Summer camp is awesome, and it means being in the woods with lots of other people. That means there are some different strategies and habits we need than what most of us do during the rest of the year. Two of those big habits are around little creatures that love us, but we might not love as much. This post is all about ticks, lice, how to prepare for your camp experience, and some of what we do at camp to make sure these little creatures don't ruin a great time in the woods.
We get it, lice is gross! No one wants lice and we are going to do everything in our power to keep camp lice free this summer!
When campers arrive at camp our medical team will do a lice check as a part of the camper entry process. We know this is not the most fun… and can be kind of overwhelming for some campers so that is why we wanted to give you a heads up. (ha heads, get it!)
Our camp policy is that if your camper has lice they can not be at camp. They will need to go home, get treated and can come back to camp after 48 hours contingent on there being no more lice. We are doing this to avoid lice spreading at camp which can happen quickly and be really hard to control.
Please check your campers head for lice before getting in the car/plane/bus to come to camp. We don’t want to turn anyone away. Here is a video explaining how to check for lice at home.
Yikes, more teeny tiny gross bugs! We are aware of how scary it can be for a parent to send campers away to camp where there are ticks. Ticks are a real risk at summer camp, again we are going to do everything in our power to keep your kids safe from ticks this summer. First, here are some tick myths and facts
Myth: Ticks jump from trees!
Fact: Ticks like to hang out in shaded areas, under fallen leaves, and in tall grasses. We will take special precautions to check for ticks after hikes, not play in fallen leaves and mow our field regularly.
Myth: All ticks carry Lymes disease.
Fact: Only a small percentage transmit Lymes disease. First a tick bites an animal like a chipmunk, squirrel or deer and if that animal has Lymes then the tick carries the disease to the next host. You can test the ticks to see if they carry the disease. If we remove a tick from your camper we will notify you immediately and keep the tick with our medical team in case you would like to test the tick for lymes.
Myth: The best way to remove a tick is with fire or vaseline.
Fact: The safest way to remove a tick is to pinch with tweezers or a tick remover near where the insect is attached and then slowly pull and wait until the insect lets go. This will insure that you get the whole insect removed. (gross I know) At camp only our medical team will be removing ticks. They are trained and know how to do it safely. If a counselor finds a tick on a camper or a camper finds a tick on themselves they will be sent to our nurse or EMT to have it removed.
Things you can do to be prevent ticks this summer
- Pack long white socks
- Buy and pack a tick/bug repellant. We recommend anything with Permethrin in it. You can even spray campers clothes before camp!
- Teach your camper how to do a tick check, You Tube it! Here is one we like
As a camp staff we will encourage campers to check for ticks regularly! We will help look in camp appropriate places, and encourage campers to examine their bodies in the showers. Thank you for your trust and your patience with us. We care about your campers well being and safely.
Coming to Stomping Ground is hopefully an incredible experience and there will be a amazing amounts of fun, friends, and memories made. We will do everything possible to keep kids safe and coming to camp, like riding in a car or playing soccer, isn't without risk. At Stomping Ground, kids will probably get bumps, scrape their knees, and play in the dirt. We aim to create safe, but realistic experiences for kids. We will remind campers to check for ticks, teach them how, and help them understand what they are looking for. We take this very seriously.
I can't wait for his summer, swimming in the lake, exploring magical lands, making things, and yes, even tick checks have a special place in my heart reminding me of our home away from home. I can hardly wait to see you this summer.