teaches you about yourself and about others. Why not have a summer job that is loaded with fun and friendships? Right now you can be looking for a summer job that gives you all this and what is amazing many corporations are learning that working at a summer camp can give you valuable people skills. Recently the American Camp Association wrote an article about the 3 biggest advantages why camp is a GREAT SUMMER JOB. I have the article below. Oh Swit Nature Camp also offers Internships... Think this might be the right move for you? Here ya go Summer Camp Jobs

 

3 Reasons to Choose a Job at Camp Instead of a Summer Internship

January 23, 2017
Tom Rosenberg, President/CEO
 
 
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If you are a college student, you may already be thinking about what internship position or summer job you want to secure for the summer.

But instead of an internship, consider taking on a different kind of summer job – one at camp.

If you are unsure whether that is the right choice for you, here are three reasons you should take a summer job at camp.

1. At camp, you are responsible for more than just yourself.

When you work at camp, you get to work as a mentor, role model and hero to children ages 6-15. Your campers’ parents are not there, so you must act in a parent-like role for a group of children who will rely on you for almost everything during the time they are there. You are there to ensure that your campers are happy, have their individual needs met and have the time of their life. You’ll also be a part of the staff team and will be encouraged to give of yourself to your group and to the camp staff team more than you ever thought possible. At camp, the more you invest yourself in everything you do, the more you will get out of the experience.

2. You get to work in an inspirational environment.

At an internship, you may spend more time in front of a copier or coffee machine than developing valuable skills that will truly prepare you for the workplace. That will not happen if you work at camp. Instead, you will hone your leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills, all in a beautiful setting. You will manage yourself and the campers under your care. You will get to try new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

3. You can develop professional skills to take with you throughout your career.

The Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) emphasizes the following essential life and career skills: flexibility and adaptability; initiative and self-direction; social and cross-cultural skills; productivity and accountability; and leadership and responsibility.

A job at camp will help you develop these skills – and so many more. You will learn flexibility and adaptability, as you work with a variety of people ranging from children to camp directors. You will show initiative and problem-solving when any unexpected circumstances arise. You will be exposed to a multi-cultural community of both campers and counselors and understand what it means to build a caring, supportive community. You will demonstrate accountability as you work to keep children safe and happy. But more than all of this, you will gain a sense of self-fulfillment as you see your campers try new activities, reach their goals, and grow in confidence.

It’s exciting to watch camp staffers become inspired to work professionally with children and youth as social workers, teachers, outdoor educators, psychologists, and clergy. Work at summer camp prepares you for a myriad of careers. I have had the pleasure of working with camp staffers who have gone on to work in the White House, in medicine, in academia, as movie producers, as entrepreneurs, and more. Working at camp expands your career possibilities far more than you might imagine. 

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to meet with a variety of professionals, ranging from business to the nonprofit sector, education to religion. The common thread of those conversations, more often than not, is camp. And, to be honest, I’m not surprised. The skills developed and the experiences gained through a job at camp are universally in demand, regardless of your ultimate career path. So before you hit the submit button for an internship application, consider camp. I guarantee it will be the most impactful workforce development experience of your life.

Photo courtesy of Camp Cedarbrook in the Adirondacks in Corinth, NY.

As Summer Camp Directors we are always looking at trends in parenting and how it is going. Recently Simon Sinek had this video posted. If you know someone born in the mid 1980 to early 2000 this is about them. For many of us parents, when we watch this video it will help us better understand our own kids and see how we can best help them in the 21st century Having said that it also helps us be better Camp Directors at Swift Nature Camp

 

Figuring out how to find that summer camp that will besuitable for your child to attend and enjoy can appear daunting at first primarily because of the sheer number of camps to choose from and the range of their programs and offered activities.  The key is to find the summer camp that will match your kid's schedule, skills set, age, personality, and interests.  Part of responsible parenting is making sure that the camp is run in an appropriate and safe manner.  Following are some things that parents can consider first as they begin the process of selecting a summer camp for their children.

