If you’re a camp counselor, you know how rewarding the experience can be – mentoring young campers while contributing to an amazing camp experience for them. Thanks to your leadership, those campers will create memories that can last a lifetime. But you also know that trying to manage a large group of young children can also have its drawbacks. In fact, some days you may feel as if you’re herding cats!
Although this can be a daunting task, follow the summer Camp Counselor Safety Tips below to keep your young charges safe – while allowing everyone to have fun at the same time:
Whether your camp requires it or not, get yourself certified by taking lifesaving courses offered by the Red Cross. This organization offers classes and certification in anything from First Aid and CPR to AEDs and Lifeguarding. With these certifications, you will enjoy added confidence and peace of mind, knowing that you will be able to help any camper in medical distress.
Visit https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr for additional information and classes near you!
Follow the rules
Just as you want your campers to follow your rules, be sure to follow the rules yourself at the campground, during field trips, etc. For instance, if you’re taking a walk in the woods and see a “no trespassing” sign, don’t ignore it. You don’t know the circumstances. Maybe the property owner hunts. Or maybe he or she keeps guard dogs on the premises. Unless you have the express consent of the property owner, you could be putting yourself and your campers in harm’s way.
Likewise, campgrounds will have rules regarding water use, starting and putting out campfires, etc. Or, imagine taking a day trip to a local amusement park. Be sure everyone follows the ride requirements to prevent any tragic mishaps. Observing height requirements, shoe wear directions, buckling seat belts, and securing long hair in a ponytail are just a few ways to enjoy the amusements safely. Simply put, following the rules will ensure the camp safety of everyone in your group.
In the best-cas scenario, your camp will require that at least two counselors supervise the children at all times. This format allows one person to summon help in an emergency, search for a missing camper, etc. while the other counselor remains with the rest of the group. However, if your camp requires you to supervise solo, do your best to stay close to other groups of campers should an emergency arise.
Have you ever taken a trip with someone who always had important “extra” items on hand – a snack, tissue, Band-Aid, water bottle, etc.? If so, you know how happy you were when you got a headache – and that prepared person had a Motrin. Or if the car broke down in the middle of nowhere – and that prepared person had snacks and water while you waited for roadside assistance.
As a counselor, you need to be that prepared person! Carry a first aid kit . . . keep some extra food and drinks on hand . . . and always carry your cell phone. Then, no matter what Mother Nature – or your campers – throws at you, you’ll be ready.
Remember the bug spray!
Ticks and mosquitoes are more than a nuisance. They can actually carry disease like Lyme or West Nile virus, resulting in medical consequences that extend well beyond the camp experience. Companies have responded to this important need, developing repellants in the form of candles, sprays, oils, and clip-on devices. Depending upon the age of the campers, you’ll want to read up on appropriate (and inappropriate) levels of DEET and other strong ingredients that can (or can’t) be used on a child.
Always be sure you have permission from parents and your camp program before applying repellent to a camper. Also, wash your hands well after each application and avoid getting these powerful chemicals into the mouth or eyes.
Carry Silent Beacon wherever you go
Perhaps the best way to ensure your personal safety – as well as that of your campers – is by carrying the Silent Beacon panic button with you at all times. The Silent Beacon is a Bluetooth-enabled device that easily pairs with the free app. It’s lightweight, too, so it won’t weigh you down. And you can easily clip it on a keychain or lanyard. Or, simply drop it into a pocket or fanny pack before you start your day.
In the event of an emergency, all you need to do is press the easy-to-touch button. This activates an alert that results in texts, phone calls, and emails being pushed out to all your contacts – including emergency personnel. Thanks to the GPS technology, first responders can easily pinpoint your location in real-time. Plus, the voice activation feature allows you to talk to your friends and family as you wait for help to arrive.
Best of all, the Silent Beacon is affordable at $99.99, with no additional fees or memberships needed to enjoy all the benefits it offers. Visit https://business.silentbeacon.com to learn more.
Have a Great Summer!
Whether this is your first year as a counselor, or if you’re an old pro, it’s always important to think about safety. By following these Camp Counselor Safety Tips, you are sure to have a terrific summer as a camp counselor. Not only that, but your campers will thank you for taking the proper precautions to keep them safe and sound at all times.