Get Ready For Camp: Health & Wellbeing Reminders

Welcome back to another Get Ready For Camp series post! We are less than one week out from the start of 1st session, and we want to remind you about everything health-related at camp, including:

  • Covid testing & policies

  • Motion sickness/preparing for the drive up to camp

  • Glasses

  • Lice

  • Treating illness at camp

  • Medications

  • Mental health

  • Food & mealtimes

If you have questions about anything, always feel free to reach out to us! Thank you for your help ensuring a safe and healthy summer! Covid Safety info can be found in our previous post here: https://www.campgilboa.org/post/getting-ready-for-camp-covid-safety-policies


Update to Covid testing policy:

  • We are now requiring 2 rapid tests ahead of camp.

  • Test 1: Please test the day before camp. Upload a picture of this test result to your camp account.

  • Test 2: Bring a second rapid test to the bus drop off! Campers will be asked to test at the bus drop off, so plan to arrive at 8am. Buses depart at 9am and you'll need time to check in, take Covid tests, and load the bus.

  • If you are flying or driving to camp, please take your rapid test at home and upload it to your camp account.

  • Only campers who have had Covid in the last 30 days are exempt from testing. If a camper had Covid more than 30 days ago (ie. in May or earlier) they still need to test!

Motion Sickness & Preparing for the Drive If your child is prone to car sickness, please make sure to equip them with vomit bags (we'll have them on the bus as well), and with the treatment you know is helpful to them (i.e. dramamine, lemon, ginger, etc.). If they are using dramamine, the best time to give it is right before they get on the bus or on the plane, as the medication will take full effect as the bus starts climbing the windy road up the mountain. Glasses If your child wears glasses or contacts, it is important that you send an extra pair to camp. It is difficult to enjoy camp if there is a long delay in replacing broken glasses or lost contacts. Lice We ask that you thoroughly check your child's hair in the days before camp starts, and make sure to treat (and notify us) if you find lice. Lice check is part of the first day procedure at camp, and if we find lice on a camper, we will treat it and do routine follow-up treatments to prevent spread.

Illness at Camp During camp our 24 hr/day mirpa'a (infirmary) is staffed by multiple health professionals. Terry Duncan, EMT-P, will be with us all summer and she will be joined by nurses and physicians throughout the summer. If your child isn't feeling well, the medical personnel will determine whether they can be treated at camp or need to be seen at urgent care or the ER in Big Bear.


If your child isn't feeling well and needs to spend the night in the mirpa'a, we will let you know.


We will be testing campers using rapid antigen tests who show symptoms associated with Covid-19.


Medications

Thank you to everyone who has registered with our new medications system and been patient with this new process.


As a reminder, all medications that you are sending your child to camp with (including OTC & vitamins) MUST go through our medications provider - My Kids Camp Meds by Perris Hills Pharmacy. Families are not permitted to send children to camp with any medications, unless you have been approved for an exemption.


The only exceptions are inhalers, epipens, hormone injections, and liquid medication that must be refrigerated. If you have any questions about additional exceptions, please contact Elana. Please indicate on your health history form if your child will be taking medication while at camp on a regular basis. This includes OTC meds, vitamins, and melatonin. All prescribed medications must be listed on your health history form. This form is required for all new campers and any returning campers who have had a change in their health or are taking new medication.

Camp Gilboa may administer over-the-counter medicine to your child if needed, according to your instructions on the health information form. The full list of medications we can provide at Gilboa is listed HERE.


Mental Health

We understand that health surpasses the physical component and building mental health awareness is a crucial factor in Gilboa's camper care. Staff training is in full swing, and we cover a variety of topics related to mental and emotional wellbeing, including:

  • Components of Youth Mental Health First Aid

  • Creating positive group dynamics

  • Mindfulness, understanding dysregulation, and tools for helping campers self-regulate

  • Creating familiarity and routines to reduce stress & homesickness

  • Reviewing camper forms and notes from pre-summer calls with families to prepare them for each camper's individual needs

  • Communicating about issues, mediating conflict, and asking for help from the Camper Care Team

Supporting the counselors, we have a Camper Care Team (CCT), led by Sarah Breiner, our mental health professional, and Isaiah Beenhouwer, our melaveh (Director of Camper Wellbeing). The job of the CCT is to ensure adequate care and attention is given to each camper's unique set of needs and support the tzrif (cabin) counselors in caring for each camper.


We check in with each new family about their needs before the summer begins. If you are a returning family with new health or mental health circumstances for you child, and would like to talk with someone from the CCT, please reach out!


As a reminder, if you are concerned about homesickness, please read over this blog post and send homesickness plans to us!


Food & Mealtimes

Being at Gilboa requires a lot of physical energy, so we're sure to have ample opportunities for refueling. At camp we have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at regular times each day in addition to 3 snacks throughout the day to ensure campers have all of the energy needed to thrive at camp! Food is always kid-friendly, there is always a salad bar so that campers can build their own salad to add to any meal, and there are always vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Here’s what one day’s menu at camp looks like this summer:

  • Breakfast: hash browns, scrambled eggs, grapefruit (with the options of yogurt, cottage cheese, bread, cereal and fruit available at every breakfast.)

  • Morning Snack: Granola bar

  • Lunch: chicken nuggets/vegan nuggets, potatoes, salad bar

  • Afternoon Snack: Pretzels and carrot sticks

  • Dinner: Tofu veggie stir fry, vegetarian spring rolls and rice, plus salad bar

  • Bedtime Snack: apple sauce and a cookie

If your child is a picky eater (and many kids are), there are always multiple options to replace or supplement the meal, and counselors and kitchen staff will assist them in choosing, and prepare their meal. Options include pasta, rice, almond or other non-peanut butter & J sandwich, cereal, eggs, and more. If you’re worried that your child is especially picky, let us know. We will work with you to make sure that we are aware of their needs and that our pantry is stocked with the food they will eat.


Gilboa's kosher practices include:

  • Only serving kosher meat

  • Separate meat/dairy meals

  • Separate sets of dishes for dairy and meat meals

Our kitchen staff is certified and trained to handle food sensitivities and special diets, and we work with parents to make sure that special diets menus are varied and contain the dishes and food items that the camper is used to from home. We have experience with and accommodate gluten free diets, peanut and other nut-allergy diets, and more.