That Was Then, This Is Now

• Mail, packages, trunks and duffel bag preparation, water treatment, camp supplies, sanitation practices, and the health center’s inventory for treatment are among specific areas of concern to campers, parents and staff.

• Use of cell phones, telephones, video presentations and other types of technology must be reviewed as they can directly affect the camp community.

• Camp inspection criteria by the ACA, local, state and even federal authorities who will legislate new standards of compliance

• Visiting by parents, taking their campers out of camp, promotional visits, trips and travel opportunities by bus must be reviewed

• Ecological factors and sources of pollution must be considered.

• Before coming to camp a professional review of staff and other employees’ history by an official background check must be enforced.

• Staff relating “stories” to campers about 9/11 may be quite inappropriate under the present set of circumstances in our society.

Because of residual vulnerability and sensitivity to the tragedy of 9/11 and subsequent events of terrorism and bio-terrorism, campers and staff may have been referred for treatment because of PTSD, depression or other related anxiety disorders diagnosed before camp.

Mental health issues can be brought to camp that can certainly effect the community. Parent’s communication of these problems to the camp director is essential.

In some cases, referral for confidential treatment of the camper, in conjunction with permission and support of the parents, can be made in order to physically and emotionally enhance their campers’ summer experience.

References:

DeWolfe, D. (2001). Mental Health Response to Mass Violence and Terrorism: A Training Manual for Mental Health Workers and Human Service Workers.

Monaham, C. (1993). Children and Trauma: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Children Heal. Lexington Books, New York, NY.

Pynoos, R & Nader, K. (1993). Issues in the treatment of posttraumatic stress in children and adolescents. In J.P. Wilson and B. Rapheal (Eds.), International Handbook of Traumatic Stress Syndromes (pp. 535-549). New York: Plenum.

Charles B. Rotman is Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., is the author of “Camp is Business, Customer Satisfaction” and “Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) in Camp Management” (1998. Babson College Press), and is president of CBR Associates Inc., a mental health consulting service for camps. For questions, Rotman can be reached at (508) 651-1132 or chir7@aol.com.

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  1. Preparing Parents
  2. Preparing Campers — A Checklist
  3. Steps to Jump Starting Your Brand Marketing
  4. Post-Camp Check-Up
  5. Sensitive Subject

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