 

Make sure that the camp has proper accreditation from the American Camp Association. - This will ensure that the overnight summer camp complies with the 300 or so best industry guidelines for camper safety, health, and conduct of important practices pertaining to the camp's programs.

 

Identify the focus of the camp's overall program. Each camp is unique in terms of program emphasis and philosophy. Some camps allow campers the freedom to pick individual activities that they find interesting while other camps may encourage structured group activities with guided or limited choices.  Some camps promote competition among the participants and some are intentionally noncompetetive. Some summer camps offer traditional activities with an emphasis on recreation, while others focus on particular areas such as drama, sports, or crafts. Some camps may refine programs to focus on one pursuit exclusively.

 

Determine the camper to counselor ratio. This is to [make sure|ensure] that your child will get the right supervision and individual attention appropriate for his or her age.  ACA recommends a maximum ratio of 8:1 for 6 to 8 year old kids.  A 10:1 ratio is ideal for kids aged 9 to 14, while 12:1 ratio is ideal for 15 to 17 year olds.  For overnight camps, the fewest possible campers for every counselor is [recommended|ideal].  Ratios may also vary depending on specific camp situations and activities.

Check out the key people on the camp's staff, starting with the director. According to ACA standards, the camp director should ideally be a bachelor's degree holder with extensive camp administration experience. Check for in-service training during the last 36 months. But keep in mind that there is no substitute for meeting a director in person and asking questions. A camp's policies, philosophy, and overall attitude towards campers begins with the dedication of the camp's director.

Find out from the director and staff about how the camp practices discipline and fair play. Find out if there are policies of encouragement, and find out how rules are enforced. The camp experience is a good way to reinforce a child's perception about the basic principles of a social environment other than home and school .

 

If your child has special needs, make sure that they can be accommodated. Talk to and correspond with the director and the camp nurse, If your prospective camper has a special medical condition such as an allergy or asthma, find out if the camp is capable of handling emergencies that may arise with such cases as well as how a camp approaches general health care issues.

 

Ask about the camp volunteers or staff and talk to one or two of them if possible. A kid's sleepaway camp experience will depend on a camp staff that, aside from helping facilitate activities act as role models. Staff members need to be trustworthy, reliable and prepared for the work they do. They must also have sufficient first aid and CPR training.

 

Check out the camp's references. It is important to find out everything you can about other parents' and campers' past experiences with a summer camp.  The camp Director|should be very accommodating in providing references where you can check out their reputation and track record. There are also websites that offer evaluations written by parents and former campers and the directors' responses to issues. All forms of reference are by their nature incomplete and imperfect as comprehensive guides for choosing a camp, but they can be very helpful nonetheless.

 

Here is more details about Picking a Summer Camp .

 

Provided by Jeff & Lonnie ar Swit Nature Camp

As the camp directors of Swift Nature Camp, every day, we evaluate to make sure that we are teaching the children in our care more than just skills like swimming, making pottery at arts and crafts, how to steer a canoe or how to identify edible plants in the woods.  These are all summer camp activities in Wi, but we want to make sure that we are teaching them and encouraging them to develop the lifelong skills and behaviors they will need to be successful in life - things like showing compassion, being responsible, and building good relationships.  And life as a parent is the same - every day is about helping your children to learn how to fry an egg for breakfast, math and reading at school and perhaps helping to take care of a family pet or younger sibling as well as developing proficiency in communicating with others, self motivation, and independence.

 

One of the skills that we try to emphasize with children at our Wisc Summer Camp is generosity and learning to find happiness in giving to others.  One great thing about these skills is that research tells us that children as young as toddlers have an intrinsic drive to share and help others.  In fact, one study found that children prefer or enjoy equally the opportunity to share a treat with others as much as having one for themselves.  That isn’t a feeling that goes away in adulthood either - I know that I am super excited about seeing my child’s reaction to a few of the gifts of the holiday season.

