We’ve all been there, one person gets sick at camp. And before you know it, the whole cabin/ section/ camp has come down with the sniffles… Dun dun Dunnnn! The key is to prevent people from getting sick in the first place. And it’s OUR job as leaders to set an example – our staff and their campers are going to follow our lead, make sure it’s worth following.
Here are 5 easy ways to keep yourself healthy while you’re at summer camp.
1. Wash your hands, man.
Let’s be real, campers are awesome, hilarious, wonderful and fun. They ARE camp. But those tiny dudes are also full on germ factories.
You’d think that washing your hands would be a given, but it’s not. You should be washing your hands so much that you’re complaining about them getting dry
Bonus tip: I also recommend using moisturizer, and/ or moisturizing hand soap
I know, these are pretty basic tips. But the average Joe has no idea how little sleep a camp counsellor or camp director gets (Unless it’s Joe from the button factory, he has a long time relationship with camp. *If you didn’t get that joke I apologize. It’s a camp song. That’s why it’s funny… or at least supposed to be…)
Annnyway, always choose sleep. If you have the choice between a shower and sleep, choose sleep. You’re probably going to jump in the lake first thing in the morning anyway, you’re fine!
Sleep is how your body heals, it’s how you process information and learn new things, it gives you energy for the day and makes you look oh so pretty. Keep that immune system up and go steady with the Sand Man every night.
3. Eat green things sometimes.
Or red things, purple things, orange things… but green is the best. And no, I’m not talking about skittles – they don’t count. Camp food is “kid friendly” and unfortunately that sometimes translates into junk food. Chicken nuggets and fries anyone? Lead by example and eat some of that crunchy goodness, encourage your staff and campers to do the same.
Pssst… typically the camp director has quite a bit of say about the camp menu, work with your food service staff to create healthy kid friendly foods (sneak those veggies in if you have to!) and have a salad available with every meal!
Bonus tip: I like to make green juice in mason jars and green smoothies for times when I’ve missed a meal or just need an extra boost of energy. They’re delicious and your bright green drink will get campers asking a million questions about it.
4. Chug, chug, chug, chug. Water, of course!
What do you think this is, a frat house?
Drink lots of water, and despite the header of this quick tip, feel free to take sips.
Water will not only keep you from getting really sick from dehydration, but it will help you poop regularly too. Pooping is good. In fact, it’s great! If you don’t do it often enough, or if you do it too much it will make you uncomfortable, make it hard to do your job, and generally just ruin your day.
Bonus tip: If you’re thirsty, chances are the campers are thirsty too. Even more so if they’re outside playing and you’re slaving away in the camp office. So every time you feel like you could use a drink, pop in to check on your team to make sure they’re staying hydrated. Remind your staff to do the same and you’ll have lots of happy, hydrated, pooping campers.
5. Dress for the weather
If it’s raining, wear rain gear. If it’s cold, put on a sweater. If it’s sunny, wear sunscreen. Taking these small steps will help prevent a lot of discomfort in the form of blisters, sunburns, and other avoidable things. Remind your staff of this and live by example. It’s really hard to “gently remind” your counsellors that they should have reapplied sunscreen on their campers and themselves by now if you’re walking around looking like you should be dipped in butter and eaten with a bib.
There you have it. 5 easy ways to keep you and your team healthy at camp.
Do you have a tip that should be on this list? Tell me about it in the comment section below.
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