Health & Safety

Health & Safety

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, which includes 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.

The Health Center

The Health Center is staffed by trained medical personnel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including coverage by a physician and/or a nurse, who look after the daily medical needs of our active camp community. Along with scheduled infirmary calls for routine matters, Health Center staff are always available to attend to campers.

If the camper needs more care than the Health Center can provide, he will be taken to 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.

Immunizations

The NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) requires ALL campers to be fully vaccinated and to provide written proof of vaccination. Full immunization promotes “herd immunity” and creates a “safety net” against the spread of communicable diseases that endanger those who cannot receive vaccinations due to a health status.

Camp Pemi expects all campers to be up-to-date on vaccinations. Should that not be the case with your son(s), 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. Of special note:

Measles Vaccination: 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:

Tetanus 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.

Medications & CampMeds

All U.S. campers (not international) who take pills or chewable medications or supplements of any sort on a daily or regular basis MUST 1) enroll with CampMeds, a service that dispenses medication and/or supplements in pre-packaged doses and ships directly to Camp, and 2) provide CampMeds a prescription and/or instructions 30 days prior to their start date at Pemi.

  • The key for CampMeds enrollment is “in pill/chewable form” and “on a daily or regular basis.” This includes non-prescription pills and supplements, such as over-the-counter allergy medication, chewable supplements, or fish oil, again, taken on a daily or regular basis.
  • If your son does not take medication or supplements regularly in pill or chewable form, you do not need to register with CampMeds.
  • 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 webpage for detailed instructions.
  • Note: Our Health Center stocks over-the-counter medication that provide relief/comfort for the occasional need (such as Tums, Tylenol, Benadryl, and Nyquil) should your son need them!

No medication or supplements are kept in cabins, except epi-pens and inhalers (with permission).

Medications are dispensed at set mealtimes by our Health Center staff, who log each administration into an electronic medication administration record. Only if it is 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 meal times, please 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.

About CampMeds:

  • CampMeds dispenses medication in pre-packaged doses, and ships directly to Camp Pemigewassett. CampMeds is not a part of Pemi, but is a company that provides this service to our families and staff. CampMeds is an American Camp Association business affiliate and provides service to over 100 camps throughout the US.
  • To enroll in the CampMeds service, go to the CampMeds web site or call 954-577-0025. There is a fee for the CampMeds service. CampMeds will impose a late charge if deadlines are missed.
  • All pills left over at the end of camp will come home with the camper.
  • Click here for complete details on CampMeds fees, insurance, and other FAQs [PDF]

We want to be clear that we expect 100% participation in CampMeds for U.S. campers who will need medication or supplements in pill or chewable form on a daily or regular basis while at camp. The only exception to this procedure is if CampMeds notifies us that they are unable to accept your insurance.

IMPORTANT: Completing the “Medications” Section of the Health History Form

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.

PLEASE NOTE: 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 on the Forms webpage for the Health History form to ensure that you have provided the proper information for each medication. ALSO NOTE: 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.

Emergency/Rescue Medication for Asthma or Food Allergies

Campers that require emergency/rescue medication for asthma or food allergies should have their physician complete an action plan for health care staff and counselors to follow.

Camp 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].

Communication with Parents/Guardians

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. Of course, Health Center staff are available at all times to discuss any questions or concerns with parents. The Health Center can be reached via email at [email protected] or via telephone.

If you will be difficult to reach at times during the camp season, or plan to travel, please make sure that we have your itinerary and contact information in addition to the emergency contact names and numbers that you will provide on your son’s health forms.

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. Read all about Pemi’s delicious meals and family-style dining here!

Ticks and 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 with any needs or 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.

Water Safety

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.

Staff Training

Pemi staff gathers pre-season for 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/Transportation

Drivers of camp vehicles are age 21 or older and are trained and authorized by camp directors.