 

And speaking of the season, this time of year is a great time to try to do a little extra to develop those intrinsic qualities of giving and generosity in your children.  Many organizations have drives for donated goods (winter wear, food, toys, gift cards), and along with that, they often have needs for extra volunteers to sort, organize and distribute those goods.  Organizations that aren’t looking for hard goods are often participating in end of the year funding pitches to round out their financial donations. Students have a bit more free time during their winter breaks, and if you have any extra holiday vacation from work or can find some spare time around the house, you may be able to find the perfect opportunity to fit in a few volunteer hours with your children.

 

Since this season seems so perfectly suited to teaching giving, we’d like to share a few science and research based strategies for building your children’s love of giving and altruistic nature:

 

To start, as always, be a role model, but also explain why you are doing what you are doing.  Kids are more likely to reflect behavior that they see from one or both parents consistently .  But we also know that with giving, kids are even more likely to be generous themselves if their parents not only model giving behavoir, but also explain why they are doing so.  If you make a donation to a charitable organization, talk to your children about why.  If you are giving time by volunteering, then explain to your kids what you are doing and how and who it helps.

 

Next, make sure that you are tapping into your children’s empathy - help them to understand the need for giving and generosity.  Encourage your children to consider the background and history of people who are in need of some type of assistance.  If there are opportunities for your children to directly interact with people in need, that can help them to solidify the connection and activate their drive help others.  Even after doing something like collecting donations for the homeless, the needs of that group of people can be a pretty abstract concept to understand.  If children are given the opportunity to visit a homeless shelter or similar organization and share donations, it helps them to build understanding of the needs of others.

 

Thirdly, help them to see the difference that they are making in the world by being generous.  For younger kids, this may mean participating in things like donation drives for goods - it is easier for children to make a connection when picking out a few things at the grocery store or toy store to donate then that abstract concept of giving monetary donations.  For children that are older, a good way is to involve them in donating time when they can directly see the results of their work - something like participating in a clean up of a public area or serving food at a soup kitchen.

 

Continuing on, play to their strengths and make giving a way that they can share their personal strengths and interests.  Studies show us that when children participate in volunteer or donation efforts that have a special significance to them they are more likely to continue being generous to those types of causes.  If your child loves nature, see if you can find a place where they can volunteer to help clean up at a wildlife rehabilitation center or help with removal of invasive plants in natural area.  If your child is artistic or crafty, perhaps you can encourage them to be a part of making holiday cards or knitting or crocheting lap blankets for residents of an elder care community.  If their love is sports, they could find a place to donate sporting goods or try to teach younger children their skills through a sports clinic.

 

Finally, make sure that you are giving them choice.  Though mandatory community service programs are not uncommon throughout different areas of the country, researched is mixed on whether or not they actually encourage children and teens to continue giving beyond what they are required to do.  Help them to see the different ways in their area that they could help out - donating time, money, goods or skills to various organizations.  If you give your child an allowance, you may want to have them set aside a certain amount for donating, but let them then choose how and where to donate those funds.


Of course, we want to make sure that we are nurturing these skills in our young people year round.  But hopefully, with these suggestions, you can use the end of the year holiday season as a jump start for a 2017 of building giving and generosity with your children. So next summer be sur eto have your child join us at this amazing Wisconsin Summer Camp

Gratittude at Summer CampGratitude often naturally happens and develops at camp. For many children camp provides a place to move from ME to WE. This is a normal part of child development. Yet, it is camp that nurtures and pushes children further along this path. Some of this is because we live with others from different places and cultures. Sometimes friction is the result and this friction requires us to refocus on the good stuff. It can be the staff that grab a cabin and take them to the lake front to watch a setting sun and the brilliant colors. Or it maybe our daily Gratitude Journal, where we ask campers to write the good of the day, helping them focus on the good times and thier personal success.

