The Camp DeSoto Health Center is staffed by a doctor and two nurses throughout the summer to manage camper medicines and care for the Camp community.
The goal of the Health Center is to keep campers healthy and make sure they get their regular medications each day. In the event of any health concerns – from itchy bug bites and stomach aches to bee stings and twisted ankles – the medical staff at Camp are here to treats campers’ needs and get them back into the program as soon as possible so they don’t miss too much of the fun.
Each camper is required to submit a Health History Form (completed by a parent) and a Physician’s Examination form (completed by her family doctor within 6 months of her Camp Term.) These forms are required by the American Camp Association and allow the Camp medical staff to better understand and attend to the specific needs of campers and staff.
The Health Forms also allow the Camp Directors to deal more effectively with your daughter if she is having difficulty settling into Camp. This information is treated confidentially, and full disclosure is appreciated.
If your daughter will be taking any medications, prescription or nonprescription (including vitamins), while she is at Camp, make sure you list all of these on her Health History form. All medicines are stored in and dispensed from the Camp Health Center, and you will have the opportunity to drop these medications off with the Medical Staff on Opening Day. Medications should be in the original packaging, clearly labeled with the camper’s name. Please also include your own notes about dosage (how much, what time of day).
The Health Center stocks many basic over-the-counter items such as Tylenol, Benadryl, Mylanta, etc. to be dispensed as needed. You do not need to bring these items to Camp.
As we tell campers often at Camp, “hydration equals happiness!” We encourage girls to drink plenty of water each day, and we keep an eye on the temperature. On warm days or during events when girls will be standing in the sun, we make sure to provide plenty of water (or sometimes Gatorade) to encourage them to stay hydrated. Make sure your camper has a water bottle clearly labeled with her name on it so she can keep it close on hot summer days!
We also stress the importance of frequent hand-washing at camp. In a community of three hundred, with plenty of high-fives, fist bumps, holding hands, and arms slung around shoulders, germs can travel fast. We provide hand sanitizer in many places around Camp and before each meal, and encourage girls to wash their hands as often as they think about it. These measures work wonders to keep campers at their best throughout the term.
Overnight Stays in the Health Center
If a camper has a fever or any contagious illness, she may have to stay in the Health Center overnight. The nurses live in the Health Center, and will take great care of her. Her counselor(s) may visit and bring some of her things from her cabin, as well as notes from her cabin mates. Visits from other campers are not permitted, in order to prevent the spread of illnesses around Camp. As soon as she is back in good health, she’ll be sent back to her cabin to resume her normal Camp schedule.
The Camp Doctor and Nurses are equipped to deal with most camper aches, pains, and accidents. If a camper’s Medical needs are beyond what our Health Center can provide, we will take her to a medical center in Fort Payne, Alabama, or to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, depending on her specific needs and the recommendation of the Camp medical staff.
We will be sure to contact a parent or guardian in the event of a necessary visit to a medical provider outside of Camp or a medical emergency.
We will also notify you of a camper’s stay in the health center if it lasts more than 24 hours. If you get a letter from your daughter telling you that she had an overnight stay in the Health Center or some other medical concern, feel free to check in by calling the Camp Office or sending Sarah an email.
If your child is prescribed medication by the Camp doctor, the cost of the prescription will be charged to your daughter’s camp account. Your medical insurance will be billed if your daughter needs to go to the hospital or see a physician other than the Camp Doctor. Please include all insurance information in your camper’s Health History form.
In a large community of girls who live in cabins with one another, we stay vigilant about preventing an outbreak of head lice. To begin with, please be sure your daughter does not come to Camp with head lice. A health check will be provided for each camper upon arrival, and you must remain at Camp until your daughter has been checked and cleared.
If your daughter has head lice or nits on Opening Day, we will take her to the Lice Place in Birmingham, Alabama for treatment. The cost of this service will be billed to your account.
The only way to control the spread of head lice is to prevent it from the start. We appreciate your assistance with this.