The health, safety, and well-being of campers and staff is Camp Pemigewassett’s foremost priority. As an accredited member of the American Camp Association, Pemi undergoes rigorous assessment every three years and consistently meets—and in most cases exceeds—all ACA standards for every aspect of camp administration, including criminal and sex offender background checks on all employees. The camp is inspected and licensed by the state of New Hampshire for compliance with strict health and safety standards.
Pemi’s Health Center and Local Medical Facilities
Our Health Center is staffed by trained medical personnel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including coverage by a physician and/or an RN, who look after the daily medical needs of our active camp community. Our Health Center stocks over-the-counter medications that provide relief/comfort for the occasional need (such as Tums, Tylenol, Benadryl, and Nyquil) should your son need them. The Health Center can be reached during the summer via email at [email protected] or via telephone.
For an injury or an illness that requires a visit to the local pediatrician, we use Upper Valley Pediatrics in Bradford, VT. Emergencies and severe illnesses are cared for at either Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth (20 minutes away) or at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover/Lebanon (40 minutes away). Parents/guardians are responsible for expenses not covered by their insurance, and agree to promptly pay the treating physician, clinic, or hospital directly.
Communication in the event of illness or injury
Parents will be notified by email if their camper has slept overnight in the Health Center. We will call you if he sustains an injury or comes down with an illness which requires a visit to the local pediatrician or hospital.
Specific Health Information
Medications & CampMeds
Providing thorough, accurate, and up-to-date medical information on your child’s Health History form is essential for your child to receive the best medical care possible while at camp and in the event that he requires medical care at the local doctor’s office or hospital.
All medications that your child will take at camp must be identified in the “Medications” section of the Health History form, including those supplied by CampMeds and/or any others such as liquids, inhalers, nasal sprays, a medication patch, or rescue medication such as an epi-pen. Please follow the detailed instructions in the Forms section for the Health History form to ensure that you have provided the proper information for each medication. We stock over-the-counter medications that provide relief/comfort for the occasional need (such as Tums, Tylenol, Benadryl, and Nyquil), and there is no need to enter these into your son’s Health History medication list.
All U.S. campers (not international) who take pills or chewable medications or supplements of any sort on a daily or regular basis MUST enroll with CampMeds, an American Camp Association business affiliate that serves campers and staff at over 100 camps throughout the US by dispensing medications in pre-packaged packets for our medical staff to administer as directed. This is a requirement and includes non-prescription pills and supplements, such as over-the-counter allergy medication, vitamins, chewable supplements, or fish oil capsules taken on a daily or regular basis. The only exception to this is if CampMeds notifies us that they are unable to accept your insurance.
Please do not bring medications from home unless this has been cleared by a director. No medication or supplements are kept in cabins, except epi-pens and inhalers (with permission).
Provide CampMeds with a prescription and/or instructions 30 days prior to the camper’s start date at Pemi. All pills left over at the end of camp will come home with the camper.
If your son takes medication in other forms—liquid, inhaler, nasal spray, a medication patch, or rescue medication such as an epi-pen—you do not need to enroll in CampMeds, but you must still fully complete the “Medications” section of the Health History form. Please see the Health History section of the Forms page for detailed instructions. These will be kept in the Health Center (unless permission-to-carry has been given by your doctor) and dispensed according to instructions.
If your son does not take medication or supplements regularly in pill or chewable form, you do not need to register with CampMeds.
Medications are dispensed at mealtimes by our Health Center staff, who log each administration into an electronic medication administration record. Only if medically necessary, and if a specific time is written on the prescription, will meds be dispensed at a different time of day. If a medication must be given outside of mealtimes, indicate the exact time and reason why in your instructions to CampMeds and in the Health History form. A member of the health staff will reach out to you to discuss your child’s needs.
The NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) requires ALL campers to be fully vaccinated and to provide written proof of vaccination. Pemi expects all campers to be up to date on vaccinations to protect those who cannot receive vaccinations due to a health status as well as the babies and toddlers of our staff, not old enough to receive their vaccinations. Should your son(s) not be up to date on vaccinations, contact Director Danny Kerr. When you or your doctor’s office submits your child’s Physician Exam form, please include your child’s most recent immunization record.
Your child should have TWO (2) doses of the measles vaccines, typically given as the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR). Alternatively, laboratory testing (titers) proving immunity will fulfill documentation. See the following links for more information on measles and the necessary vaccination:
Your child’s tetanus should be up to date before camp starts. Children between the ages of 7 years and 11 years old should have at least 3 tetanus vaccinations, usually given as DTaP, with the last vaccination at age 4-5 years of age. At age 11 years, typically a child will receive a Tdap vaccination.
Emergency/Rescue Medication for Asthma or Food Allergies
Campers who require emergency/rescue medication for asthma or food allergies should have their physician complete an action plan for our health care staff and counselors.
Pemi has epi-pens available in multiple locations throughout camp and in our vans. Emergency medication and action plans will accompany campers when they leave camp for sports competitions, hikes, and camping trips.
Click here for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) blank Asthma Action Plan [PDF].
Click here for the AAP blank Anaphylaxis plan [PDF].
Meals & Nutrition
If weight loss or poor dietary habits is a concern for your child or your child takes a medication that may suppress his appetite during the day, please speak with a medical staff member about policies or procedures to monitor weight loss at camp. While our meals are bountiful, well balanced, and nutritious, children are typically much more active at camp and it is normal to lose a few pounds in the summer.
Ticks & Head Lice
We will send an email regarding our training, policies, and procedures specific to ticks and head lice before camp begins. Please talk with your son before camp starts about:
How to be “head lice smart”
- Do not share personal items such as hairbrushes, combs, towels, and hats.
- Speak up about any concerns while at Pemi, including if sensing a tingly or itchy scalp.
- NOTE: We will ask that you do a thorough head check for lice on your son 1 week before camp starts and again the day before he arrives at camp.
How to be “tick smart”
- Use caution in tick-likely areas by wearing long pants and tucking them into socks, and using bug repellant.
- If a tick has attached to bare skin, go to an adult to have it removed properly. Never try to pull off or squeeze an attached tick with fingers.
- Consider sending your camper with a bug repellant that contains DEET. Keep in mind that up to 30% DEET is recommended for children.
- Campers should practice checking their privates (“where bathing suits go”) and will be encouraged to do so routinely at camp in a private setting.
Swimming is allowed only at certain specified times in designated swimming areas and is always closely supervised, with trained counselors on duty. Pemi uses the Red Cross “buddy” system, and certified lifeguards supervise all swimming activity.
Pemi staff gathers pre-season for a week of comprehensive training. In addition to instruction from professional educators in lesson planning and teaching skills, all staff members discuss and practice conflict management skills, learn about characteristics and needs of camp-age boys, and are certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR. Pemi’s philosophy is for all members of the community to be inclusive, respectful, and nurturing.
Drivers of camp vehicles are age 21 or older and are trained and authorized by camp directors.