 

Back at home families can continue to help their children be grateful. Here are a few helpful hints:

1- Stay Positive. Ones attitude directs what we will see. Help your child see the good, the positive. At camp we often ask a camper to say 3 good things about a person or situation that might be causing strife at the time. Keep your mindset positive by focusing on things you enjoy, not how tough things are going to be.

2- Journal. At SNC campers do a gratitude journal. Not only does it highlight the good of the day, but on those days when things are a little off, go back and take a read to chear yourself up.

3- Find Joy in a Ritual.  Daily have a ritual you know brings joy. A song in the morning, a cup of tea, bath, a walk with the dog, a phone  call to a friend. Have your child find their one thing that brings joy and schedule it into their day.

4- Servitude.It doesn’t have to be huge, and at SNC daily we set a tone for helping others, from holding the door or grabbing a broom to help. Yet, our favorite is "HOW CAN I HELP?",

5- Smile & Greet Everyone. Your inner grouch leaves when you smile and feel noticed. Swift Nature Camp believes in a community built on Kindness. So it only makes sence that you smile and say HI to everyone while walking on the path.

6- Show appreciation. Rolemodel to your kids appreciation for everything. This will help them see the good things in life plus it tells them what you want to see from them. Not to mention you will be happier because your mission is to raise up those doing good things...even if you expect them.

 

At camp one of the greatest natural benefits from your child being away from you for 3 or 6 weeks is the Gratitude towards you the family as they are reunited at the end of camp.

Speaking of gratitude, for us, Lonnie and Jeff, here at SNC we are grateful for you and your family. We appreciate your trust and support of camp that we so strongly believe in. It is a wonderful feeling to see your child every summer, to watch them grow, and to be a part of your family.

 

So what are you thankful for right now ? The above tools are intentional things we do to make our overnight summer camp so special. They are things you can bring home,  put your mind to it. Have a wonderful Holiday Season. Make it your best ever!

For years we have seen obesity increase in America. This is especially true with kids. Society has had many scape goats for this. But the truth is, that what we eat and our activity are the two easiest ways to affect obesity in our kids. Schools, feeling partially responsible have taken this issue on and have seen progress at reducing obesity. The latest information shows that schools are reasonably effective, and that most children gain weight during the summer months.  Yes, thats right, kids put on weight during the summer. When I was a kid, summers were a time of running, swimming, loads of physical activity, sadly, that is not the case any more.

Paul T von Hippel, PhD, associate professor of public affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, in Austin says "look beyond the school year, we need to  think about trying to change children's behavior when they are not in school," he urged. "We need to educate parents about nutrition, reduce child screen time, and regulate food marketing and advertising aimed at children".

Armed with this information, it is important that we analyze what our children are doing during the non school time, and how we can have a positive impact on reducing obesity. For many of us, working parents, it is difficult to make the time to keep our children off the screen and outside moving around. Paul Hippel said "My own experience with childhood obesity ended when I went to camp at age 8. Sending more children to summer camps or learning programs, for example, could potentially help lower rates of childhood obesity,"

As camp directors, we see this every summer, kids loose weight. How? It's simple. First, our cook, Michelle, makes meals that are home cooked, starting with raw ingredients and creating child friendly foods they will like. Next, at the table Counselors serve children, so they ensure that campers get a healthy mix of veggies along with their chicken for instance. A never ending salad bar is always available. As we all know, snacks are often the culprit. We only have apples as snacks and the campers love them. 2nd and probably most important is we have no screens at camp. Children's brains want to be engaged, so without a screen they have to get up and run, swim, play & socialize. Camp days are long - from 7:30 a.m.- 9 p.m. kids are busy all day longand this takes energy. Campers are not alone in this, everyone at camp looses weight during camp. For some it's a few pounds, for myself it's a healthy 10 lbs or so. So camp is part of my healthy lifestyle, maybe it could be part of your child's too.

