Health & Safety Training


Preventing Health Problems

  • Accidents
    • Consider the individual camper’s need
    • Report any hazardous conditions
    • Know how to use the equipment campers will be using
    • Supervise all activities
    • Make sure ALL your campers have been on the safety walk
    • No medications are allowed in the cabins
  • Insect stings or bites- bees, wasps, horseflies, spiders
    • Nurse will notify counselor or their campers who are allergic to bites
    • Prevention- empty cabin garbage at least daily
    • If bit or stung accompany camper to the nurse to observe for serious reaction
    • Do not use insect spray in the cabins
    • Shoes must be worn when outdoors
    • Discourage rough horseplay, especially in cabins
    • No bunking of beds allowed
  • Contagious Diseases
    • Impetigo- open sores on the skin
    • Lice-you might notice little white specks on hair
    • Conjunctivitis- (Pink Eye)- eyes maybe swollen, itching, crusty
    • Scabies- itching and scratching, open skin areas from scratching
    • Colds- runny nose watery eyes, coughing, congestion, slight fever
    • Severe sore throat- strep throat- white patches, fever; tonsillitis- severe pain in throat
  • Prevention of contagious diseases

    • Know the signs and symptoms
    • Look for changes in camper’s behavior
    • Bring to the nurse any camper exhibiting any of the above mentioned symptoms
    • Do not let campers share personal items
    • Do not let campers sleep together
    • Encourage appropriate dress for the weather
    • Encourage frequent, proper hand washing
    • Encourage plenty of fluids
  • Lyme Disease – caused by bacteria which is spread by the deer tick
    • Lyme disease prevention
      • Encourage appropriate  clothing such as  pants and light long sleeve shirt for hiking or fishing activities
      • Spray shoes, socks, etc
      • Read “Tips to trip up ticks” to all campers
      • Perform a tick check when campers and staff return from walks in the woods
  • Signs and Symptoms
    • Circular expanding rash
    • Early symptoms may occur from a few days to 4 weeks after exposure
    • After rash-nervous system involvement
      • Meningitis
      • Facial palsy
  • Actions to take if you discover a tick bite
    • take the person to the infirmary
    • The nurse will remove the tick and follow procedures
  • Rabies-  avoid contact and close proximity to animals that normally do not appear in daytime.
  • Treatment for animal bites- go to the infirmary and notify nurse immediately
  • Measles- Report all rashes to nurse

AIDS- Use universal precautions

  • Wear latex gloves to prevent contact with mucous membranes, blood or other bodily fluids
  • Do not let children share toothbrushes, nail clippers, etc
  • Remember to be tactful and loving in every situation.

Preventing and treating heat related illness

  • Encourage children to drink plenty of fluids
  • Try to keep them out of the sunlight
  • On hot humid days less strenuous activities should be pursued.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Heat exhaustion-Dizziness, confusion, fatigue, excessive thirst
  • Heat cramps- muscular pain spasms
  • Heat Stroke- this is an emergency notify nurse immediately. breathing is difficult, burning sensation in the chest and legs


  1. Have designated vehicles available- See Director
  2. Emergency medical care agreement – posted near phone in the kitchen, office, and infirmary.
  3. Staff and campers are instructed to report all injuries and signs and symptoms of illness to the nurse


  1. Do not panic
  2. Begin first aid as necessary if trained
  3. Camp Director/Nurse will contact appropriate agencies
  • Hospital 
  • Notify parents
  • Keep campers and staff informed 
  • Health director will record the incident
  • If you are not involved with the emergency continue with the program
  • Ability to foresee danger-
    • Common Sense- aware that certain situations can be potentially dangerous
      • Faulty equipment
      • Open pool gate
      • Child not wearing shoes
      • A hole in the ground
      • Unusual relationship between a camper and staff member or a camper and camper.
  • Observation
    • Begins when you arrive-
      • Become familiar with physical aspect of the camp
      • Get to know and recognize other staff members
      • Safety Walk (hazardous areas will be pointed out)
      • When campers arrive-Spend time getting to know your campers
        • Observe the way they walk, talk, posture, level of energy, attention span, glasses, braces.  Will help detect spiritual or social needs of the camper
      • See the nurse to find out if your camper has any health problems or special needs.
  • Carry through on observations
    • Take care of the problem you’ve observed within your skill, training and responsibility.
    • Report- preferably in writing, any other problems to the person in charge of that area or to the Director.
    • Warn campers of dangerous behaviors, when necessary offer an alternative plan of activity. DO NOT  simply walk away.
  • All staff and specifically counselors bear the burden of supervising the campers 24 hours a day.
    • Adequate supervision- a camper is protected from any risk to his/her health or safety including physical or sexual abuse or a public health hazard.
    • Supervision involves- as a minimum- visual or verbal communication capabilities between camper and counselor.  Counselors assigned to watch cabins in the morning should be awake and visible. 

B1) CIT- a camper assigned to an on-duty  counselor or other staff member to assist.

  • At least one adult counselor must be present during sleeping hours
    • Campers should not be in cabins alone at any time if possible.
    • Leaving them alone endangers their safety and encourages fighting, stealing, and other discipline problems.
    • They should not be in areas or buildings designated as hazardous.
  • Accounting for the campers
    • Counselors must account for their campers at all times.
      • Have a roster of the campers under their care and know where they are supposed to be when not under your direct responsibility.
    • Formal accounting of all campers 3x a day
      • Line up with counselor before each meal
      • Chapel service formal count- No one skips chapel
      • Before lights out- director or program director goes to each cabin.
  1. Specialty counselors and staff teaching classes or special activities must have a roster of their campers and report any missing children immediately- Program Director.
  2. Helpful to regroup and meet in the cabin after activities in which the campers have been separated.
  3. Assigning buddies is also helpful.
    • Any missing children must be reported to the director immediately.
    • Lost camper plan might need to be implemented.  Be familiar with the lost camper/swimmer plan
    • Bell ringing repeatedly- everyone report to the blacktop


  • What is Child Abuse?
    • Any treatment of a child that threatens his safety or leaves in his life physical or emotional scars.
  • Three Forms of Child Abuse
    • Physical
    • Emotional
    • Sexual
  • Each staff member is responsible to ensure safety
  • Absolutely no verbal abuse
    • Be careful with your words
      • No degrading remarks
      • No belittling words
      • No discriminatory words or remarks
  • Discipline
    • No physical punishment-
    • No involuntary isolation in cabin or any other place
    • No restraining unless it is with supervision
    • Report discipline problems you can’t handle to the director
  • Eating Patterns
    • Do not retrain
    • Do not force eating 
    • Notify nurse in case of a serious condition
  • Sexual Abuse
    • No sexual harassment or comments
      • Careful with words
      • No excessive hugging or kissing
      • Avoid being totally alone with one camper.
      • Give camper privacy w/o compromising supervision
      • Avoid unnecessary remarks about child’s sexuality
      • Do not share your social media with campers