Read more about summer obesity 


girlLice are those pesky little creature that thrive in places where people are in close contact. This could be schools, churches and summer camps. Recently, these pesky little creatures seem to be more determined than ever to ruin a childs fun. Although it's kinda gross to think about lice living on your head, they are not dangerous and fairly easy to get rid. In communal settings like camp, where people live close to each other, it's important that Lice checks are in place. At Swift Nature Camp our nurse inspects each camper on the first day of camp. This is usally successful at stoping an outbreak because when we do find lice we start a treatment program of killing the lice with shampoo and then combing out any Eggs or Nits that might be left. Then a bout a week later we reshampoo and comb. At camp we do this in privacy with out letting the other campers know that lice have been detected. We know of many other camps that have had huge infestations where nearly all camp was effected. Our policy has kept lice outbreaks to a handfull of campers each year. Below is a recent report outlining the limited summer camps lice policy.

 

SAN FRANCISCO — Despite AAP recommendations for head lice management, 30% of summer camps were either unaware of guidelines or had no formal lice policy, according to survey results presented at the 2016 AAP National Conference and Exhibition.“Head lice often becomes a problem when people are concentrated together in one place, so naturally we think about children in the classroom, yet even more so at summer camps; whenever people are head-to-head, that is when there is the greatest risk of exposure,” Ashley DeHudy, MD, MPH, from the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital told Infectious Diseases in Children. “Considering the AAP’s current lice management recommendations for the school setting, I was interested in examining lice infestations in the camp setting to determine how the recommendations were being translated.”

To evaluate current summer camp policies regarding head lice management, DeHudy and colleagues partnered with a national Web-based health records system to send summer camp leadership (n=500) an online survey on lice policy, management and training. The researchers received a total of 255 responses, predominantly from camp directors (36%) and camp nurses (36%). 

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Survey results demonstrated that while 30% of summer camps lacked formal head lice policies, another 34% of camps instead adhered to a “No-Nit” policy – excluding campers with the presence of nits only – despite AAP statements that these policies are ineffective. 

“We know that the AAP does not support ‘No-Nit’ policies in the school setting, because the presence of nits does not equal active infestation,” DeHudy said in an interview. “Similarly, summer camps should not exclude children based simply on the presence of nits.”

Among surveyed camp leadership, only 20% noted that a camper would be allowed to remain at camp and receive treatment if nits and live lice were found; 58% of survey responses reported that their camps would provide lice treatment, however only 40% of those said that their facility would repeat a second application, if needed, 7 days afterward. Furthermore, most surveyed summer camp personnel (63%) responded that manual removal of nits following treatment was required to prevent head lice infestation.

“In some instances, camp policies for managing head lice varied greatly from either American Camp Association recommendations or from the AAP’s recommendations for the school setting,” DeHudy said. “Also, when camp leadership was surveyed about their ability to detect lice infestations, only 50% felt confident their staff would be able to detect the lice, while 30% believed their staff would be confident in actually treating the lice infestation.”

According to the survey, 35% of camp leadership noted that they had little formal head lice education, yet most those responders said that they would favor hands-on or Web-based training in recognizing or treating lice. 

“It is important for pediatricians to reinforce to parents that they should familiarize themselves with whether their child’s summer camp has a head lice policy, and if so, what it is, because otherwise children might be coming home from camp a little earlier than expected,” DeHudy said.– by Bob Stott

Reference:
DeHudy A, et al. Abstract # 318305. Presented at: AAP National Conference and Exhibition; Oct. 22-25, 2016; San Francisco, California.

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Winter

25 Baybrook Ln.

Oak Brook, IL 60523

Phone: 630-654-8036

swiftcamp@aol.com

Camp

W7471 Ernie Swift Rd.

Minong, WI 54859

Phone: 715-466-5666

swiftcamp@aol.com

 
 
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